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A recent poll published by the Women Automotive Network to its over 11k LinkedIn community had the question “Do you feel that women support women enough?” had over 230+ votes.
The issue of diversity must start within. Commenting on the poll, Sheila Star (Career Coach for Women at Sheila Starr coaching) said:
“Some women are amazing at supporting other women, but others are just busy focusing on their own challenges. I think we need to really try harder to support each other. Whatever stage of your career you are at, there will somebody that can benefit from your experience”.
What may hinder women from supporting each other?
In Jan 2020, Dr Shawn Andrews, Forbes council member (Forbes coaches council) published an article about ‘why women don’t always support the other women’. In that article she stated three possible reasons:
The first reason being the invisible natural law in the female “culture” called the “power dead-even rule, that helps to shape how women interact with other women at work and in their personal lives. The term was coined by Pat Heim and colleagues in Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business. According to Shawn, this rule governs relationships, power and self-esteem. The rule has it that for a healthy relationship to be possible between women, the self-esteem and power of one must be, in the eyes of each woman, similar in weight to the self-esteem and power of the other. She described it as a subconscious process.
The second reason relates to the emotional intelligence (EQ) also called the Queen Bee Syndrome, when women behave in ways more typical of men to display toughness and fit in. if a female leader puts less of a premium on the value of relationships, she may not spend the time necessary to cultivate relationships with junior women. – (Shawn, 2020)
The last reason is when the competition for “spots” in favored in-groups increases, women are less inclined to bring other women along.
Truth remains that there are many women who are not only inclined to help other women but also truly believe that it’s their duty to help other women. There are lots of great examples of how women have already supported one another to gain career satisfaction. For example, the yearly mentorship program organized by the Women Automotive network has seen over 200 mentors (women mostly) volunteering their time, energy, and resources to help groom other women.
It is imperative to take to heart a quote by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in her keynote speech at the Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA’s All-Decade Team in 2006, who said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
Remember, when women support women, incredible things happen.
NB: Join the Women Automotive Network’s final event of the year (Women Automotive Winter Meetup) on the 17thof November 2022 to experience how women across the automotive sector and beyond have supported each other this year, and what plans are in place for 2023. Ticket available here https://bit.ly/3Ptcpul. Some confirmed speakers include: Dr. Christian Köhlin (Vice president and head of Automotive components Europe and IMEA, Henkel), Gulnaz Ones (Global CIO, Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG), Julie David (Managing Director, Peugeot UK), and many more.
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