2016 has been well, weird. It was a year of both fruitful personal growth, and global turmoil. For women, it’s been especially trying. During a dividing political election and a heartbreaking streak of appalling news headlines, we’ve all experienced cycles of frustration, hysteria, and humbling humanity. I voted in my first presidential election, got promoted at work, started a feminist dinner club, and learned one of my favorite life lessons: network like a girl.
Doing things like a girl isn’t often praised. The phrase is often associated with being soft, weak, or understated. Saying that it shouldn’t be is preaching to the choir. We all know that logic is outdated, misogynist, and most importantly, changing. So instead of pulling out my angry feminist card whenever I hear that phrase, I’ve decided to start using it. Girls get stuff done. Girls are tough, intelligent, and over being minimized to make men more comfortable. We should all act more like girls, and that starts with standing by other girls.
If you’re a woman, you already know how to do this. It’s easy. It starts by offering your own compliments, support, and encouragement to the women in your life who need it. Once you start that rhythm of support and grace, it’ll begin to grow and multiply in your wake. I’m not an analyst or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s affirmed fact. Let’s let the men have their golf games, boys weekends, and sports bar jargon. We can pass around just as many business cards and shake just as many hands meeting women at the hair salon, starting conversations in yoga class, or commenting on someone’s insta. We can do it wearing pastels or neutrals, heels or flats, loudly or quietly, because there is room for all of us if we make it.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the kind, soft, sweet, savvy, tenacious women who went out of their way to pass on a job lead, edit an outgoing email, review a resume, extend an invite to volunteer, or offer a cheers to our daily battles in a male dominated world. There should be a better word than estrogen to name the exhilarating drug that is women encouraging other women. It’s the best feeling in the world to be recognized and supported by other girls working as hard or harder at life as you are, and there’s a growing community of us who are celebrating this.
Leading that community in Jacksonville is Chelsea DuDeVoire, CEO, and editor of new blog Babes Who Hustle. Check out her blog and nominate a babe to tell her story and start the rewarding cycle of networking like a girl. It’ll get you through the ups and downs, and with a gang of girly, capable women at your side.
Make sure to like and follow the babe community!
FB: Babes Who Hustle
Written by Mara Strobel-Lanka.