Let’s face it. Women have been known to be catty and not supportive of each other. As more and more women are in the workforce, they are encountering females who are in higher positions or are looking to get to that next level. Times are changing so that collaboration is triumphing over competition. Competition will always exist, however it can be used in a positive way. Now it can be the driving force that creates the passion and perseverance to develop new ideas and move forward. A caveat though! When used negatively, competition can prevent success and cause damage. In the 21st century, in light of #MeToo, and other movements, women claim they want to support one another and collaborate instead of competing with each other. But how do we do it?
Taking the time out to bring another woman under your wings and teach her the ropes is a win-win situation. She will be able to move forward in her career and you will experience the satisfaction of being her role model and helping her get to the next level. Perhaps this person will even become a valuable resource or employee for you. There is no reason to guard your knowledge; it should be shared.
Our organization, P.O.W.E.R., is all about collaborating with like-minded professionals and empowering other women. It provides an opportunity to connect with other women in your field as well as other industries and professions. In addition, you may want to join industry-related organizations where you know other women have a commonality and want to support each another. Bonding and befriending women in your field can create an arena for collaboration, rather than competition.
Lose the insecurity. A lot of research has been done on female competitiveness and collaboration. Results show that females are better at collaborative problem solving than males. However, a literature review by Tracy Vaillancourt, published by The Royal Society in 2013, found that women express indirect aggression toward other women by making themselves look more attractive, and being catty toward other women. Whether it’s a result of upbringing or fear, this passive aggressiveness must stop and refocus itself onto the work not the personality.
The nature of the work force is changing and more women are working alongside other women, collaborating and supporting one another. Instead of the exception this should be the norm. We are all individuals and have our own areas of expertise. By being confident and knowledgeable in your profession, your attributes will be recognized and you will not have to compete in a negative manner. There will always be a few who try to win by engaging in negative behavior, but the truth always comes out in the end and your talent speaks for itself.
Wanting the best for others will create good karma. There is always room for everyone.