I am still riding the wave of inspiration that International Women’s Day brought forth, thinking about how impactful our work on this planet can be when we empower each other.
The culture of business can quite often paint a picture of a dog-eat-dog world where competition and masculinity dominate the arena. Throughout history, we have been inclined to favor men over women when it comes to business roles.
But times have changed, and women are now recognized as the assets, inspirations, CEOs and entrepreneurs we’ve always been, finally breaking through the glass ceiling. As our roles evolve and grow, so do the countless tasks, to-do lists and juggling hats; life becomes more demanding.
Empower each other.
Last September, TIME created a multimedia project Women Across America: A TIME Road Trip, traveling to seven cities to interview women who formed social groups and businesses in response to pressures women face everyday. These women formed communities by finding strength in shared passions, struggles and goals.
This idea of women in business building a community or creating a “girl gang,” has become part of a much bigger conversation. But why?
More than ever, women have leveled the playing field in business with the emergence of female and mom entrepreneurs, who account for 30% of privately held American companies. The traditional 9-5 work day doesn’t account for the extra hours entrepreneurs work tirelessly to accomplish projects and meet deadlines. What’s not pictured here are the countless shopping lists, cooking of meals, preparing lunches, carpooling kids to piano and soccer, listening to a friend in need on the way to a meeting, the day goes on right into the night.
How are all of these incredible women doing it all?
It takes a village, a good support system, to help us through the whirlwind of a “normal day.” Being skilled at multitasking can only take you so far until you encounter a crisis and your whole schedule derails and this is when you call and ask for help with picking up kids or ask advice on how to be two places at once.
Emotional support is an essential tool that we cannot ignore.
As human beings, we are meant to connect and support each other, even root each other on. It takes courage and vulnerability to admit that we need help; when we receive help, we realize we’re not alone and that collective mentality helps us get through life’s crazy moments.
When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.Malala Yousafzai
I attended a panel last year called Ceiling Crashers: Investing in Women, where inspirational women shared stories from the trenches of their lives. I was blown away by these women openly sharing the incredible feats they endure daily, and the honesty behind their struggles.
Alexis Glick, CEO of GenYouth and former anchor of Fox Business Network, talked about how being a successful business woman can often feel lonely – always on the road, missing your children’s games and concerts, working countless hours to be the best.
Glick said we have to be as open about our failures as we are about our successes. Why be competitive with each other? The more honest we are about our challenges, the more we support each other.
The unrealistic notion of perfectionism is really unfair because it doesn’t actually exist!
You can connect with others to transform the world.
Social media is a wonderful place to connect, but it also creates a space where everyone appears to be in extreme bliss all the time.
Life has tremendous bliss, yes, but let’s be honest, the shadows, sadness, frustration, anger – the full spectrum of our experiences make us human and real.
These experiences are valid, even though we are afraid to show them. Such experiences matter in shaping who we are and who we become.
We must share all aspects of our inherent human-ness in an effort to remind each other – and ourselves – that we are not alone.
When we support other women, we honor their successes to collectively celebrate the success of all women. Our light does not diminish if we share it.
Soojin Kim is Digital Marketing Specialist for Your People, LLC.