Who’s Got Your Back?
Whether you follow football or not, I’m sure you’ve been as inspired as I have by the success of the Women’s EUROs. I haven’t stopped thinking about it! It was wonderful to see such incredible skill, fitness, determination, and especially teamwork.
Much has been already been written and said about the struggles for womens’ football to get the deserved levels of support, funding and attention.
But I was also struck by the roots of that camaraderie, team spirit and genuine love and respect these teams of women have for each other, off the pitch as well as on it.
Obviously it was exciting that England played so well and won the tournament — but it also felt as if that sense of striving collectively toward a goal (literally!) was very powerful for the whole sport, not just the one winning team.
Historically, women have often been conditioned — generation after generation — to see other women as competition, even as a threat. We’ve been too scared to learn to really support each other. This is the oppression of the patriarchy in action.
Men have known the power of the pack, the network and the group, since the dawn of time. Until recently, women have just not been permitted the space, the training, the opportunity, to work together in these same ways.
We will see the impact of this new trust in women for generations to come.
I was in a meeting recently with mostly men in the room. When a senior woman leader spoke clearly and succinctly, she was ignored. I quickly interrupted the meeting to say:
“It’s important we actually hear what X has just said, and not just move on. It’s important to acknowledge her insights.”
and the men in the room faltered slightly but tried to say the right things.
I have facilitated many leadership workshops and board meetings — often driving the conversation and ensuring everyone is heard. Over time I’ve learned the tools and techniques to get the best out of leaders and get to the heart of the issues.
A few days later, the woman told me that she had never before had anyone stick up for her in a meeting — in her whole career. This really struck me: that so many women are not being heard, because no-one is championing them — not in the board room, in the workplace or in the home.
If you are feeling stuck and alone yourself, I’ve got your back. I will listen and help you find solutions, big or small. I’ll also plug you into the various networks I have — I’m so happy to share my contacts and connections with you.
If we take just one lesson from those brilliant footballers, it’s that. The more we have each other’s backs, the more we win.
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