Support, don't compete

28.04.10 | Posted in General

I’m often asked why women aren’t reaching leadership roles at the same rate as men when we’ve done so much work to level the playing field. It’s great to see the issue given so much air time in the media at the moment and while I’m not ready to burn my bra, I do think we need to get into action to shake things up.

I believe one of the biggest challenges we face is ourselves. I think females often wait to be tapped on the shoulder, as opposed to starting with an attitude of “I’m going to the top and no one can stop me”. I know I experienced this with a board I once served on. I served for a couple of years before someone said “You know what Em? You’d make a great chairperson of this group.” Only then did my thinking turn to how I’d get there. Lesson learned – don’t wait for someone to approach you. Just put yourself out there and take some risks.

I think the other place we’ve got to put some energy to is the way we support each other. I see some females doing their best to criticise and sabotage their colleagues just in case they do better or get further. It’s pointless and no one wins.

Throughout my career I’ve always looked for ways to help others and advance their careers and businesses. If a journalist calls needing a comment and I think someone else can do it more justice, I’ll send the journo their way. Or if there’s an opportunity to introduce a new client or contact to that person, I’ll go out of my way to make the connection.

One of the biggest ways we can recognise other women and their achievements in this country is through the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards. Each year I put aside a little bit of time to nominate a few women that deserve the accolade, and it feels good to support them. The awards are open now. Why don’t you think of someone worthy and nominate them now. I’m going to!


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  1. Nicky Clarke

    Great blog, first time I’ve read it thanks to Amber posting it on her FB.

    I totally agree! I was recently part of an intense experience that involved working with a group of females and then being switched to a group of guys half way through. I was amazed at how quickly the group of females turned on each other where as the men’s motto was ‘lets support each other, do the business and get ont with it.’

    Let’s be more like that ladies! There’s enough out there for everyone and it’s amazing how much more of the abundance you get when you synergise as a team!

  2. Nikki Parkinson

    Great post, Emma. I’ve only been in business for two years and this is how I’ve operated from day one. It’s so rewarding to refer and support others – and I’ve made some very good friends in doing so.

  3. Adam Bean

    Hey Emma
    Great post, I love your attitude of helping others where possible. What goes around comes around. Quiet a few times in my career I have been promoted simple because,I have already been training one of my team to take over my position if need be.
    Cheers Adam