Nobody wore a brooch as fashionably or as meaningfully as she did. The Honorable Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State in U.S. history and role model for so many of us, died last week. Like when the famed RBG passed away, I felt a deep and profound sense of loss.
I had the privilege to hear Ms. Albright speak twice during my lifetime: Once at my alma mater, Smith College, for a commencement address, the second time at a United WE (nee Women’s Foundation) event in Kansas City. Both times she reminded us that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” She encouraged us to reach back, lend a helping hand, bring others along, prop one another up. That advice is something that I have actively tried to incorporate into the way I do business and live my life daily.
In tribute to this sage and inspirational woman, and with a relationship-focused bent, join me in helping a woman you know today. A few ideas:
- Reconnect. Identify at least one colleague, friend, professional contact, family member, or other woman in your life to reestablish a connection with right now. Give her a call, send a text, suggest coffee or lunch. The outreach alone will be well-received and welcomed.
- Ask, “How can I help?” As women, we are especially good at asking how we can be of service to others… however, we are especially lacking when it comes to asking for help ourselves. Knowing that, reach out to someone today to see what you can do to lighten their load. There is nothing more connective than supporting one another through challenging times.
- Encourage a mentee. Think back… who has been there for you along your career journey? Certainly, there were one or more professionals who served as a guide and source of inspiration for you. Be a champion for an up-and-coming young professional woman. The support you offer her and the appreciation she demonstrates will be the start of a virtuous cycle that will enrich both of your lives now and into the future.
So, don your best brooch and help to advance other women in your life.