What Does Empowering Women Mean to You?
by Kelly Radi, on Dec 3, 2019 4:38:00 PM
This is a question I often hear when people learn that I’ve written a book that empowers women and that I speak at many women’s conferences.
To be clear, I speak to mixed-gender groups regularly, but am frequently hired to speak to groups of women—business women, college women, women of faith, and internal corporate women’s groups and associations. I’m so fortunate to have met many of you at the Women in Trucking Accelerate! Conference last fall.
The unfortunate assumption is that because I’m asked to speak on #empoweringwomen, I am a man-basher. Folks, believe me when I tell you nothing could be further from the truth. I love men! We need men. And yes, we need to honor men. Just as they need to honor us, as women.
Empowering women is not about hating on men. It is not us-against-them. We all live on this planet together! I believe it is about mutual respect—and self-respect. And knowing how to link arms and stand alongside one another, regardless of our gender.
We do need to continue to educate one another and support fair treatment. We definitely need to break down the barriers that hold us back and create a strong community of sisters in the industry. But I believe women’s empowerment goes beyond education and advocacy. These things are absolutely essential for advancement, but to me true empowerment starts within.
Women have demonstrated strength and resilience for centuries. Women have modeled intelligence and determination for generations. Women continue to rule nations, lead corporations, run households, and raise children. Despite this, we continue to struggle, often falling victim to our own internal voices. We find ourselves feeling inferior and overwhelmed—powerless.
The struggle is real. And so often it is an inside job! While this can certainly happen to men (I’m not belittling your struggles, guys, I promise!), I do believe women tend to struggle with it more frequently. And this is why I find it so important to help women recognize their value.
Empowerment, to me, is providing validation and support to another human being. It is using our individual skills to push each other to be better, stronger and more confident. It is helping another person recognize her gifts and challenging her to use them. It is giving grace, when necessary, and delivering honest, constructive feedback, when appropriate. It is encouraging another person to be the best version of herself.
In a world that seems to breed negativity and thrive on polarizing issues, true empowerment brings us together. As women. As men. As people. It supports vulnerability and collaboration. It promotes positivity and celebrates authenticity. Empowerment increases self-awareness and responsibility, ultimately boosting engagement and productivity.
Imagine our world if we sought to lift one another up—to be better, kinder, stronger, more effective, resilient, and respected. Just because. THAT’S what empowering women means to me.
How will you empower a woman today?