1. Empower Yourself: The first step to empowering others is to strive to empower yourself. I once read an article with the words, “get what you need so you can help others get what they need”, in bold typeface. I agree wholeheartedly. I look at it like this; if I build a business, I can hire someone who needs a job. Now remember this does not mean that you can use the excuse that because, you are pursuing your own goals and dreams; you cannot help others. The two actions actually go hand in hand. By reaching out to others you broaden your experiences, learn more about yourself, and gain a wonderful sense of pride.
2. Become a Mentor: We all have heard of organizations like, Big Brothers Big Sisters, where a professional can mentor a young child. Well, we, as women, can also be mentors to other women. Are you a well-established blogger? Why not offer to teach a new blogger the ways of social media. Are you a woman who runs a successful business? Why not share with a woman, who is in the start-up phase, your experiences and advice. Of course, mentor means supporting another for free. So, if you do offer to mentor someone; do not expect anything more than appreciation in return.
3. Actively Support a Cause: Please take note of the word “actively”. Yes, wearing a ribbon on your lapel or placing one on your blog does show that you support a cause, however, by getting actively involved you not only support the cause, you touch lives. Most importantly you make a difference in someone’s life. How can you become actively involved? Volunteer, hold a fundraiser, or dedicate a blog post to raise awareness.
4. Value Diversity and Promote Cultural Understanding: By learning to respect the differences between us; we build understanding of one another.
5. Invest in Women Owned Businesses: Another great thing about supporting women business owners; many are mothers who are the sole providers for their children.
6. Celebrate Women’s Achievements: I cringe when a woman has accomplished something and those around react in one of two ways: 1. Ignore it. OR 2. Speak negative about the woman. An example of is like this: A woman receives an award for something she accomplished and instead of focusing on what she did great, everyone talks about her weight, her lifestyle, her shoes. . . you get the gist? It is even more shameful when those who are the loudest are other women. We need to learn to celebrate and focus on one another’s achievements without tearing down each other because of personal opinion. Hey, truth told, you do not have to like someone to congratulate them, walk away and say no more.
7. Vote: I am not going to go into politics on here. I am going to say that paying attention and voting are vital to the women’s movement . . . whether collectively or individually. You cannot sit back and believe that your voice does not matter. When politicians begin to speak about matters that are extremely important to women . . . it is time to get out and vote.
8. Be Supportive: Sometimes, being supportive requires nothing more than being there. Being a shoulder to lean on when a friend is down, listening to your daughter’s problem (though which nail polish to wear is far from a life changing moment), and calling your cousin to see how her new job is going.
9. Stop Being Judgmental: Some of you need to get off your high horse and avoid moving into a glass house. Truthfully, it is not your place or right to judge how other women chose to live life. However, if she is engaging in behavior that risks her health or life, lovingly offer help without passing judgment.
10. Spread Encouragement: This is as easy as a friendly smile. Actually, it is more like a verbal smile. When you meet a woman, who for example is a firefighter, why not tell her you appreciate the dangerous work she does. Or as a business owner tell an employee what a good job she is doing.
What are some other ways we can support one another? How do you support other women?