It's time to stop filling the news with the lists and graphs of how slow the improvement is for women in our country and start by sharing solutions. I started working "for a paycheck" (on and off) 30 years ago, I became a mother 17 years ago and I arrived on this planet as a woman 49 years ago. Here are three steps that have helped me move my life forward.
1.) NETWORK with Men.
Men want to learn from women! Men work with women, are married to women, are divorced from women, they have friends who are women, are fathers of women and brothers and sons of women. When they are reached at the right time (a KEY to your success) they will listen to what you have to say and be grateful for the time you took to convey it. THEY want positive relationships at home and work too!
When we network with men we realize how much we are the same - not different -and then we practice communicating what we need from each other and we feel successful in the spaces we share with them. Ultimately, we move forward.
2.) SUPPORT More and Judge Less.
"Working Mother" and "Stay-at-Home Mother" are two descriptors that are killing us. I have been both and know plenty of women who have played multiple roles in their lives. When we judge less and support more we will see an improvement in how we feel about our own life. Listen to the next woman you talk to and tell her what she is getting right. Tell her you have her back and that you are here if she needs you. Then tell her to do it for another woman and so on and so on and so on... By practicing this we will move each other forward.
3.) Be a PROACTIVE POLITICO.
Stop letting the political circus govern what the world knows about us. Almost all women have the same basic needs; we want to be happy, we want to feel safe, we want to be recognized for our work (at home and at the office) and we want our children (or our friend's children or our nieces and nephews) to have an education that explores and heightens the star within.
We are all in this together and when we use the media and our voices to demonstrate what we have and what we want, we improve our standing and expand the power behind the voices representing us.
Share articles that talk about solutions, move away from toxic conversations and look to explore what you can do in your part of the world. Talk about it in the next space you enter and encourage others to do the same. By doing this we move women and our world forward.
Jeanne M. Stafford is writing a book on Asperger's, improv and fearlessness. She teaches her audiences and coaching clients to communicate powerfully using improv techniques. Sign up for her free 30 Days of YES and find out how using YES words can empower you to possibility. Follow Jeanne on twitter @jeannestafford and visit her website http://jeannemstafford.com