With 2018 being labelled as ‘Year of the Women’, female empowerment has become a major trend I’m here for it. Positive reinforcement through consistent images and representation of strong women can only be progressive. Girls aspiring to be ‘a boss’ and seeking empowerment. I want to know how we define an empowered woman and how do we become one?
Oprah said “Truly successful powerful people want other people to be empowered” which to me accurate if you are truly successful, confident and content you would want to see others shine and prosper.
But is this the reality we see in industry and media and our personal lives? Too often women are pitted against each other made to feel as though they are competing for that one spot in the boy’s club.
It’s disheartening that it is often women who are the worse critics of fellow women. In an episode of ‘Red Table Talk’ guest Gabrielle Union recognised herself as a ‘hater’ and ‘troll’ she discussed having to come face to face with her own demons and unpack why she felt empowered by belittling others. This type of destructive mentality is rife with WOC, it’s a by-product of living and working in unsupportive environments in which we are put in constant competition with each other and made to believe that there is only room for one POC to rise and succeed.
This halts the coming together of women. Union phrased it beautifully when she said women should "compliment other woman and recognise and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light." We are not in competition with each other we each have our own journey and if we help each other grow we can create the space for all of us to progress. dived we fall united we stand, we should be propelling each other forward rather than holding each other back.
Within past month I found myself at an event surrounded by other black women, the positive energy in the room was tangible. The event made me realise the importance in surrounding oneself with inspiring, likeminded people who genuinely want you to win. It’s cathartic to share experiences in a non-judgement, uncompetitive environment. I’d wholeheartedly recommend seeking out events and spaces centred around wellbeing and self-care.
It’s important to champion events that bring self-identifying women together and allows them to expose weakness and growing stronger from releasing the negative. It’s in those moments that we can feel empowered and fuel our journey to success.
We should be propelling each other forward rather than holding each other back as a true measure of success is the legacy you leave behind the people you’ve inspired, collaborated with. Let’s be anti- boys club and support our girl gang. Let’s create and seek out spaces were self-identifying women have authority and their contribution is recognised as being just as valuable as cis white men.
For me a truly empowered woman is one who is not afraid to champion other woman she celebrates the wins of women as though they were her own. She is a mentor, a cheerleader and driver for change. So, let’s be vocal in support of other’s successes and your own. When one of us wins, the door opens for all to succeed.