Empowered women empower women by helping them gain new skills. Women endorse other women when they have trouble doing it themselves. These women are mothers, elders, sisters, leaders … all who have “been there and done that.” Empowerment gets a bad rap sometimes. What if we flip the script? What if we use terms like acceptance, guidance, knowledge sharing, and support instead?
At the end of the day, that’s what empowerment is all about. We provide strategies, insights, and tools to other women so they can excel and advance in their careers. Here are 15 ways you can help a woman learn and grow in the workplace.
Get her excited about her “Desire Fire”
This one is critical as each of us needs to know what we are doing and why we are doing it. What’s the “fire in the belly” to achieve what we want to achieve? Empowered women ask this question, so women have a firm grasp on their reason for going after what they want. Want to explore this topic? Nab a copy of Simon Sinek’s book, Find Your Why, for valuable insights.
Mentor when help is needed
Sure women help those around them. A colleague of mine recently had a call with a woman who was struggling in her career. My colleague recommended she reach out to more females in her industry for mentorship. This was the result:
“I’ve thought about reaching out to my former manager before, but I think I’ve always wanted a female mentor, which was something that has always been lacking in my life—aside from my wonderful mom, of course. I appreciate our meeting earlier. It’s been really hard trying to stay motivated and it’s been so long since I’ve heard a female voice offering me support. So really, thank you so much. I’ll definitely work on reaching out to someone in my industry network.”
Share salary information for her to take aim
Here’s the thing. Men are great at talking about money, asking for raises, and negotiating salaries. Women generally suck at it. According to Linda Babcock’s book,Women Don’t Ask, roughly seven percent of women try to negotiate the salary of their first job compared to a whopping 57 percent of men who do the same. Trailblazing women share salary information with other women and help them navigate this landmine.
Give her constructive feedback
While some don’t agree with the feedback sandwich, it’s still a viable way to share tough information—especially for women. Take these steps to provide constructive feedback.
- Share something positive (a task done well).
- Deliver the “one to grow on” feedback and how they can improve.
- Wrap up with by complimenting the work they’ve done well.
Help her get connected
Whether it’s using social media or a face-to-face meeting, many women are intimidated by networking alone. Women who are expert networkers invite other women to join them at events and offer pointers on how to grow a career using all of the channels available online.
Take a peek at her resume
Ladies tend to be more timid about showcasing their strengths. This is especially true when it comes to their resumes. Looking over another woman’s resume is a great way to give back and offer pointers on things to incorporate. If you have a timid friend, show and tell her what a rock star to boost her confidence.
Provide support when she needs it most
I was part of a local consortium where one of the women said, “If you are thinking about someone, pick up the phone and reach out.” Whether you do this via phone, email, text, or social media, the fact that you thought about her is HUGE! In many cases, it opens the door for support, and she knows that you are available and willing to assist.
Tell her where she shines
Women more than men struggle with confidence. Ladies seem to be good at downplaying their strengths. Did you know a study by Hewlett-Packard showed that 100 percent of women only applied for a job when they were 100 percent qualified for it, while men applied when they only met 50 percent of requirements? When another woman’s contributions make a difference, it’s critical that we tell her that.
Help her become visible in business
Women are known to be supporters. That doesn’t help them succeed, as others need to see and acknowledge their contributions. By encouraging women to understand the company’s strategy, offer insights in business development, and become a workplace participant, they will become more visible over time and advance in their career.
Assist her with showing her value
After they start asking questions and have their ear to the ground through encouragement, they can participate by jumping into that type of work. Most of the time, aligning with the company’s strategic initiatives will provide value. Even if it’s helping them understand the organization’s vision and how their work aligns with it, that’s a value add right there.
Tell her what gaps she needs to close to improve
A client of ours was frustrated from being passed over for a promotion on three separate occasions. Based on the advice of a woman who empowered her, she contacted bossibly and we built an action plan together. She assessed her gaps, worked with her senior leadership to determine where she could add value, and was promoted in three months’ time.
Explain how she can take charge of her career
One of the tips for taking charge of your career is leveraging one-on-ones with your boss. Empowered women set these meetings up and take responsibility for the meeting by driving it. It’s our job to nudge women in this direction so they can create goals that align with the organization while gaining visibility. Check out The Muse for ways women can assert their power in the workplace.
Lead with resilience and show her how to build trust
According to Pew Research, women are better than men at compromising (34% better), standing up for others (25% better), and mentoring employees (25% better). For empowered women to empower women, it’s critical to show them how to create cohesion within a team, which builds trust and respect. Where can women improve? Our male counterparts excel in negotiating deals (18% better) and are more willing to take risks (34% better).
Review her street creds and offer guidance
Street creds is a cool term for education, certifications, and affiliations. It’s not enough for women to have a degree. When you factor in the confidence challenges, many don’t do a good job showing off their credentials. I had a call not that long ago with a woman who didn’t realize how valuable her leadership volunteer roles were or how to talk about them. Make sure to adequately evaluate your skills and abilities, and make sure your working women colleagues do the same to get ahead in the workplace.
Allow her to stretch by giving her opportunities to grow
There are women on our team that empower other women by helping them with assignments they’ve never tackled before. What a great way to learn and grow! Through delegating work, women will understand what to do and how to do it with the added safety of someone more senior overseeing the project.
At bossibly we know that empowered women empower women. Our team is passionate about helping women succeed in the workplace.
- Amy’s WHY is to help young professional women step into their power in the workplace.
- Kathy’s WHY is to help women in business succeed.
- My WHY is to give women the information and tools to advance so they don’t have to learn it the hard way like I did.
Need more help? Take our assessment (www.bossiblyquiz.com)! It’s the “You are HERE” Mall Map for your Career.