Women-at-workAnother day, another stupid survey about how women are flawed. The latest one by Leadership Management Australasia sprouts that only one third of the women they surveyed believe women respect other women in the workplace. See women hate each other, want to sabotage each other’s careers and will do anything to undermine their female co-workers. Personally, I don’t know the point of the survey. Why not do a survey about how better to support women into top level management roles? Or how to be a great leader regardless or whether you have a penis or a vagina? Or better still, stop doing useless, meaningless surveys.

I am so bored of people telling me that women are paranoid, self-serving, judgmental bitches. Yes, there are some women who are and when they form packs they can be somewhat mean. Don’t wrong a woman, they can be fierce. And when a woman feels lonely, taken advantage of or left out she can be downright irrational. I can be all of those things. And so can men. Being a cunt is not gender specific.

On the whole, women are anything but what the media so vehemently suggests. The women I’ve encountered throughout my life have been my saviours.

I could count on one hand the women I’ve had the displeasure of working with in a professional capacity who were untrustworthy, game players. It wasn’t a gender trait it was a personality flaw. I have worked with far more women who have supported, helped and guided me throughout my career. People who have also told me when to pull my head in when I needed to, who have walked with their arm around me while I’ve cried, who have toasted pay rises and career highs, who have stood by me at my professional lows and have encouraged me to take risks. And I have done the same for them. We’ve stood at each other’s weddings and held each other’s babies. We’ve been each other’s referees and shared our dreams over many bottles of wine. Smart, capable, gutsy, kind and funny women. To this day I still seek their guidance and friendship.

Then there are the women in my baby group and at the school gate who have shared stories so personal that we have helped pull each other out the depths of parenthood. Advice shared, kids cared for, tears left unspoken and there’s much laughter over the absurdity of kids, partners, bosses, school and the juggle of life. Sometimes there’s tension, differences of opinion, breakaways, but the overall camaraderie of mothers is strong. We have to work together or our children will  seek out our weaknesses and eat us.

The online community is also awash with women who I would open my home to. Women, some who I have never met face to face, who have provided me with professional advice in their diverse range of expertise. Women who’ve reached out to me and listened to me sob on the other end of the phone or in blurry Skype chats. Women who have told me deeply private stories on my blog, who inspire me to keep spewing my thoughts onto this site.

When women choose to open up their hearts they make a difference in the lives of others. The online world inspires so many women to share their stories. There’s not always agreement, how shit would that be? A cookie cutter meeting of homogenous ideas would be a glossy woman’s magazine not the real world. Just because you have tits doesn’t mean you have to agree with each other. Robust disagreement and thrashing out of ideological differences should be seen as a gift of instant connection, not abused to shut down differences of opinion. Yet just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you know how to engage in hearty debate. Many of us, men included, are still floundering in this new world  of communication. One thing for sure is women need to keep sharing; just choose your topics wisely, don’t get caught up in the crap. Never silence or self-censor yourself. Fuck ’em if they don’t agree.

Women keep my world ticking along. My professional inspirations. My dearest friends. My family. My mentors. My mum. My girls. Women who have all played major roles in my life and continue to guide, support and challenge me.

I am sick and tired of surveys which keep telling me that women seek every opportunity to tear each other down because from my own experiences they are the first ones there to pull me up when I need it most.

bigwords x