Your female colleagues are not your enemies. There's plenty of room at the table for strong, successful women. What's more, you can actually become stronger by strengthening those around you. The notion that women need to turn professional relationships with other women into competitions is absurd. It is contributing to a culture that causes women to feel like they need to fight for scraps. You should look around you at the 74.6 million other women in the labor force and see allies, partners, assets and inspirations.
Why do we do it? Women view other women in the workforce as competition because we are viewing the picture through an incorrect lens that tells us that there's not enough to go around. The reality is that 47 percent of current workers in the United States are women. That should inspire you to know that women are already working hard to carve out their own successes. However, only about 5 percent of CEO positions in the S&P 500 belong to women. That should tell you that the work isn't quite done yet. The good news is that women actually make up about 54 percent of the labor force at S&P 500 companies in the financial services industry. That means that the next great crop of female leaders and CEOs is about to emerge. However, the workplace will continue to be business as usual if women keep playing by the old rules when it comes to treating each other as competition. It's important for women to come together and realize the true amount of power that they hold in the workplace. A culture that tells women that they simply need to preserve what they have by freezing out other women actually stunts growth and prevents women from collaborating to get more.
What should we be doing? Women need to uplift instead of compete. This means that successful women should help each other get a seat at the table. You can't simply climb to the top and then kick away the ladder that you used to get there. Showing women the way up the ladder and mentoring them every step of the way is the key to building a legacy. There is power in using what you've learned during your own struggle to the top to help the women who are coming after you to reach higher ground.
Why do we do what we do here at Eila Chérie? Our company lives, breathes and works according to the idea that there's enough to go around for all women. Scarcity is not a reality for our brand. In addition to living our mission every day, we've also pledged to donate 10 percent of each sale to a new organization every year that benefits women. We do this because we know that a rising tide raises all ships.