If you surround yourself with a strong group of females – whether it be friends, family, or colleagues – you’ll already know the truth behind this headline.
Women who support each other, who encourage each other to pursue their goals, and who push each other up instead of pulling each other down have the ability to change the world.
No, really. As study after study shows, women who support other women are more successful in business – landing leadership roles with greater authority and higher pay.
But time after time, women have been made to feel as though they have to compete with each other in order to reach the top – a notion Shelley Zalis decided to end once and for all more than six years ago with the creation of a Girls’ Lounge (now The FQ Lounge).
Speaking in Forbes, Zalis explained how she wanted to create a space ‘where everyone feels like they belong’; The FQ Lounge was a way to advance gender equality across many industries.
The CEO explained:
We discovered two things: There is power in the pack; and you realize your strengths make the table better.
Since its creation, The FQ Lounge has connected more than 17,500 corporate women and female entrepreneurs. And it isn’t exclusive; women are still the majority, but men are more than welcome and feel comfortable within the group.
Proving the notion that women benefit massively from support from other women is new research in the Harvard Business Review, which found that men and women need different networks in order to succeed.
In short, while both men and women benefit from being centrally connected to a range of peers across different groups, women also appear to benefit from having an inner circle of close female contacts while aiming to land executive positions with greater authority and pay, which men do not – despite them both having similar qualifications.
The reason for this was simple: women looking to rise up the ladder often face cultural and political hurdles that men typically do not, so they benefit from having an inner circle of close female contacts they can share matters with.
Jocelyn Greenky, an office culture and politics expert, told Forbes:
There’s a new girls’ club that we didn’t have before, because the workplace was largely male dominated.
Now that so many more women are entering the workplace, we’re finding our voice. We’re also building circles of trust with one another because we may be experiencing similar hurdles, and have each other’s backs.
So there you have it. Women are powerful; women who support other women even more so.
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