It’s taken over a hundred years of sustained advocacy to bring the issues of women empowerment into the zeitgeist. As Melinda Gates has so eloquently said in her magnum opus ‘The Moment of Lift’: “When you lift up women, you lift up everybody – families, communities, entire countries…”. It really is in all of our interests to lift women up. When we empower women to truly strive to fulfill all of their potentials, we unlock a vast untapped treasure trove that for so long has been ignored, but now can be deployed to great effect in our societies. Not to mention, the personal fulfillment and meaning that is on offer to women who have never had the opportunity to express themselves fully in the working world.
This empowerment doesn’t just happen though. It can’t just be some marketing-speak that pays lip service to the social progress that we’re in the process of making. It has to come down to the gritty decisions we make every day to give women the tools they need to break the patterns of the past. When there is a lack of role models, a lack of a well-worn path – we need to do everything within our power to support and nurture those who seek more than what society has offered them up until this point.
It starts with coaching. In every sphere of life, the best of the best have coaches who nurture development, provide accountability, stress discipline, and much more. Women empowerment is no different. Coaching is extremely important for personal and professional development because it provides the support structure that an ambitious career so desperately needs.
This coaching comes in two different pillars:
- Personal and Professional Development: To compete in the labor force of today, you need to be constantly upskilling yourself to keep up with the speed of change in the modern world. It’s not enough to rest on your laurels, consistent personal and professional development is required in the skills that matter for your chosen industry. A coach is invaluable here because they have walked down that road before and can be your guide as you take on new skills and seek to develop the strengths you already possess. This is even more important for women because of the glass ceiling they still face in so many contexts. Your skills need to be razor-sharp and the only way you get there is through great coaching.
- Leadership Coaching: Once you’ve got the skills, you then need to be able to lead people in order to truly maximize what you’re capable of. For women, who have been looked over for decades now, leadership coaching can be an absolute superpower to train the softer skills that are needed to successfully lead teams and organizations. Again, without any role models to look up to, coaching fills that gap and can transfer learned expertise to boost women who strive to be at the top.
We have to put our money where our mouth is and stand with the brave women who fight stereotypes, glass ceilings, societal expectations, and the insecurities that come with going first. We must stand with them because they form the bedrock of our families and communities. The way we do this is by giving these warriors the coaching and professional development that they need to upskill themselves and gain the confidence to unleash what they’re truly capable of. If we get it right, it might just be the most important social progress of our civilization because, harking back to Melinda Gates’ quote at the beginning – lifting women uplifts everyone up.