“We did this because of our friendship, our creative union and our support of each other…Wow. The power of women.”
— Nicole Kidman, The Golden Globes, January 2018
Strong, powerful women are publicly celebrating their partnerships with other women. Exhibit A: Nicole Kidman’s shout out to Reece Witherspoon and the rest of her sistership when Big, Little Lies, the product of their collaboration, took home a slew of Golden Globes.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Haven’t we been headed in this direction for a long time now? The Lean In solution has been around for several years but places the mantle of success squarely on the shoulders of solo women without the full recognition of the team behind her.
Then there’s the #MeToo movement which surfaced the bitter realities women have known all along — we’ve been putting up with a whole lot of crap in the workplace and beyond. No surprise, there.
And now. We’re entering a #WeToo era that’s packed with powerful women bringing together our creative, skilled smarts to visibly lead together.
And that is a surprise — even as women have made our marks in unignorable ways. Exhibit B: the Women’s March last January.
Because a scan of history reveals that examples of women joining forces are few and far between. Go ahead, test this yourself. Count every well-known male business partner you can think of. Now list all the well-known female partners you know of. Chances are the male partners will keep on coming to mind. The women? Not so much.
And yet, after interviewing many female business partners, we know there are plenty of women who are successfully, effectively and, often times, joyfully working together. But they are under the radar. Sure, they are accomplishing big things but without a lot of fanfare. And to every woman who just read this and thought, who needs fanfare? We’re here to say that we – as in all us women – do. Because fanfare shines the light and says to all the other women out there who are going at it alone that this under the radar way of women leading together is a way of work that’s ready to be seen.
And that’s a very good thing. We women need each other, professionally, creatively as well as personally. We need our posse.. We’ve known this to be true but we resisted. Women could be friends, yes but work together, no thank you. Not because we didn’t want to but because there weren’t a whole lot of accessible, positive examples out there.
We are two long-time business partners who experienced this first-hand when we looked for role models and had to dig and dig to find them. We wanted to know if other women relied on each other as much as we did for support, accountability and as safe buffers from the hand on the thigh, the awkward invitation, the play of power that too often blocks the way for women stuck navigating a patriarchal world.
After a lot of searching, we found these women and learned they did, they do indeed rely on each other. Like us, these women who are working, leading and creating together are much more than partners – they are the posse every woman needs.
With our posses, our partners, our WeToos, we have support and safety in numbers. With these women, quietly and below the radar, we’ve shared our own big, little lies about how to navigate the patriarchal world we’ve found ourselves in and we’ve figured out how to accomplish big things within it.
Welcome the #WeToo era where women no longer have to do this all this in quiet, look the other way kinds of ways. Instead, this #WeToo era is about being fully and visibly embracing, celebrating and living what Ms. Kidman said to Ms. Witherspoon at the Golden Globes – our creative unions, our love, support and commitment to each other – as women. For survival, yes, but, even more, for all we can accomplish together.
As we come up on the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March and plan for the multitude of marches that will happen this weekend, we have the feeling #WeToo is here to stay.
Betsy & Maggie