Monday, 5 April 2021

Women are notoriously critical of themselves.

The world isn't necessarily easy on them either: On average, women earn 82 percent of what men earn for the same work, and after a lifetime of lower earnings, their retirement income is only 70 percent that of men, according to AAUW. In addition to all that, the coronavirus pandemic has been especially hard for women, increasing the pressure they often face as both providers and caregivers, according to The Brookings Institution.

For all these reasons, life can be tough for women—and it's important for women to support each other. In addition to making a difference for society, helping to empower other females can also improve your own health, as studies show lending a hand to others boosts health and longevity. Consider these ideas to start empowering the women around you.

Share your success story with other women

Have you built a business? Gotten out of debt? Landed your dream job? Successfully maneuvered parenthood, marriage, or a breakup? Found your groove in pandemic homeschooling and working from home? Chances are you've been able to accomplish something that would inspire other women.

Look for opportunities to share your story of success, whether it's in a one-on-one conversation, a social media post or a TED talk. Sharing your story isn't about bragging, it's about inspiring others and improving outcomes for all the women around you.

Make connections

Look for opportunities to connect one woman you know with another, in ways that can benefit both of them. Know two women battling breast cancer, facing a military deployment, or struggling with a new empty nest? Introduce them to each other, and they can battle together.

Also make connections for women who can provide a service to each other, whether it's recommending your hairstylist to a friend who's looking or introducing your graphic designer friend to a female business owner who could use her help. Your introductions aren't just likely to pay off for those you connect, but when it works out, you'll also get a great sense of satisfaction.

Make time for real conversation

For many women, genuine relationships with other women are difficult to find in adulthood. A key reason is a lack of time to spend together. If you can commit yourself to making time to be fully present for the women around you, asking genuine questions and listening fully to the answers, you will provide them with a great service.

Look for pockets of time in your schedule that you can devote to talking and listening with women around you—during a brisk walk, over lunch, at coffee breaks. You'll build more genuine relationships and they will too.

Share opportunities with others

When you hear about something good, share it with other women you know. Maybe it's an open position at work, a women's conference, a free webinar, or a big sale. Think about other women who might be interested, and share the news.

Making a deliberate effort to support the women around you will help you and your female acquaintances build the type of network that can yield vital success in your careers and your lives.

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