I read the book, Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg and I felt inspired. She awoke something in me that I can’t explain but I gravitated to the message. You can say what you want about the book but there is one thing you cannot argue: Sheryl put the conversation on the table and open for discussion. From the board room table to the dinner table, Sheryl has made Lean In a household name. In the future, I will write many more blogs and refer back to themes and insights I had reading the book, but today I want to address the one theme that stood out for me more than any: women helping other women.
As a working mom, I have often felt looked down upon by stay-at-home moms. I remember being at social events and when I mentioned that I was traveling for a week on business, I could see the disapproving, dirty looks on some moms’ faces. I would go to school events and moms would come in with homemade pumpkin mini-cakes in beautifully wrapped packaging. I was lucky I had time to stop at the market to bring a gallon of lemonade. I also had a lot of respect for a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom). After having maternity leave, it was clear to me that taking care of a baby, a house and myself were much more complicated than I had ever imagined. In Sheryl’s book she calls for all moms to come together to support each other and that rung so true for me as I never thought of us all on the same team.
Then we have the women in the office. Women are so hard on each other. They can be nitpicky and chatty and their words can cut like a knife. They play games instead of working toward a common goal. Not all women do this but if there is a bad seed in the bunch, it is toxic.
This silent-but-deadly communication begins as early as the school yard; I see this all the time as the mother of a teenage daughter. The competitiveness starts young and in the world of social media. One negative word or image can break a girl at this age and stage. If a boy posted it, we would be knocking on his parent’s door, but if a girl posted it about another girl, we attribute it to girls just being girls.
All these divides…YET we are all the same at the core, women. Women struggling to be the best that we can no matter what our role. How could we allow this to happen? We have so many things in society against us yet we created even more pressure from within our own group.
Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”
You have my commitment that I will support all women collectively: the SAHM, working moms, working women without children and school girls. I will empower them to be the best that they can be. It could be a kind word, it could be volunteering or being a mentor. Do what is most natural for you. We together need to help each other and lift each other to the next level — not break each other down.
Imagine how powerful we could be …..if we were empowering all young girls, raising their confidence and teaching our children to do the same…..If SAHMs felt appreciated and supported and working women with and without kids could feel the positive energy of a virtual support team of women. We would be unstoppable.
Buzz-Worthy Lesson: Be a woman who supports other women. Support all women collectively. Make a pledge to start now by signing your name below in the comments. I am committed and I need YOU to be successful. We are all in this together. #LEANIN #WHW