We’ve all seen those women supporting women memes. You know the ones, “We rise by lifting others” and “When women support each other incredible things happen”. Even though they’ve become very cliched, they make a valid point. There is only so much you can achieve on your own. But when you build a community with other female leaders, the learnings and the opportunities are endless.
I’ve always championed other women, pouring belief into them and vocally celebrating their successes as loudly as possible. But I understand why some women don’t. It doesn’t come from a place of vindictiveness but rather a place of insecurity and something lacking in their lives. With a scarcity of jobs at the top, female leaders have often had to fight extra hard to succeed in business – smashing ceilings that feel more like concrete than glass, while managing most of the grunt work and pressures at home.
After all those years of hard work and sacrifice, they reach the pinnacle of their career. Instead of exhaling, the fear can set in. Desperate to stay in a position of power, there are many instances where they pull up the ladder behind them to stop other people climbing up behind them. Psychologists refer to it as Queen Bee Syndrome. Instead of creating a thriving, supportive hive, the queen bee disassociates herself from others to focus solely on individual success. It’s lonely, it’s limiting and it’s also way too common with a survey by the American Management Association finding that 95 per cent of women felt undermined by a female colleague at least once in their career.
A lot of these women leave their corporate jobs to launch their own business but the behaviour lingers and they become wary of anyone else encroaching on their territory. That bullshit benefits no one. We need to give it the arse. There is enough sun for everyone to shine.
Collaboration over competition is about having respect for other people in your industry or at your level of power/influence. For business owners it’s founded on the belief that there is enough work to go around and we don’t need to elbow people out of the way to get ahead. For female executives or entrepreneurs, it’s about celebrating the achievements of other women and smoothing the path to success instead of roughing up the terrain. And it’s a two-way street, it only works in an environment of mutual empowerment. It’s about supporting the innovation in your industry, learning from each other and working together to lift one another up.
While the concept of collaboration over competition is great, it doesn’t mean shit if you don’t put it into practice. Here are some ways you can celebrate other women crushing it. I believe when you cheer others on and celebrate their success it draws success closer to you.
How do you prioritise collaboration over competition? I’d love you to share your experience in the comments. And if you’re ready to join our squad of sensational women, drawing inspiration from each other on the daily, apply to become a member of our exclusive private Facebook group. To keep the group filled with strategy, intention and fun, all new members are asked to make a one-off donation to the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, a cause for conservation of the planet whilst empowering women in Africa, which is extremely close to my heart.
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