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08 Mar 2024

6 daily tips contributing to female solidarity at work

6 daily tips contributing to female solidarity at work

Female solidarity in the workplace has become an essential pillar for encouraging fulfillment, growth and gender equality in all fields. Particularly in the digital sector, which has long been a male domain and where women are often under-represented. Numerous studies have highlighted the importance of collaboration between women within the professional environment to overcome obstacles and promote their success. Novatize is proud to collaborate with Marie Larochelle, Impact Strategist at Boîte Pac, to share 6 best practices you can integrate into your work routine to strengthen female solidarity, promote its automation and encourage collective success.

1. The power of ritual

Women need women to relieve stress. It’s not just an observation – science says so! Stress studies, like many other studies, have for too long excluded women. Eventually, when someone had the bright idea of adding women to the studies, the “befriend” reaction appeared. The body’s response to stress is the need to rally and maintain positive interactions to counter the brain’s perceived threat, and eventually reduce our stress. (1)

Conclusion – female friendships are good for your health. Given that we spend a large part of our time at work, how can we cultivate these friendships without having to add weekend time with our colleagues? Through connection rituals that can live within the 35-40 hour week. For example, create moments around shared interests, such as a running club, a book club, a podcast club, etc.

“At Novatize, for example, we created the @nova-girls Slack channel to encourage a variety of exchanges: shopping tips, event recommendations or professional achievements. This channel is also used to organize evenings between female colleagues, reinforcing our team spirit.”
— Luce Anne Desmeules, HR Manager

2. Expand your community

While 80% of digital workers are men (2), it’s quite possible that the network of women within a company remains limited. For this reason, it’s essential to get outside the four walls of your organization from time to time. Meeting new people brings new perspectives, which give rise to new ideas, which in turn create new opportunities (win-win-win-win). But how can you do it?

  • Participate in events with other women;
  • Participate in group training sessions;
  • Normalize the power of private messages to invite a woman in your industry for coffee, to discuss your challenges and brainstorm ideas;
  • Find a coach and offer her (another!) coffee;
  • Grow that 20% of women in digital by mentoring the next generation on a platform like Academos, for example.

 

3. Open space for clearings

Courtesy of Judith Dignard, co-founder of Boite Pac, a clearing is, by definition, something that floats around in our heads, preventing us from being 100% present. A lack of sleep last night, the first day of our menstrual cycle hitting us hard, an important meeting with a client that’s really getting to us, etc. The clearings have no hierarchy, no specific theme.

To add clearings to your daily routine:

  • Add a clearing item to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting;
  • Open up space for clearings;
  • Give everyone a chance to do a brain scan;
  • Share clearings in turn, if necessary!

This practice not only frees us from the pressure of perfectionism, but also allows us to practice vulnerability on a daily basis.

4. Honor your seat at the table

From a very formal meeting to a chat around the coffee machine, one concrete way to elevate yourself among women is to honor those who aren’t present. A practice that can be challenging in a male-dominated field, when you’re experiencing the Smurfette syndrome (3). This is the tendency of some works of fiction to feature a group of male characters and include only one female character (in this case, the Smurf village!). This unequal distribution of genders in a work context can unfortunately lead women to modify their attitude to fit in with the male terrain, and give way so as not (ever!) to disturb.

Some secret weapons to counter this syndrome, and honor your seat:

  • The equalizer: “I’d like to go around the table and hear everyone’s ideas;
  • The cheerleader: “Catherine is not present at this meeting, but I would like to underline her extraordinary contribution to this issue”;
  • The spokesperson for the realities not represented at the table: “Thank you for the happy hour idea for our next team activity. However, have we thought about the moms who can’t leave later than 4pm to pick up their children from daycare? I suggest a team lunch, during working hours, to make it more inclusive.

Find out more about Novatize’s work-life balance solutions.

 

5. Daring to ask for help

The North American narrative will have made this task difficult. In other words, an individualistic narrative that values successful figures who have reached great heights from nothing, depending on no one, working hard. The culture of the hustle and the self-made man (4). The problem with this definition of success is that it ignores the great leverage provided by the people around us.

How to set up your first self-help network (or the spider’s web of empowerment): 

  • Gather 3, 4, 5 women (or as many as you’d like);
    • Take turns answering the following questions: 
    • What would be a goal to achieve in the coming year?
    • How can others support you?
  • What’s your superpower? 
  • Start making connections between needs and superpowers; 
  • Create a discussion group to stay connected and share your progress.

Daring to ask for help can unlock a host of dreams and aspirations that we thought were unattainable for ourselves. Sure, we can get somewhere interesting on our own, but by inviting a few co-pilots along for the ride, we have the potential to go a whole lot further (and the ride is more fun!).

“One of the things I appreciate most about Novatize is that each Lead of the different teams takes the time to meet with each of his or her members in a one-on-one meet, every two weeks, to ensure their well-being both at work and in their personal lives. These meetings are non-judgmental and allow us to ask for help or share our discomforts. It can always be intimidating to take the lead when something goes wrong, so I appreciate that Novatize has chosen to introduce this way of doing things.”
Gabrielle Alain-Lachance, Marketing Coordinator

6. Be present

“How do I show women that I support them?” You don’t need a Google search to find the answer. It can be summed up in two words: support them. 

In practical terms, this means: 

  • Participate in events organized by your colleagues;
  • Take part in other people’s projects: “How can I help you?”;
  • Dare to go beyond the four walls of the company. For example, join a colleague’s team in a fund-raising race for a cause close to your heart;
  • Write down important dates and send a note on the big day: “Happy vacations, I can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back” to “It’s your big client presentation today, YOU GOT THIS!
  • Share other people’s projects and achievements on your social platforms;
  • Celebrate victories (both big and small). Be careful not to only celebrate women when they succeed according to male standards. Putting your limits to preserve the balance of your team are just as much worth congratulating as negotiating the biggest contract of the year.

A non-exhaustive list to test, add to, refine and repeat, repeat, repeat. 

Bonus: open your internal communication platform right now, and send a message to a colleague who makes you proud.

 

Finally, female solidarity in the workplace is essential to creating inclusive and equitable working environments. By adopting these few everyday practices, it is possible to improve everyone’s reality and work environment, while fostering collaboration. By cultivating this solidarity, we build workspaces where women can flourish, support each other and progress together towards a more egalitarian professional reality.

 

Want to discuss it or need help with your eCommerce project? Contact us today.

Novatize

📞 +1 844 932 6682

📥 contact@novatize.com

📍330-330 Saint-Vallier Street, G1K 9C5, Québec, QC, Canada

 

Sources :

(1) Podcast L’État du jeu, « La solidarité féminine : son impact sur notre santé physique et psychologique », Ép. 44. https://www.happyfitness.ca/letat-du-jeu/episode44-solidarite-feminine 

(2) Podcast L’Update, « Femmes en numérique & Certification B Corp ». https://www.thirdbridge.ca/en/podcasts/65e5f102bfe749df725a8002 

(3) Article Welcome to the jungle, « Le syndrome de la Schtroumpfette : ce que ça fait d’être la seule femme d’une équipe ». https://www.welcometothejungle.com/fr/articles/syndrome-schtroumpfette-seule-femme-equipe 

(4) Podcast How To Talk To People, « How to Not Go It Alone ».  https://open.spotify.com/episode/5WYTjrcbydsU0KSgVftz72

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