I have a wish for my daughter and all of the coming generations of women who want to achieve success on their terms.
I have a wish she will be surrounded by a tribe of women who have come before her showing her the ropes. I have a wish that women with experience will send the elevator back down from the penthouse for the ride back up. I have a wish she will work for companies that support her rise, development a work-life balance because when they do they not only support her but they build a more loyal and engaged employee. Why is there so much work to be done in terms of women supporting women? There still remains a deep lack of reciprocal support around advice, mentorships, career advancement and finding that elusive work-life balance. Below is disappointing and not entirely surprising data from the Women in 2020 report that reinforces what still needs to be done:
Women who have figured out how to take on positions of power are NOT giving other women ‘best practices’ for blending work, family, and life. Only 57% of total respondents describe women in power as helpful, and only 42% describe them as compassionate. 64% of total respondents feel resentful that women in power are not doing what would be necessary to help other women rise.
Women at all levels are not supporting each other in their professional lives. Only 47% of all women surveyed feel that women outside of the senior-level group are extremely or very supportive of their professional lives, and only 44% feel that women in the senior level group are extremely or very supportive.
Employers do not have enough training to help women blend work and life. Only 20% of total respondents say their companies offer leadership training resources that focus specifically on easing the work-life struggle.
Employers do not provide enough opportunities for women to help other women find work-life solutions. Only 15% of total respondents have an internal women’s networking group, and only 6% have a parenting employee resource group.
We have work to do, individually and within the organizations in which we work. If I’m leading by example, I too have work to do. Madeline Albright’s famous quote: ‘There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women’ feels right on to me, and it will fuel me forward to be that women that other women can turn to. P.S. Helen Reddy’s song ‘I am women. Hear me roar’ is now playing on a loop in my head (dating myself!).