Six Ways for Women to Support One Another at Work


The stereotype that women don’t support one another is widely held, however it is untrue. These six easy actions that women can do every day to support and congratulate their female colleagues are important ways that women can stand up for one another at work. By working together, we can accelerate progress and level the playing field.

Contrary to popular belief, women are natural allies, not competitors. By taking simple actions every day, women can uplift and empower their female colleagues, fostering a culture of support and inclusivity. Here are six easy ways to do so:
  • Offer genuine compliments
  • Be an active listener
  • Mentor and share knowledge
  • Advocate for each other
  • Celebrate milestones
  • Create opportunities
Together, we can shatter the stereotype and create a workplace where women thrive and succeed. Let’s work together to accelerate progress and level the playing field.”

1. Ensure that women’s opinions are heard

Men tend to occupy the front and center chairs in meetings, if you see colleagues at the same level.

Whereas women are more likely to be found on the perimeter of the room or at the end of the table than in places that denote rank. Less time is also spent discussing women in groups.1 Both men and women are interrupting them more often.2—and given our suggestions less recognition.3.

Lead by example by taking the front seat and contributing to meetings; inspire other women to follow suit.

Next, consider how you may influence the discussion. Speak out and tell the lady you’d want to hear her continue when she’s interrupted. Say something like, “Great idea… thanks to Katie for surfacing it,” to remind everyone that a woman came up with the concept before her colleague ran off with it. Say you’d want to hear other viewpoints if you see a woman finding it difficult to enter the debate. Women at work gain from your support, and you are seen as a leader. Furthermore, when everyone’s finest ideas are heard, meetings function at their best.

2. Contest the Likeability Distortion

Unlike males, women are subjected to a double standard.

Men are supposed to be self-assured and forceful, so their leadership is welcomed by their colleagues. Women are supposed to be caring and cooperative, hence when we take the lead, we defy expectations and often encounter resistance from both men and women.6 The issue is that in order for women to be successful, we must make ourselves heard. This “likeability penalty” is often evident in the way women are portrayed in performance evaluations and passing remarks. Women who talk directly or assertively are often labeled as “aggressive” and “ambitious.” Men are seen as “strong” and “confident” when they act in the same way.

When a woman is termed “bossy” or “shrill,” ask to see an example of her behavior and follow up with a question such, “Would you have the same reaction if a man did the same thing?”

The response will usually be no. Consider this question and give the lady at work the benefit of the doubt if you’re responding negatively to her. She’s probably simply going about her work.

3. Honor the Achievements of Women

Seek for occasions to recognize the achievements of women and draw attention to instances in which they are unjustly held accountable for errors.

In addition, men and women react to acknowledgment in various ways. Women tend to ascribe our successes to outside forces like “luck” and “assistance from others,” but men believe that theirs are the result of intrinsic abilities and capabilities.9. We undercut their success, and they own it. On the other hand, women are often punished for promoting ourselves when we celebrate our own successes.10 These relationships may make women’s efforts overlooked.

Women are often criticized more for failure and given less credit for great accomplishments.8

Even better, gather several ladies and make a commitment to always recognize and appreciate each other’s accomplishments. Despite the fact that women are often punished for marketing themselves, you may support other women, and they will reciprocate. Emphasize the qualifications and achievements of your female colleagues when introducing them. For instance, you may say, “Katie was in charge of our most recent product launch, and it generated more sales than any other initiative this year.”

4. Inspire Women to Take Risks

Not because we lack a unique confidence gene, but rather because women tend to experience more profound self-doubt than males.Thirteen

The workplace is not fair to women. This prejudice is so strong that a candidate’s chances of being hired rise by 61 percent just by changing their name on a resume from a woman to a guy.14 Women need to put in more effort to demonstrate that we are as competent as men since our performance is usually underestimated.15 We also run the risk of losing out on important jobs, promotions, and pay increases.16 Women even have a tendency to undervalue their own abilities and to blame themselves for failures. Our confidence often wanes because the workplace is harsher on women—and we are harsher on ourselves.

Seek for chances to inspire other women to pursue their goals and to feel more confident.

Remind a colleague of her accomplishments and offer to be a thought partner while she catches up, or “fakes it till she makes it,” if she says she’s not ready for a new project or job.

5. Provide Straight Feedback to Women

Women are often given less constructive criticism.

Men get explicit advice on how to do better, whereas women receive more general criticism that is more difficult to implement, such as “Good job” or “You need more presence in meetings.”18 Men may be reluctant to provide women with negative comments out of concern that it may cause them to feel something19; this is probably also the true for women. Sadly, women are slowed down by this lack of input; it is difficult to improve and develop talents if you are unsure of what to do.

Seek for chances to provide the women you deal with with feedback that will enable them to grow and develop.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t help her to hold back out of concern that you’ll offend someone. When it’s most beneficial, provide your comments live and in the moment. Feedback is a gift, therefore ask for it often. Not only will you gain from it, but perhaps other female colleagues will follow your example.

6. Encourage and Support Other Women

Success factors like sponsorship and mentoring are crucial, but sadly, women often lose out on them.

Because they share interests, males tend to gravitate toward mentoring other guys. In instance, two-thirds of the men who took part in our Women in the Workplace research said that most of their mentors were men.21 Furthermore, women are less likely to have mentors who support and advocate for them; in the end, it is this kind of sponsorship that provides possibilities and opens doors.22 There is a reason why fewer women hold leadership positions: these discrepancies.

Give mentoring to another lady your whole attention and time.

Don’t undervalue your contribution if you’re just starting out in your job; you could have gone through similar experiences as a woman. If you are a more senior member, use your power to speak out for your mentee instead of just giving them advise. One excellent option for female leaders to give back to women who helped them early in their careers is via sponsorship.

Absolutely, mentoring another woman and giving her your undivided attention and time can be incredibly rewarding and impactful. Here are some tips for effective mentoring:

  1. Listen Actively: When mentoring someone, make sure to actively listen to what she has to say. Give her your full attention, maintain eye contact, and show genuine interest in her thoughts and experiences.
  2. Be Present: Avoid distractions and be fully present during your mentoring sessions. Put away your phone and other devices to demonstrate that you are fully focused on her and her development.
  3. Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage dialogue by asking open-ended questions that prompt her to share her thoughts and feelings. This can help her clarify her goals, challenges, and aspirations.
  4. Provide Guidance and Support: Offer guidance, advice, and support based on your own experiences and expertise. Share relevant resources, insights, and best practices to help her navigate challenges and achieve her goals.
  5. Offer Constructive Feedback: Provide constructive feedback in a supportive and non-judgmental manner. Help her identify areas for growth and improvement, and offer practical suggestions for development.
  6. Share Personal Experiences: Share relevant anecdotes and personal experiences to illustrate key points and lessons. Sharing your own journey can inspire and motivate her as she navigates her own path.
  7. Set Clear Expectations: Clarify expectations and goals for the mentoring relationship from the outset. Discuss what she hopes to achieve from the mentorship and how you can best support her in reaching her objectives.
  8. Encourage Self-Reflection: Encourage self-reflection and introspection by asking thought-provoking questions and encouraging her to explore her values, strengths, and areas for growth.
  9. Celebrate Achievements: Celebrate her successes and milestones along the way. Acknowledge her progress and achievements to boost her confidence and motivation.
  10. Be Patient and Supportive: Be patient and supportive as she navigates her personal and professional journey. Offer encouragement and reassurance, and remind her that setbacks are a natural part of growth and development.
  11. Respect Confidentiality: Respect confidentiality and maintain trust in the mentoring relationship. Create a safe and supportive environment where she feels comfortable sharing her thoughts and concerns.
  12. Empower Her Independence: Ultimately, empower her to make her own decisions and take ownership of her development journey. Offer guidance and support, but also encourage her to trust her instincts and follow her own path.

By giving another woman your whole attention and time in mentoring, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in her life and empower her to reach her full potential.

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