Two friends to explore how women can better support one another.
In part one of this conversation, we introduced you to Jemi Laclé and Claudia Koerbler, two intercultural Washington, D.C. professionals who are expert communicators. Here, we learn more about how these accomplished friends promote female empowerment.
Culturs: Today’s young women increasingly seem drawn to social justice. How do you think women work together to address the world’s most pressing issues?
Koerbler: Before I get to the core of answering this question, it’s important to define what contributing to the social good means and how it differs in gender and cultural contexts. What exactly is ‘the common good,’ and why has it come to have such a critical place in current discussions of problems in our society?
To me, personally, the common good is a notion and sense of personal and business social responsibilities. This also boils down to how women can enhance cooperative efforts, be agents of change and support their own organizations while branching out in their philanthropic or social responsibility efforts. [It means] taking action at your workplace and also in your personal life. Volunteer or donate. Whether it’s a local women’s shelter or an international organization that teaches women how to start businesses, consider volunteering your time or donating funds to help these programs work. You might even meet a new female warrior friend along the way.
Culturs: How else can women support one another [and continue the empowerment conversation]?
Koerbler: We need to lift each other up, not tear each other down. We both have learned that life boils down to searching for your own incredible worth as a woman and unleashing your inner Wonder Woman.
Our confidence in our friendship comes from expressing each other’s strengths and embracing each other’s uniqueness, but also from being critical of one another and helping each other grow in other areas. We are critical about each other’s work in a positive way by challenging one another. The greatest nugget of truth we have found is this: Always speak your own truth, to yourself and to your friends.
Laclé: My mother, sister, aunts and grandmothers are all very strong women. Females both from my mother’s and father’s side are resilient women. All of them have careers with all their distinct life stories and motivations. But collectively, they are compassionate, accepting, cordial and above all, a strong, loving, female safety net and alliance.
Culturs: What would the world look like if women failed to support one another?
Laclé: Female support is essential for sharing inspiring stories, driving collective change and stimulating more female representation and diversity. Not only is it crucial to have females supporting each other in the professional arena, it is especially key to engage with young girls at an early stage to decide upon academic choices and career aspirations. This will be the only way to shape the next generation and their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
Culturs: How can women empower one another at time when the feminist movement is experiencing a resurgence?
Koerbler: We need to get more in tune with the message that women supporting women creates a sisterhood of impactful, female game-changers. We think the message of today is that women should motivate and empower other women by helping each other to find their own personal why and leading by example. We also need to be role models for ourselves along the way. We need to continuously check in with ourselves and challenge ourselves to think outside the box.
Laclé: We live in an era where female empowerment is central, creating societies, communities, movements and mindsets of unstoppable women! We should all take part in the global rise of this revolution. We should fight for what we believe in; nevertheless, we should never forget about the collective social good.