Will the real female allies please stand up? International Women's Day 2021
Admit it, how many times have you glossed over another female's work and not liked or supported it because you didn't want to admit to yourself it was good and you didn't want her to look better than you?
Go on really?
I'm being quite frank so stay with me on this. It’s either that sudden small pang of jealousy or inferiority that crosses our minds on ‘oh, how did she do that, she is better now, ‘I don't want to support her, just because’. And/or you have just simply cut ties with them because they were doing better than you, and you only liked or helped the person when they made you feel better about yourself?
Your intentions may not be sinister, but let me tell you one thing, we have all done it. And, do it all the time. Whether you’d like to admit it or not.
Self-awareness is the first key to change and challenge. So, if you are honest with yourself and said yes, I applaud you. If you tell me this thought has never crossed your mind and say, Rina, it’s just you who thinks this then please write to me immediately and comment on this because I want to know how you do it.
This isn't a guilt trip, it's my candid eye-opener.
Female for Female Allies
This year the theme for International Women's Day is Choose to Challenge. How are you going to do this? Celebrating Women's Day and then not making a change is futile. It’s then just another day of getting on the ‘trends’ and forgetting about it tomorrow. It's why we need to support each other FIRST by being a female ally to other females and challenge our inner narratives. Why am I saying this?
Female relationships can get complex.
A long history, cross culturally where women have themselves imposed inequalities to each other.
How many times have you said to yourself and others that "I prefer male colleagues, or a male boss because they are not as B****y?’"
How many of your career experiences have been exposed to fellow females burning and slating you, and proving to you these points?
Seen other females in your team as competition?
I know I have had these same thoughts from past experiences. Sadly, society has made us fall victim to patriarchal conditioning. Not supporting each other, putting each other down and seeing each other as competition is another way society has taught us to stay small.
Changing the inner narrative and mindset to unlearn this is a challenge, especially when working in a male-dominated industry. But we can do this.
What you can do now:
Speaking out & taking action against any bias going on. Even if it is my own. I am going to ask myself and challenge myself every time my narrative changes when a female says something I am not ok with but would be if it was a man. It's also empowering seeing others challenge the odd passing remark too. I do more of this now , but it took me a long time to get that confidence. When you do this and see others, it inspires you to do it the same. I see the powerful group of women on our women in resilience committee do this. I love it. let's normalise speaking out and taking action.
Cheer for the wins and make a better table. All it takes for example is the press of a button to hit the like to acknowledge a good thing and cheer someone on. It means a lot and the effort is minimal. It's the least we can do instead of scrolling on by. How many fellow women have you applauded for, genuinely?
Mentor the women in your network. If someone needs help, give it. Spend that time. Offer feedback that can empower. I was once working with a student who introduced herself as 'hi my name is xxx, i am just a student'. No!! You are not just anything. Just isn't the narrative we should be labelling ourselves with. Simple acts of empowerments like saying privately, you are not just a student, but here to make a difference changes the outlook. This in itself is mentoring. How many of you are mentors for other females?
Women are not the enemy. Nor are men.
Acknowledging that cheering on a fellow woman does not dampen the light on me, but empowers me instead has been my biggest change in mindset. I hope it will be yours too. Women are not the enemy and nor are men. I no longer think '' I'd rather work for a male.'' I instead look for other factors beyond gender for example.
It's finally time we stopped expecting others to stand up for us and started doing it ourselves. When you take action you become a woman of action and you become the resilient woman.
Let’s also stop collectively looking to our male colleagues to carry the full weight of allyship and take collective responsibility to utilize our levels of privileges to be thoughtful allies where we show up for each other. This is how we choose to challenge because challenge starts with you.
Will the REAL female allies please sand up?
I challenge myself to never make my achievement smaller to stay relatable for other people's comfort levels nor expect them to do the same.
When I see a fellow female breaking barriers, setting the stage, I don't automatically think, competition, I think, YESSS, GIRL!!! I want you to WIN, I want to see you SHOUT OUT about it LOUD and hard. I am INSPIRED you did that, and maybe I can do that too.
That's the kind of allyship you will get from me. There is enough space for us all, and this is why there will always be a seat at my table for YOU.
So, will the REAL female allies, PLEASE STAND UP?
Your seat is waiting to be taken!
Happy international women's day 2021.
Until next time, Keep Investing in YOUR Resilience | Rina. x
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