Women's History month is a time to celebrate and appreciate women's achievements in history. To celebrate the Amelia Earhearts, the Hillary Clintons and let's not forget, the Taylor Swifts.
But Women's History Month is also about calling for greater gender equality. It's a reminder that as far as we may have come, there is still a long way to go towards gender equality, especially in the workplace.
It's hard enough to make gains on gender equality in the workplace when only 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women; junior women have fewer role models, there are less diverse opinions being taken into account, etc. So we certainly don't need to make it harder by tearing each other down at work. Women are at our best when we support and foster growth and development within one another.
So without further ado, here are a few things we need to stop saying about our female coworkers:
She's too bossy
Women in the workplace are often looked down upon for expressing themselves, or making demands. On the contrary, men are often touted as being progressive and strong-willed when they are assertive in meetings. We need to refrain from calling women out for being "bossy", and start patting them on the back for making themselves heard.
As always, Beyonce said it best.
She didn't deserve it
Even with all the strides we've made, men still get promoted significantly more than women. Women are often passed over for promotions and raises because they are perceived as being unprepared. Despite our inner mean-girl wanting to show her face, we need to be supportive when women get moved up the ladder.
She should have waited
In keeping with the above, women often see themselves (and each other!) as less capable than their male counterparts. Deep within most of us, we are insecure, and unsure of our abilities. We often spend A LOT of time asking ourselves "What If..." while our male colleagues are saying "Yeah sure, why not?". As women, we need to encourage one another to jump on opportunities as soon as they're available, not pressure each other to wait until we're 100% ready.
I just don't like her
This one is my least favorite. Even though it may sometimes be true, we need to keep our personal feelings about our coworkers to ourselves. Particularly among female coworkers, we need to put the claws away. Just because you may not like their personality, it doesn't mean they're not doing a good job, and we need to make sure our own feelings don't get in the way of each other's success.
I have been extremely lucky in my career to be surrounded, and supported by powerful lady-bosses for whom the corporate ladder ain't nothing but a set of steps to climb. With their guidance, I have learned to support my female colleagues as much as possible, because at the end of the day, the more women at the table, the better.