The Call for Women to Help Women

Blessing Oshin March 8, 2012 9



Today marks the 101st celebration of Women’s day globally. Last year, I reminded us to examine how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. I paid homage to women who fought for their rights over 100 years ago to make our lives much more easier and fulfilling, and also called us all to action to continue to fight for the future of our daughters. Hilary Clinton summarized it well when she said “I believe that the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century,” in an interview last year.

However, this time I want to focus on our inner self. And I will like to start with a question.

How often do women help women? How often do we say, let me support that woman’s business, she is my friend and she works really hard. Do we take it upon ourselves to mentor the upcoming women in our organization while setting them up for success? When was the last time you gave a valuable advice to younger women in your community on how to aim high, and offer them tools to achieve their goals?

I am hoping that you have answered yes to at least one of these questions. As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s oft-repeated quote goes: “I think there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Here is a chart I found on CNN this morning on the percentage of women leading the boardroom. It’s a damn shame that women even with the high level of knowledge, multiple degrees, emotional intelligence and leadership are yet to shatter the glass ceiling.

I want us all to think back to those women that have helped us in the past. Those women who stood up for us, gave us valuable advice, helped us out when we needed emergency childcare, mentored us at work when we had to learn the ropes or were lobbied for our promotion and career success.

I hope that you will be able to remember these women and join me in celebrating them. I also hope that you will continue on your journey in helping other women succeed in your workplace, circle of friends, and community.

In what ways have you helped other women develop?

 



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9 Comments »

  1. Portia March 8, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Thanks, Blessing. I think this is a good reminder that we have a ways to go. I’ve been thinking more about this whole issue of why more women aren’t better represented in the highest ranks of corporate America and I think the issue is more complex. I tend to agree with Penelope Trunk, who wrote a post not too long ago about the COO of Facebook. . I think (for better or worse) more women are deciding that the sacrifices to be in the C-suite of major companies is too big a price to pay especially if you are a mother. Hence I think you are seeing more women create their own companies so they can be successful on their own terms. Yes we need to help each other but here is what I’d like to see: more women and men pushing for better policies that support familes. There are certain industries (you may be in one of them) where you absolutely cannot get ahead if you can’t pull 80 hours a week. How is that conducive to raising a family? It’s not. I came from one of those industries media/public relations. There were very few women at the C-suite level and the two that were were CHILDLESS. See a pattern? I would bet that for every woman you see C-suite level, tell me how many children she has and who is raising them. This is to me the crux of this stubborn problem. Thanks for a provocative post.
    Portia recently posted..Do you know what to ignore?My Profile

    • Blessing Oshin March 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Portia, I definitely agree with you. It is alarming in my field how many women in managerial positions that are childless and unmarried. That is actually very dangerous for a society if women are more inclined to climb the corporate ladder while sacrificing marital and parental fulfillment. Where does that get us? As always, you nailed the issue down in one paragraph!
      Blessing Oshin recently posted..Three years of Parental BlissMy Profile

  2. Denise March 8, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Here’s a article you might like – it’s about why women make better executives.
    http://www.boyden.com/media/11/the_xx_factor_in_the_boa/index.html

    To answer your question: I think the key is to look for opportunities to support each other whenever possible.

    I think women should spend more time talking to each other about their passions and their goals and their ideas, and less time talking about makeup and shopping or even their kids.

    Not to discredit our roles as mothers – that is our most important job and it demands respect, but sometimes I think women naturally start talking about their kids because it’s easy common ground with other moms.

    Which is OK, but how awesome would it be if, in addition to exchanging parenting tips and crockpot recipes, we also exchanged all the brilliant and creative and world changing ideas we have (and I know we have them) and even supported each other in putting some of those ideas to work?
    Denise recently posted..Nurturing Creativity in ChildrenMy Profile

    • Blessing Oshin March 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      Denise,

      Thanks for the link. I would love to see women’s strengths’ used more in the boardroom and we will probably have avoided the financial meltdown. I also agree with you on women talking more about their goals and ideas. I see men do that all the time. My husband gets on calls with his friend not to say hi, but to refine a business idea he’s had in his head all week. I rarely see women do this, and does it mean we are wired differently? I don’t think so. I think its because the society has defined the woman’s role a long time ago and you can’t undo a that kind of mindset in one or two decades. So unfortunately, we will continue to see this trend. But, what are we going to do about is the question. The conversation that needs to come next is – what platform will encourage women to talk more about their goals and ideas than just crockpot recipes?
      Blessing Oshin recently posted..Three years of Parental BlissMy Profile

  3. Vidya Sury March 9, 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply

    My favorite topic. And yes, I completely agree that there’s a special place in hell for women who won’t help other women. Blessing, I have a soft corner for all women, probably because I grew up with strong women I saw suffer, overcome, conquer and thrive (not just survive). We grew up with hardships, lack of essential stuff sometimes and through it all – I learned the strength of a woman. (not just the scent :-) ) Thus – I saw women selling fruits, carrying them in baskets over their heads in the heat, with a baby hoisted on their hip, taking a short break to breastfeed them when they could get some privacy. I saw my grandmother regularly entertain these women – we had a large verandah with an awning where she would invite these women to rest – feed them – give them water – and other “extras” she somehow saved for them in the form of food, clothing and other stuff. When they were ill, she would help them. I’ve seen my grandma deliver babies and even take care of the little ones while these women went to work. My mother was the same.

    So today – I will always support a woman in any facet of life – and I’d always choose the woman provider over a man. I know how hard they work. I also support a few women in my area (like the flower seller, a girls’ orphanage, the cleaning women) regularly for food and medical aid.

    If a girlfriend had an issue, I’d just BE THERE, no questions asked. No score-keeping. If a girlfriend had an emergency – or needed urgent help – I would do it if i had to stay up all night.

    Oh, I get so emotional with this whole thing.

    Simply because I think that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

    Happy Women’s Day to you!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Cultivating Your VoiceMy Profile

    • Blessing Oshin March 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      Vidya, you are absolutely right. Women are strong and powerful than perceived. And I get very emotional as well when we start to talk about women and the bond that ties us all together. In the end, we need to help each other more and encourage one another. We need to learn from others mistakes, and ask for help as well as be willing to receive help. We need to ensure that our daughters have the best mothers they can have and encourage them to be the best they can be regardless of a dysfunctional society. We need to be the best we can be to ourselves as individuals.
      Blessing Oshin recently posted..Three years of Parental BlissMy Profile

  4. Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post! I love to help other women! I am a speech therapist and I love to mentor women studying to join my profession. I also love to mentor new blog creators based on my experience when I was new to blogging.
    Megan @ Megan’s Munchies recently posted..WIN the Necklace That All Celebrities Will Receive at the 2012 MTV Movie AwardsMy Profile

    • Blessing Oshin March 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      Megan, that’s great. I love mentorship and I think its a great tool for women even more than men. Because women have a way of teaching that really nurtures and nourishes one’s soul. I encourage you to continue on this path of being a role model. Look forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for your comments.
      Blessing Oshin recently posted..Three years of Parental BlissMy Profile

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