In honor of International Women’s Day, I think of the bonds that bring us together and in the same minute shift to the mindsets that tear us apart. In recent months, I have attended more and more Latina events including the Ella Institute Launch, Cosmo for Latinas readers panel and Orgullosa’s Nueva Latina Monologues. And while these events for Latinas or women in general do empower me and make me proud, it becomes that much more evident that it is a fleeting moment. That no matter how much energy is in the room that night and the next day, the feelings of sisterhood fade and we get consumed into the lives we were living. The networking emails stop being exchanged, the empty promises of lunch and drinks are overlooked and that commitment to support and uplift one another becomes secondary to our personal pursuit of success. Then Women’s month rolls around and suddenly those feelings are back, and we are anxious to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. But how do we keep that support going in April, May and the following months? How do we put all these theories that we talk about and become excited about into practice? Below are some ways to move our gender forward and put the S back in sisterhood.
Supporting one another is simply providing access to the resources and connections we have to help others get ahead. We sometimes become insecure in sharing our contacts and ideas with others for fear how that may negatively impact us long term. Do you connect people in your networks who you know can make magic together? Have you spoken highly of another woman in order to help her climb the career ladder? This could be as simple as a Linked recommendation or asking for a plus one to an event you know would be beneficial for someone else.
Whether it’s attending a fellow entrepreneur’s event, calling to check in after the job interview, offering to pass along a resume or even babysitting so that your fellow sister can attend a networking meeting after work or go to school, there are ways to serve one another in order to allow us to get ahead. Great leaders are committed to serving. Are you being a champion of change and sacrificing your time and energy for others? Do you send texts or emails of encouragement when we know someone is having a hard time? Actions speak louder than words.
Women’s History Month is about celebrating the generation of women whose commitments have proved invaluable to our society. It also is a day to remember the women who haven’t been given a chance. Did you know that only one in every five girls in the developing world finish primary school, and only 37 percent of countries have as many girls as boys enrolled in secondary schools? While we are celebrating our accomplishments today, let’s remember the girls the world is leaving behind. Speak up on issues such as these and contribute to organizations like She’s The First, who are focused on breaking cycles of generational poverty and transforming our world every day – not just in March.
There are many small and quick ways to support one another, the key is to be consciously committed to doing all you can beyond March 8th. Keep the spirit of sisterhood, encouragement and celebration alive.