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How Can Women Support Each Other in the Pursuit of Individual and Collective Liberation?

By:
Renee Mitchell

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The call for us to support women’s empowerment is more significant than ever. What I have to share may not be anything new or earth shattering but sometimes we need repeated messaging before things truly sink in.  

I wanted to lend my voice to many other voices calling for the same type of action from those in our communities, and from ourselves.

Cultivate a Culture of Collaboration

Our success is measured by how we collaborate and make space for one another. We may have to fight that part of ourselves that has been programmed to do otherwise, and it is a call to action to create a new internal message of abundance. There is room for everyone at the table, and we must make room.  

  • Consider being a mentor within your workplace, industry, professional association or school – share your experiences, provide guidance and open doors for others.
  • Can you sponsor and advocate for the career advancement of other women within your organization?
  • Are you a leader or someone with decision-making power at the hiring table? Consider creating a role on your team that allows another women to grow their leadership skills.

Amplify Each Other’s Voices

One small act that I’ve found that has helped is to make sure that we make room to hear the voices of other women. If you’re in a role where you’re facilitating a meeting, take the time to make sure the voices of other women are heard in the room.  It’s a small but powerful act. At the same time, let us actively listen and ensure that credit is given where it is due. Let’s acknowledge and support each other’s contributions as a powerful step towards our collective liberation.

  • Call upon people specifically and ask them to add their thoughts or provide space to contribute.
  • Point out, acknowledge and uplift the contributions of the women around you. 

Advocate for Equal Opportunities

Leaders must push for fair representation in decision making roles. We must challenge the status quo. The policies we set today, set the tone for access tomorrow.

  • Actively support policies that promote justice, diversity, equity and inclusion – equal pay, parental leave and flexible work arrangements (already do these things? Consider joining the Better Way Alliance!).

Embrace Diversity and Intersectionality

By embracing diversity and intersectionality we strengthen our collective power. An intersectional lens is essential in understanding the unique challenges of women of different backgrounds, ethnicities and orientations.

  • Encourage open dialogues, celebrate differences and actively seek to learn from the experiences of women whose narratives may differ from your own.

Prioritize Self-Care and Wellbeing

People approach self-care and wellbeing differently, but it’s important to prioritize our mental and physical health and that of those around us.  There is a lot of unseen labour that falls to women, and it’s important that we practice setting loving boundaries for ourselves. 

  • Set boundaries, practice self-compassion, find spaces where you can vulnerably share the challenges you face. Doing so helps us to create a culture that values the well-being of all women.
  • Check out the book Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey

Advocate for Systemic Change

Achieving collective liberation requires addressing systemic issues and inequalities. As leaders in our respective organizations and communities, we have the influence to advocate for this change. 

  • Challenge policies that create barriers that hinder women’s progress.
  • Engage with other leaders, policymakers and stakeholders to create an ecosystem that champions equality and empowers women at every level.

The path to individual and collective liberation is based with collaboration, advocacy and a commitment to creating an inclusive environment. Let us reflect on our roles as leaders, emerging leaders, mentors and advocates. The call to action is clear: support one another, amplify each other’s voices and actively contribute to systemic change.

By Renee Mitchell

Based in Vancouver, Renee Mitchell is the Managing Director at Tandem. An Impact and Leadership Coach, as well as a Fractional COO, Renee is passionate about leading thriving, impact organisations for people, profit and planet.

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