Nurturers by nature, but are we really supporting each other as a network of business women fighting to climb the corporate and creative industry ladder? Are we honestly supporting every woman on a mission to reach her own dreams?
As women we may well be nurturers, but we are also naturally competitive and emotional creatures who unfortunately, can be lead astray by that unwitting, involuntary emotion called jealousy. You know, that one where you know how hard you've worked for that promotion and then little miss 'no experience' comes flying past you to take all the glory, pushing you back down the ladder without a second thought.
Not easy to deal with or be honest about I know. But inside you're seething! And so you complain to all your friends. Or how about when someone in the same line of work as you clinches the job, the deal or even just the accolade, after you've broken half the bones in your body, through blood sweat and tears, just to get to that position?
How does that make you feel? Well yep, there it is again, not surprisingly, that green eyed monster we often don't notice in ourselves, but clearly see in others. There are so many fabulous women sadly living in this putrid shade of green and I'm here to say, it is not a good colour on anyone.
I guess it's sometimes easier to look outside than within right? And that's ok, as long as at some point, you choose to take a moment to check our own behaviour, because as natural as little miss green may be, she has absolutely no place at the table of women who truly support women!
If you want to actually succeed, you need to kill the green-eyed monster. Hopefully you are fortunate enough to be surrounded by phenomenal friends who save you from your sometimes off colour self. You know, the type of friend that takes your hand gently and calls you out when lady emerald comes to visit. Every woman needs a friend like this right? It's quite possibly essential to our survival. Some men may run from strong women in a foul mood, but other women of similar constitutions are much more likely to enter 'the anger games'.'
Independent, strong-willed women can often be their own worst enemy and at times, have been known to perpetuate their own downfall, simply by watching other women with an unwitting green-eyed envy. In a world that so often restricts or sidetracks us already, why would we play games with each other? I'm discovering more and more that certain women are focusing so hard on the other women around them, that through their own fear and insecurity, they lose all sight of reality and the focus needed for their own journey to even succeed! (cue the real reason lady emerald rears her ugly head).
The way to combat this naturally competitive beast of course is to walk in gratitude for others, then 'put on your specs' and stay in your lane! (That's the polite way of saying, mind your own business!) You can't get to your desired destination if you're watching traffic on the opposite side of the road!
Women already have some of the toughest challenges in life, so why on earth would we use so much energy on sabotaging ourselves? In business and relationships! Anger, fear and jealousy are poison, not phenomenal or classy traits. Yet for some bizarre reason, so many women are still living with this affliction.
Over the last couple of years as a speaker and advocate for women, I've noticed that whilst at predominantly women's events, I have been surprised and hurt quite honestly, to discover so much of this competitive combat at play.
Up until writing my book 'Phenomenal Woman,' I worked in a male dominated industry for over 20 years years, as a TV and Theatre director mostly, so maybe I wasn't privy to the ways of corporate business women or the irritating nonsense of male egotism ( I never stood for it on my watch) Who knows, but one thing I do know, is that I rarely encountered this baffling kind of behaviour in male dominated working environments like I have at many women's networking events. You know, the one where lady insecurity has one eye on the buffet and the other on you! It's certainly not a behaviour I have a taste for or indeed tolerate.
As women, we all have to fight furiously for the top spot, so I simply suggest that we do it with honesty and totally in support of each other. If everyone just stopped focusing on other people's goals and achievements, or stealing other people's moments 'by any means necessary.' then maybe, as a team, we would really get somewhere.
Surely as the supposed nurturing sex, women should be playing to each other's advantage and not allow fear, insecurity or jealousy cloud our minds and lose control? I've spent years watching women pass business cards with a smile, only to know that they're more interested in winning than connecting. When did we as feminine women turn into the boys and become more interested in winning than nurturing?
As our phenomenal mothers taught us, we should be encouraging and upholding one another. Maybe it's an old fashioned notion, but as tough as I've been told I am, I would really prefer to feel like I'm in a 'No danger' zone when I walk into a large group of women.
It therefore, has me wondering whether part of the reason women's networks aren't as powerful as they should be, is because they are actually not honestly supporting each other as successful unique individuals. Shouldn't we be creating a positive platform and a place for all women to develop and shine? I know I want to encourage women to understand what a life of value really means, but my concern is this - Have we actually lost the ability to be nice in an age ruled by technology and logistics, money and power? I wonder.
The back stabbing and bitching has to stop and Jealousy needs to leave the building. Fake networking and using other women for your own benefit is not worthy of the title WOMAN!
Ladies, as minority shareholders in a still male dominated business arena, why are we allowing jealousy and fear to subconsciously lead our motives and subvert our cause? Are we not limiting our leveraging ability by battling the sex we need to support the most? It may be tough at the top, due to an often close knit 'old boys network,' but if we as women are fighting each other, all we do is create an isolated arena in which to perform. No network, no validation and no support is not a great starting point for women who want success.
When you know and respect your value, you are no longer intimidated and where there is no intimidation, there is no game to be played. Hold your head high, appreciate, value and stand by your fellow gentle-women and please ladies, put the green eyed monster to bed! With sexism on the rise again, isn't now the time women should truly be supporting women in every area of our lives? Just think what we could achieve if we did.