It is no revelation that women wear multiple hats, and this is before they even embark on raising a family. Wearing these multiple hats - professional, business woman, educator, primary caregiver - can sometimes get overwhelming even for seasoned mothers and professionals.
It does not help that the society has a way of judging us by evaluating, unfortunately, very superficial metrics that do not really speak to the heart of the kind of parents or professionals that we truly are.
Often, this judgment is misplaced but it can leave the kind of lasting damage that reinforces certain labels, specifically that women are ‘less than’ in the various roles they undertake.
At a Forbes Women Summit a few years ago, I listened to women talking about the fact that being supportive of each other is not just nice to do, but imperative. They also dispelled the myth that there is only so much room for women at the top, leading to a sort of scarcity mentality where if one woman was rising, then it meant a downfall for the next one.
It has been said that as women, we are our worst enemies. To a certain extent that is true but it is not always deliberate. Because we are raised to be perfect and good, we continuously want to please society and ruffle as few feathers as possible.
We set standards for ourselves in different areas of our lives and when we become, say, exemplary parents, we judge other women for what we perceive to be chinks in their parenting skills. We have a role to ensure we reduce the judging and the shaming and stop the incessant comparing. Our way is not always the best way and we all bring different skills to the table.
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Supporting each other
Increasing the number of successful women by supporting each other, whether in business or our personal lives is imperative as it creates a community within which to thrive and learn lessons without making all the mistakes.
It helps to remember that a candle does not diminish its light by lighting another candle, but creates more illumination and guidance if one falters along the way.