6 Ways to Empower Working Women

To get ahead in the workplace, you have to be seen. Yet, what happens when you’ve never been given that opportunity to shine? 

There’s no denying women are constantly overlooked in the workplace with women of color experiencing the brunt of it. For women, visibility is not something we are given, it is an opportunity that we have to take. We live in a conundrum stuck between being called a “bitch” or being complacent. It feels like a never-ending race that we can never win.  

As graduation approaches, I’ve started to think about my own place within the workplace. What is it going to look like? Will my company like me? Luckily, my sisters recently joined the workforce and have offered me some advice. 

1. Celebrate each other’s successes

A woman’s rise to success is not easy. Every day women face constant backlash being systemically put down by the society they work for. Female rivalry plays a big part in this. The glorification of female rivalries had made women out to be against each other and their own happiness.  To break down these notions we must begin by celebrating their strengths and accomplishments. Communicating with your female peers through praise is crucial to their success. We can increase social capital and create a more unified workforce by recognizing the accomplishments of these women.  

Girls

2. Connect them to the right people

Have you heard of LinkedIn? Having a personal network is one of the most important aspects of working. Whether you need a job, mentor, or some advice your network can make opportunities happen for you. Empower your female co-workers by introducing them to people who might help them by giving them access to resources and knowledge that they need to better themselves. Something as small as a connection of LinkedIn can completely alter the trajectory of their career.  

3. Back each other up 

Have you ever heard the saying “girls support girls?” The world is slowly changing its way towards women as they become more comfortable in their positions and become part of a girl gang that understands their concerns. My sister recently told me about her boss hinting that she was not capable of presenting her team’s pitch in a meeting and then proceeded to call her a kid while her female supervisor had the utmost faith that she could. Moments like these remind women of their worth and that one comment shouldn’t keep them for their success.  

Women putting their hands together in a pile

4. Speak openly about salaries 

Ah, the good ole gender pay gap. Openness surrounding salary has been a taboo conversation topic within my family. I was taught to never comment on my financial situation, however, we can’t avoid not talking about our pay any longer. Society has to remove the stigma towards being open about salary. The taboo nature of this subject causes women to no feel confident enough to negotiate. We must know our worth and stand up for ourselves. 

5. Set up goal targets 

Women have to prove themselves more often than their male counterparts. Setting up goals and building accountability makes sure everyone in your team is being productive offering great insight into all the valuable contributions individuals have done. It helps to remove the ambiguity when there are physical records of all the accomplishments an employee has made. 

two women having an interview

6. Accept and appreciate yourself 

We are women. We are strong, caring, and unique individuals. Not all women are the same which is why this binary look of society holds women down. Gender bias still thrives within our society with people still believing in antiquated schools of thought. Embrace all the different approaches women take towards a project, embrace all the ways in which they are different, embrace them for just being women. We can’t adhere to stereotypical ideals of femininity. 

two different people's arms reach out in front of the St. Louis arch, their pointer finger and middle fingers coming together to make a heart

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