It’s easy to think that women are doing alright. We work, we earn money, we wear what we want, and we do what we want. But if you believe that women are equal in this world, you’re sadly wrong. And, no, this post isn’t a feminist rant about what’s wrong with the world. But it’s important to realize that women still have a long way to go for equality and support. Whether you want to start a mentoring program or start to support women in other ways, you really can make a positive difference.
Right now, women still earn 80p to every £1 that men earn, only 22% of women hold senior leadership roles, and female board representation in FTSE 100 companies is only 28%, in the UK.
Emma Watson on Female Empowerment
Now, Emma Watson’s speech at the Davos World Economic Forum is more relevant than ever. Women do need to be equal participants in the world. If you’ve not heard or seen the speech, a snapshot below can inspire you.
But, you also have to be aware that this doesn’t just apply to the workplace, but also in the home, and in local communities too. If you believe in female empowerment, then you definitely have to work harder to support all women. It could be that you start a mentoring program or take initiative in one of the other ways suggested below.
Support Women in the Workplace
One of the most important places that you may find you need to work to support other women and help to empower others, is in the workplace – particularly your own work environment.
Women in Leadership
How well are women represented in your workplace? Even if you’re not the company owner, this is something that you can look to champion or support. We need more women leaders to help push companies to their potential and drive business growth. If you’re able to climb the ladder yourself, then it’s in your interest to push the number of women that grow alongside you. Support your female bosses and look to mentor those below you. By working together, you can make a shift in how well women are represented.
Opening up Opportunities
Do you have any kind of influence on recruitment and growth? If you do, you’ll have another opportunity to boost women in the workplace. While you need to remain unbiased and hire the best person for the job, looking to encourage women to work to their potential is going to be a way that you can make a difference here.
A way to do that is often going to be with mentorships. Whether you’re a woman that’s looking to grow, or you’re a woman that wants to give back, the benefits of mentoring are incredible. This can be a way that you really stick together and aim to grow the impact of females in work. So if you’re able to, make sure that you start a mentoring program at your company.
In the Home
But female empowerment isn’t just important in the workplace alone. It’s something that absolutely has to happen at home. So ask yourself, are you doing enough to empower the women in your family?
When you’re a mother of daughters, you’ve got a prime opportunity to make a difference and support women in your life. While your own parenting choices are up to you, if you want to make sure that you can raise your daughters to understand their influence in the world and to want the most out of life, your parenting style does matter. You need to empower and focus on equality, not just a traditional woman’s role.
Promote Strength & Confidence
As part of your role as a mother, you need to take it upon yourself to raise confident girls. Empowerment and self-belief aren’t always something that women can feel naturally. But it can be nurtured or encouraged. So this is what a huge aim should be for you. You should want to raise strong and confident daughters that will ensure that they are equal in the world.
Now, it’s not just about raising your daughters to believe in themselves and to want to pave their own way. It’s also about encouraging them to open up opportunities for themselves. Because they won’t always have things handed to them on a plate. They may have to work harder, and they may have to really chase after their dreams. So teach them to do that, and make sure that they know the sky’s the limit.
Support Women in Your Immediate Circles
Are you an empowering friend? Do you respect, encourage, and raise up your female friends? Your inner circles are an ideal place to let your support for women thrive.
Support Each Other
How are you with friendships? Do you support women who are your friends as much as you should? Are you encouraging and empowering and supportive? Now, you may feel like it’s not your job to boost the confidence of your gal pals – but it could be. Maybe these women aren’t supported by their own families?
Maybe they lack confidence? You can be the person that empowers your inner circle, and that encourages your close friends and family to make the most of their lives and to feel more empowered.
Recognize The Signs
Now, sometimes this can be a much more sensitive issue. Sometimes, your inner circle will need so much more support than you could ever imagine. Perhaps you have a friend that is struggling with mental health or even with abuse. Would you know how to recognize the signs? This is something that you could really make a difference on, by helping your inner circle when they need it the most.
Celebrate, Not Compete
Friendship shouldn’t be a competition. It’s sometimes natural to be threatened by other women, but there’s no need to be. Women should lift each other up and not drag each other down. So stop comparing yourself to other women, and look to celebrate those closest to you and encourage their achievements, rather than feeling threatened.
In Your Local Community
Sometimes, the first three areas are easy. Because you care about your colleagues, your family, and your friends. But how do you support women in your community?
One of the first things that you need to do, is look to give back to your community. When you look, you will likely find that there are charities that you can support locally. Or maybe you here about a woman who wants to start a mentoring program and you offer time to help help her. Or perhaps you decide to volunteer at local women’s refuges. Alternatively, there may be local charities or groups to volunteer at that will allow you to support and uplift other women.
Host Donation Drives
Or maybe you can look to do some kind of event yourself that may make a difference. It’s not always easy to know what is going on in your local community. But hosting a drive yourself to donate to a cause could really make a difference. So think about the different community event ideas that you could go with to raise money. By providing as much support as you can, you could be making a difference in women’s lives in your community.
Start a Female-focused Initiative
But you could also look to start your own initiative too. Maybe you want to encourage more females in the area to follow their dreams or to access more opportunities? Could you start a mentoring program for young girls? Could you launch a women’s shelter if there isn’t one? Just think about what your skills and experience can offer to females in your community.
In the World: More Ways to Support Women
Or maybe your thoughts and concerns are more with the rest of the world. If you know that you want to support women’s rights around the world, then here are options for you.
Support Female Growth
Now, taking the last point of working on women’s rights, or empowerment, initiatives in your local area, maybe you want to do this on a worldwide scale? Here, you could look to support women by helping them advance around the world by supporting charities.
With non-profits that look into the history of Pakistan and other countries and the opportunities for women, it’s great to be able to support them. Donate to these organizations or choose to buy items for yourself or others from companies that genuinely help women.
In addition to choosing your purchases wisely with companies like this one, you can also start an initiative of your own. Or, start a mentoring program! There are many options for supporting women.
Rally For Global Change
Or maybe the idea of donating isn’t enough? Sometimes, when you’re really passionate, you want to be able to do more. So perhaps the idea of getting more involved with fundraising aspects or rallying is what would interest you more? Again, look to the world organizations and nonprofits that you could connect with and support women for this. Anything that you can do to push initiatives forward will help.
Volunteer, Start a Mentoring Program, or…?
Lastly, you may even want to make a difference to the world yourself! This could be something like volunteering abroad as part of the organizations that look to teach women overseas or provide care and support that is needed. Or maybe you even want to go one step further and look to start your own organization to empower and support women in different ways around the world. Start a mentoring program or another initiative to help propel women forward. Let’s do this!
Top image via Unsplash.