Recently I was thrilled to catch up with an ex-colleague whom I hadn’t spoken with for ages. As we filled in the blanks on everything that has happened in our lives, we couldn’t help but reminisce on what it was like being among a very small handful of women in our leadership peer group.
While we shared some laughs remembering how we survived some tough challenges (some things are just easier to laugh at eight years later!), it hit me that we missed a huge opportunity to support each other better during those difficult times.
When the heat is on, our inclination is to put our heads down and focus on just pushing through to get the job done. We forget that the heavy burden of leadership can be eased when we have someone else to lean on …. even if it’s only for a listening ear to help us get through a bad day.
Today is International Women’s Day. Last year we witnessed the power of individual voices as one by one courageous women spoke up behind the #MeToo campaign. As we continue to #PressforProgress this year, let’s not forget that individually we are strong, but collectively we are even more powerful.
Leadership can be lonely, regardless of gender. We need a tribe to support us, and equally, we can be that rock for someone else to lean on.
We clearly still have a long way to go to close the gender parity gap. As we continue to change ingrained mindsets and established norms, let’s not forget that each of us has the power today to reach across the aisle to another female leader so that collectively you can support each other on your success journey.
So as we celebrate International Women’s Day today, why not invite someone for a cuppa and check in to see how she’s doing?