The following suggestions will assist you in maintaining and in building stronger alliances with other women within our profession. By connecting with your female peers you will gain an enormous pool of resources from which you can draw from that ultimately will make your job easier and your career more successful.
- Make it a regular habit to support and praise other women in the profession. Try to focus less on their failures and character imperfections and more on their talents and individual strengths.
- Show respect for other professional women’s point of view. It is not always imperative that we all agree with one another. Different personalities actually complement one another. If we both thought exactly alike, one of us would not be necessary.
- Bring competitiveness out in the open. Men do not allow it to interfere with their professional relationships; why should women?
- Clear up misunderstandings with female co-workers as they arise. If you truly feel you have been exploited by a female colleague’s comments or actions, communicate your feelings to her immediately. Always remember, we are on the same side.
- Let differences pass; do not resort to retaliation by voicing nasty insults, making accusations or by initiating vicious gossip. Do not allow yourself to be dragged into arguments between women in the workplace. Never under any circumstances gang up on another female professional.
- Recognize the career achievements of other women around you. Never be resentful of another professional female’s success. Strive to admire her achievements instead. In the big scheme of things – her success will provide new career opportunities for us all.
- If you want to be well-liked by other women professionally refrain from trying to reform them. Do not offer unsolicited advice or lecture about their moral duties. Be helpful to women in your workplace without trying to rescue or protect them.
- Never betray a professional confidence. Be extremely discreet when a female colleague confides in you. Trust when violated can ruin even the oldest and the strongest of career alliances.
- The quickest way to end any relationship is to neglect it. Professional relationships between women, just as any other, must be constantly nurtured; they will not exist on mere memories of what once was. Keep in touch at least periodically through e-mail, fax transmission or by making a quick telephone call just to check in.
- When recently polled women said the qualities they look for the most in their professional relationships with other women are; the ability to take criticism, a willingness to compromise, empathetic nature, reliability, the ability to be open, honest and natural.
- Take an interest in the diversity of the women in our profession. Form new alliances with women in the industry who have different ideas and backgrounds than your own. Most importantly, be patient when it comes to your professional relationships with women. Close alliances take months and even sometimes years to grow and develop.
- Be generous to other women in the industry. You can’t afford not to be. The development of harmonious alliances with one another will lead to professional growth and development for us all.