I’m a feminist. I support and encourage women. I love seeing women succeed, climb the ladder and pursue their dreams.
I feel connected to other women. They are all in my tribe. And nothing gets me more hyped than watching other women crush their goals and stand in their power. I love seeing women showing up for themselves unapologetically.
That being said, I fear I’m also part of the problem.
I’m going through a training program with a class of nine. We are all going through training together and will be potentially competing with one another for jobs across the country. There are six women and three men in my class. When I saw the gender makeup of my class, my initial reaction was not excitement. I was scared, nervous and upset that there were a lot more women than men.
I caught myself the other day worrying and being nervous that there were so many more women than men—wishing that it was the opposite. I was genuinely nervous that I would be more likely compared and competing against the other women verses the men. I wouldn’t stand out as much.
I finally snapped myself out of it and realized wow, I’m part of the problem. I think this is how a lot of women feel, and it’s why it takes us longer to climb the ladder compared to men.
I hate that I this initially crossed my mind! The more I thought about it, the more it became clear why. While I would love nothing more than to bond and be best friends with these women and lift each other up, I also know women can be notorious for cutting each other down and being mean to each other in order to get ahead first.
Why is that though? Society tells us, women specifically, that we are in competition with each other. We are competing against each other from the moment we are born — for attention, praise, men, etc.
We are taught from a very young age to be threatened by other girls. We are taught that another woman’s success or happiness means failure and unhappiness for us. We weren’t taught to work as a team and help each other get to the top.
And that is so warped! A win for any woman, especially one I’m working alongside of, is a win for me too.
The only solution I have for anyone who has felt this way is to be very conscience about how we think, catch ourselves when we want to compete vs. collaborate with other women. I think it’s so important that when we have these moments of insecurity with other women and make a conscious effort to shift our mindset.
So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m changing my mindset, and I’m going to keeping working hard to catch myself when I have similar thoughts again. It’s exciting that the majority of my class, in a very prestigious program, are women! It means change is actually happening in this country, and women are being recognized for their intelligence and ability. And, I’m going to work to communicate this mission to other women who are still trapped in the societal norm of feeling threatened. We are stronger together.
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