Women competing against women

I’m on my third post of today and honestly I am feeling liberated, hopefully, the other two made it past the drafts folder? Yes, find them here Am I doomed as a blogger? and Are you a force for good?

I’m still sitting in the same coffee shop writing my final post of today before my best friend and maid of honour arrives to distract me with all things women in business and career development.

This morning I attended a seminar called Speak Up, Stand Out hosted by Chwarae Teg as part of my Career Development programme Agile Nation 2. The seminar was all about improving your presentation skills and public speaking, I love public speaking, well, in all honesty, I love the feeling I get after I’ve finished public speaking which is what drives me to it. The rush of adrenalin and the feeling of empowerment specifically.

Today I sat in a room full of women of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds and we all talked about our fears of speaking in front of an audience and guess what? We all supported each other in our fears, but also when strengths were shared or accomplishments we all celebrated them together, I’ve never been in that sort of environment before with such a mix of women.

It really was amazing and it got me thinking about women in general and whether we spend too much time competing with one another and I’ve decided that in the experiences I’ve had in my personal life and my career the answer is yes. And during those experiences I was not the only one who thought I should be competing, the men and women around me thought I should be competing too.

The most distinct experience I have of this recently is at work, we recently hired a new member to our team and she happened to be a woman and when I found out I will admit I felt a little bit threatened and that feeling was not helped by others who consistently pointed out that we’d be adding a woman to the team.

She’s joined the team now and is about three weeks in and honestly she’s pretty amazing, she’s worked in some incredible places and had some incredible experiences and I love chatting to her about them. We’ve got a lot of the same values and beliefs and we really get on, so looking back at the way I felt I really didn’t need to hold onto those feelings if I could back I’d aim to keep an open mind and embrace another strong woman joining our team. I’m now focusing on supporting her and helping her develop within our company and I’m looking forward to continuing our work together.

This isn’t an unusual experience for us to have as women (and men!) but hopefully, this blog post has made you think and the next time you are in this situation you will instead view it as a positive opportunity to support that woman (or man!).

Have you experienced something similar?


Enjoyed this post?

May I recommend:

Imposter syndrome and how to deal with it by Sophie Cliff

The feeling of accomplishing a goal by Kari Elizabeth

Avoid distractions when working from home by Blog & Beyond


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4 responses to “Women competing against women”

  1. Very interesting post! I wholeheartedly agree with you. And while at the workplace a certain amount of competition is at least understandable, I find it sad how it happens pretty much everywhere else too. So I try to always be supportive, be happy for others and remember that we all carry a burden that others can’t see.

    • theessenceofred says:

      Hi Eline,

      Thank you for stopping by.
      I’m happy you agree but disappointed that you’ve experienced this too. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere else too, I’m making sure I play my part in supporting those around me. I definitely think you’ve got the right idea and I think we all need reminding that others carry a burden we can’t see.
      I hope you enjoyed this post and hope you’ll pop back again soon.

  2. I love your writing style! I think its human nature to feel a little threatened every once and a while, and there is no problem with that. I also agree, that in general, women need to start supporting women. There are some girls who purposely want other girls to fail, and I never quite understood that thought process. I always wants the people around me to succeed. Great post!

    • theessenceofred says:

      Hi Colleen,

      It’s great to speak out to more like-minded people, we are definitely in the era of the girl power but we need more and we need to provide more support! Keep doing you and keep supporting those around.

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