Let’s recognise the power of the pack. Girls and women alone have power, however collectively we can have impact. It’s time to put an end to unhealthy competitiveness. Lifting each other up, channelling our energy and focusing on the power of collaboration is how we need to be to move forward. Surely it’s time to reverse the stereotype that women don’t support other women?
Our girls are likely to face systemic hurdles in their careers that may make it hard for them to advance. One of the ways to overcome such hurdles is for women to form close connections with female colleagues and share their experiences. This is no different to our girls working, learning and supporting each other during their time at St Hilda’s. We all have a role to play by mentoring and sponsoring each other.
Michele Obama summarises it beautifully:
“We should always have three friends in our lives. One who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.”
You may have heard of ‘The Shine Theory’. It’s the idea that when a woman helps another woman rise, we all shine. Just recently I saw this demonstrated superbly amongst our Year 5 and 6 girls who entered the Matific Olympiad, an online Mathematics competition across Australia and New Zealand. Over the course of three days the students completed as many Mathematical challenges and activities as possible to earn stars for their class and a place at the championship table. Year 5K finished in first place and Year 6B finished in third place nationally. While these results were outstanding, it was the action behind the scenes that impressed me most. The girls threw themselves into all things Mathematical, using every spare minute of the day to come together to achieve their goal. They collaborated, supported, challenged, and assisted every student in the class, understanding that a combined effort and lifting together was needed to ultimately gain them a place at the championship table. The students realised the ‘power of the pack’ and that they were stronger and more successful together than alone.
It is a special moment when girls understand that supporting another girl’s success doesn’t dampen or impact their success. It only makes them stronger. I truly believe that the earlier this is realised, the better it is for all.