Earlier this year, I was recognized by Mater Mea, a website at the intersection of career and motherhood, as a “phenomenal Black woman.”
To say I was humbled and honored is an understatement. According to the editors, I received the most write-in nominations from readers. Say what?!
But what stood out to me even more than that was the outpouring of love and support I received after sharing the news on my social media accounts. Nearly all of the comments and congratulations I received came from other women.
I responded to the warm display of sisterhood by commenting: “Side note: I just noticed all the people who liked this status and/or commented thus far are WOMEN!! This is the beauty and magic that happens when women support other women … We ALL win! Because the truth is we can’t do it alone. Just want to let you know I love and respect each of you. Tremendously. #GirlPower”
As former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” And I believe that 100 percent. Perhaps it’s because I attended an all-girl high school. Perhaps it’s because my family is full of inspiring Black women. Perhaps it’s because my tribe is filled with incredible women who value community over competition.
There is room for all of us to succeed. Your star isn’t any less bright because you shed light on someone else. If anything, it helps us all shine brighter.
Reality TV, especially the Real Housewives franchise, may lead you to believe that women (especially Black women) are always jealous of each other, plotting to stab each other in the back and constantly trying to diminish the other. But, based on the support I received from friends and networking groups for women (shout-out to my fellow bosses at The BOSS Network and my sisters at SheSays Chicago!), I have to say that is not reality.
The cards are already stacked against us because of our gender and, for some of us, the color of our skin, and yet for others of us, our sexual orientation. So why not stick together in our sisterhood? There is strength and beauty when women support other women. It truly makes the world a better place.