Women have to support women: here is why you need a circle of women to succeed
At The Honest Talk, we talk a lot about the importance of friendship in empowering women. It’s been a recurring theme with our podcast guests.
“Women have to support women,” said Hazel McCallion, the longest-serving mayor of Mississauga, who held office until she was 93 years old.
Some of our guests, such as renowned photographer and Order of Canada recipient Michelle Valberg C.M., say they wouldn’t have achieved their success without support from other women. “We need each other,” says Michelle.
Jennifer Tory, former RBC Chief Administrative Officer, says, “As women, we need to support each other to think differently early in our careers to be able to prepare the way for those bigger challenges down the road.”
Like these guests, we believe fostering a circle of women is essential for personal and professional growth, with just a few reasons highlighted below.
Creating a safe and supportive space
A circle of women provides a safe and supportive environment for open discussions. This space fosters trust and encourages women to share their thoughts, ideas, and vulnerabilities without fear of judgment or ridicule.
By creating a supportive atmosphere, women can freely express their aspirations, fears, and concerns, which helps in relieving stress and reducing feelings of isolation. This sisterhood of support bolsters resilience and equips women with the emotional strength to face challenges head-on.
Addressing taboo topics
Women’s networks often enable discussions on subjects that are still considered taboo in mainstream settings. Conversations about work-life balance, mental health, and workplace discrimination are just a few examples of topics that women may hesitate to discuss openly.
Within a circle of women, these conversations are not only encouraged but celebrated. Breaking these barriers promotes understanding, empathy, and a sense of unity, leading to improved mental well-being and a stronger bond among women.
Validating shared experiences
While support and advocacy can come from many avenues, certain topics are more readily understood, and shared, amongst women. These include:
Health issues: Everybody has their own level of comfort discussing health and medical issues but, unfortunately, sometimes they spill over to affect other areas of our lives. It can be easier to discuss them with somebody else who faces the same issues.
Cultural and social realities: While we’ve come a long way, there are still certain societal expectations and customs placed more heavily on women — it can help to reflect on these with other women experiencing the same pressures.
Safe spaces: Safety can mean feeling free to speak and work as we choose, but it can also refer to practical, physical safety. When it comes to planning how best to raise a contentious issue in a team meeting, or asking for security lighting in the parking area, women colleagues can provide a valuable support network.
Women inspire women
Visibility is essential for empowering women to achieve their goals. When women see other women thriving and succeeding, it becomes easier for them to envision their own potential. A strong women’s network provides a diverse array of role models, offering inspiration and motivation to dream big and aim high. Seeing oneself represented within a supportive community reinforces the belief that success is attainable, regardless of gender or background.
The journey to success can be challenging, but having a circle of women by your side can make all the difference. Women helping women is not just a slogan; it is a transformative reality that fuels personal and professional growth. By fostering a network of support, women gain access to valuable experiences, create a safe and understanding space, address difficult topics, and draw inspiration from one another.
Remember, at The Honest Talk we believe that by supporting each other we can all reach new heights of success. Join our women’s network in Canada and become part of the empowering journey to greatness!
Tell us about the network of women who support you: [email protected]