We believe in the power of collaboration over competition; the power of women supporting each other, because collectively we can make an impact and help each other rise.

Studies firmly reveal the reality that when women support each other, they are more successful in business. Yet, the same correlation is not necessarily true for men in business. Traditionally, ‘career women’ and ‘business women’ have been viewed as competitive with each other. With few opportunities for them to rise to the top, they have been positioned against each other, which has not helped flatten the cultural and systemic hurdles faced by many of us. But now that more women are entering senior positions in the workplace and starting their own businesses, there is more scope for them to mentor and sponsor each other, where senior men may have failed in the past.

Women at a 2019 SSE graduation event

In what ways can we help each other to succeed, as women? The key is to motivate ourselves to make those new connections and look for ways that we can form meaningful relationships with other women we admire in our professional network. After all, meaningful connections can last a lifetime – and when women support each other, the benefits go far beyond just business, but can add value to other areas of life too. The key is to also support other women to shine where their strengths are, whilst not dimming our own brilliance. At times we may also need to challenge our limiting beliefs about what success can look like for women, for us.

As Marianne Williamson once said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do…and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.

Who do you have in your professional or business network that supports you with your work and life goals? We all need people we respect to bounce ideas off, boost our confidence and give advice when needed. As women we have a great opportunity to use our relationship-skills to build meaningful connections to broaden our perspectives and access new opportunities in our work and personal lives. Does your diary reflect your values, goals and need for meaningful connections? Invest time in building a community around what you are most passionate about.

Daisy
daisy.healy@dartington.org

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