3 ways we can empower other women in the workplace

We would love to be writing this piece at a time when gender discrimination is no longer an issue in the workplace. When women are paid equal to their male counterparts, are given the same opportunities and promotions as them, and aren't the butt of sexist jokes around the office.

Sadly, this is not the case, and we still have a lot of work to do before we get anywhere near where we would like to be. On the bright side, it does feel like we are at the beginning of a movement with International Womens Day, #metoo and The 30% Club all gaining momentum and bringing awareness to important issues that we need to tackle and struggles that we face.

However, it doesn't always have to be global organisations or events that we have to support - we can do lots of little things around the workplace every day to help, support and empower our female colleagues. And just think, if we all aimed to empower each other every single day, how strong would that make us together?

And so, here are 3 ways that we can empower each other in the workplace.


Squash the Sarcasm...

...and the jokes. Sometimes, this can genuinely be a bit of light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek fun at the current state of affairs. But, if you feel that a colleague is making sexist or inappropriate jokes - and means them - call them out on it. Don't sit and laugh with the rest of your team just because you don't want them to think you're 'no fun'. If a joke or a sarcastic comment isn't okay, say so. Tell them that it's not okay, that's it's not funny and that, at the very least, it's highly unprofessional.

By calling out someone else's behaviour or comments, you may just empower your female colleagues to do the same.

Mentor a junior female colleague, if you can.

If there's a junior female colleague in your team, department or office, it may be useful to start a mentorship relationship with them. Think about all of the things you wish you'd have been told at the start of your career, or all of the tips and lessons you've learned in your career so far that you may be able to pass on and that could help them experience less of what you have.

Empowering the younger women in your team can also really help to empower yourself! You'll be more concious of your actions, words, and what you stand up for, if you know that someone is looking up to you.


Stop the 'manterruption' & support women in meetings.

We're ninety-nine percent sure that if you are a woman, you'll have come across the phrase 'manterruption' before. But if you haven't, let us explain. Manterruption is when a man interrupts a woman when she is trying to speak, and it happens in meetings and boardrooms all the time. As Time so brilliantly puts it:

'We speak up in a meeting, only to hear a man’s voice chime in louder. We pitch an idea, perhaps too uncertainly – only to have a dude repeat it with authority. We may possess the skill, but he has the right vocal cords – which means we shut up, losing our confidence (or worse, the credit for the work).'

Next time you're in a meeting, look out for it, and you'll be amazed at how often it happens.

So, what can we do to help each other in this situation? Next time a colleage gets interrupted, interrupt the interrupter by politely saying - 'Lucy was just about to speak and I'd really like to hear what she has to say...', and therefore bringing the spotlight back onto the woman.

Or, if a male colleague attempts to take the credit for an idea, reiterate the point yourself and giving the credit back to the correct person - 'I really liked the idea that Lucy brought to the table...'.

Essentially, it's all about doing everything we can to stand and work together in order to support each other. Is there anything that you do to empower your female colleagues?