Creating A Community
With our International Women’s Day event behind us, our guest speakers Claire Bibby and Nat Kringoudis and moderator Catherine Brooks provided us with much-needed insight on tapping into our powers as women and making a difference in the world.
This year’s IWD theme, Each for Equal, tied in well with what our speakers talked about. During discussions on taking charge of our bodies and listening to what they are saying, and standing up for others who don’t have the courage to speak up on their own, there was one topic that stood out and was repeated a lot: Creating a supportive community.
A community makes all the difference
Community plays a large role in how women can help other women. It’s a safety net that helps us overcome challenges and stop us from falling. Dr. Nat gave us a beautiful insight into how being a country kid played a huge role in where she is today.
As she explained, growing up in the country meant that she was part of a very tightly knit community, and when she moved to the city, she always tried to get involved in whatever community she lived in – to find, or even create, a beautiful and supportive community.
Her burning passion was finding a way to help.
Claire Bibby shared her own personal journey with us and what an inspirational, passionate speaker! She had us riveted as she worked the room talking about women kind, how to overcome challenges in the workplace and the importance of authenticity.
What matters most about the community? To just be there – to be supportive and look out for everyone who is part of it, and to look for clues and cues from those who aren’t as vocal. To be the best possible version of ourselves as part of those communities while inspiring others to do the same.
We need to come back to that tightly knit community that we lost somewhere along the way. Many of today’s issues – be it physical health and mental health issues, stress in the workplace – boils down to being utterly disconnected, without a community to support us.
Community of Business Women
This is especially true for women in business who are taught from a young age that they have to brave the world alone, and no matter how awful we might feel, we are supposed to not talk about it.
But that’s wrong.
We must talk about our experiences, good and bad, and share them with other women. We must openly share our struggles, fears and doubts, so that other women know they are not alone. We must build that community again and face the uncertainties, be it in our business and career, or in private lives, together.
That’s the only proper way forward.
Many young women starting their career path feel discouraged when stepping into the workplace for the first time, as the educational system hasn’t prepared them well. A mentor and an accepting community can make all the difference.
They can assist with guidance, share their experience, and give the much-needed confidence to face challenges together. When women get stuck in place, a community can help them go forward.
Where can you find such a community? Anywhere! We have to come back to that community. The Mentor Institute aims to be such a tightly knit community where women will support women and carry them forward.