What does women's empowerment mean? The definition I use in leadership and life coaching programs includes women being able to enjoy the right to control and benefit from resources, assets, income and their own time as well as being able to improve their own circumstance and wellbeing. With International Women's Day on the 8th March, this week is a good time to spark up conversations on women's empowerment at home and in the workplace.
Women in workplaces
Organisations can help empower women by promoting gender equality in the workplace and community. Some of the ways to empower women in organisations include equal pay for equal value, gender-responsive supply chains and a zero tolerance of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Workplace employees can also work on women's empowerment by supporting other women to be their best and lean into leadership positions or if you're in a leadership position sponsor another woman interested in developing leadership. Organisation can also provide women in leadership coaching or career coaching via The Coach Hub workplace programs. Call us for an introductory complimentary consultation.
Women in the community
There are also many ways women can work on empowering themselves and other women they are connected to in their families, friendship groups or community. Some ways women can empower themselves are:
1. Live a balanced life that includes good physical exercise, getting good sleep, taking care of your mental health with meditation or some other reflective practice like journalling or yoga.
2. Be assertive and speak up for yourself. This can feel very hard if you've always tried to be nice and keep quiet but sometimes being accomodating can build resentment.
3. Don't settle for a relationship you don't feel valued equally in just because you don't want to be alone. Remember you are not who are just because of a significant other in your life. You're a powerful force in your own right.
4. Learn where your boundaries are and how to protect yourself. You can do this by being assertive but a self-defence class or two can give you a few extra skills to defend off an attacker and feel confident and safe.
5. Learn to say no when you need to. You don't have to please others just to keep peace. Saying no when you don't feel right honours your sense of self.
6. Only be around people who respect you as an equal. If anyone tries to elevate them self over you, tries to control you or take away your rights remove yourself immediately.
7. Accept that beauty is within. As women we are constantly exposed to unnatural images of what we are supposed to look like. Know that you are beautiful and worthy of your love and attention and worry less what others think.
8. Have goals and a vision and work towards it. Don't let someone else tell you what your life should look life. Work that out for yourself and find support to help you achieve your success.
9. Look for examples of other women who made it doing what you want to do. Even go as far as contacting them for support or advice.
10. Self care because being a woman means you might be juggling many balls and it's easy to burn out if you don't keep balanced. Book in a massage, meditate under a tree on the weekend, get into the garden and plant some flowers or read a book one afternoon.
11. Don't promote toxic male ideas about what sexy looks like. Figure it out for yourself and encourage men to appreciate you for your smarts, kindness, and heart based qualities and teach them how you want to be loved emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Being a woman is a wonderful journey and we have more opportunities than ever before to create the kind of life we aspire to. I am grateful to be alive today and being part of so many inspirational women's journey to empowerment, success and healing. Coaching women to be empowered is both personally rewarding as a woman and also a catalyst for social change because empowered women tend to empower others. We also have a big responsibility in helping the world be a kinder, safer and more nature-focussed place so that we might sustain into the future. I believe women are naturals at this and our innate qualities are the antidote to the man's world many of us have grown up in and operate our business' in.
"If we want to make workplaces more open, we need to acknowledge logistical challenges... by being more open, it might create a path for other women."-Jacinda Ardern