Sisterhood - a word that I associate with magical blue jeans that fit multiple shaped teenage girls (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read the book). For others, it may mean their sorority, their actual sisters, or their best friends from high school. The word can stir up emotions of pride in our identity and for others, it can stir up jealousy, betrayal, anxiety or feeling ‘left-out’ by a group we’ve longed to be a part of.
Personally, I have experienced all emotions associated with the sisterhood spectrum. I’ve been the girl who was so proud to be a member of Sigma Phi Lambda at The University of Texas, I’ve been jealous of groups of women who seem more successful, faithful, or loving than me.
However, my mindset has recently shifted - you see, last week I was able to attend a book release for Jessica Honegger, the CEO and founder of the 45th fastest growing company in the world, Noonday. Her book, Imperfect Courage, is the story of her growth as a businesswoman, mom, wife and friend.
As I stood in the large room where doughnut walls, photo booths, and wine and beer were plentiful, I couldn’t help but be in awe of all the strong, successful women I was able to meet and speak with. I spoke with a good friend who is killing the photography game, hugged another podcaster who I’ve admired for many, many years, and I listened to Jessica as she took to stage to debut her book and share her heart.
With a smile as bright as a shooting star, Jessica shared a section from her book that moved me to tears…
“I think our culture plays a big role in that lie telling. Women are placed under this ridiculous amount of pressure to meet society’s ever increasing expectations. Have an incredible career, but be ready to give it up. Have kids, but not too many kids. Be thin, but not too thin. Support your husband, but be strong and independent. Be feminine, but also be one the guys. Have opinions, but know when to keep your mouth shut… The list goes on and on. In such a climate, is it any wonder we spend our energies shooting daggers at each other instead of going the sisterhood way?” (pages 118-119).
What is the sisterhood way? To put it plainly, Jessica read, “The Sisterhood Effect happens when women refuse to let perceived threats strangle our relationships, when we let empathy triumph over judgement and let collaboration win over comparison.” (page 120).
As a female entrepreneur, I’ve believed the lie that because of another woman’s success, I therefore am less successful, I believed that the table for successful women owned businesses was already full, the Regina George’s were screaming “You can’t sit with us!” and I would forever be thrown to eat at the kids table.
However, the opposite is true, with more and more women rising to the top, becoming kick-butt entrepreneurs, the table has only grown and there are more chairs for others to join. The Sisterhood of We allows for all women to be included, encouraged and empowered. The Regina George’s of the world are actually replaced by women who are beckoning more and more to sit and join them in their success together.
No matter the industry you’re in, there (more than likely) are other women who are also wanting to be successful in the same role as you. Rather than being cut-throat, we should allow compassion to push each other to bigger and better things. Your gifts are different from the people around you so why not share them? Why don’t we encourage our friends, our boss-babe pals and our just starting out CEO’s?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we may not do this because it makes us feel inferior.
“If I give a shout out to them, will my followers think I don’t think I’m as good as my competitor?” Is a common thought I have.
And today - for real-talk, I’m saying, “To heck with that!” and giving you 9 female boss babes I want to encourage, inspire and empower - so if you’re into loving on some female entrepreneurs, go and give them a follow!
Juliet Carillo @ Juliet Maria Photo
Alex Moreus @ xoxoMoroue
Shruthi Parker @ The Honest Shruth
Charity Rissler @ This Artist’s Life
Anna Muniz @ Watercolor ATX
Ana Silva @ Champagne Supply Co
Jamie Ivey @ The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast
Becca Matimba @ BMatimbaPhoto
Jessica Honegger @ Noonday and Going Scared podcast