There’s been a lot of media attention around women in midlife over the last several weeks. Finally - it’s our turn! But what does that mean? The pressure for Gen X women to achieve - to have, be and do it all without adequate support can be a recipe for us to sundown our careers prematurely. We know from our experience founding Evolve -- a community of talented mid-career women exploring a return to work, pivoting careers or starting a new venture -- that it doesn’t have to be that way!
One of the most encouraging aspects of launching Evolve has been the support we’ve received from other female entrepreneurs who are growing their own businesses. Despite busy schedules and other priorities, women are paying it forward and authentically sharing their career journeys and expertise.
Collaboration over competition
The support that women have offered us along the way goes beyond conventional networking. Generous sharing of insights and time has laid the foundation for continued relationships across industries, roles, ages and stages.
It’s been inspiring for us and has informed one of Evolve’s core values: Collaboration. We believe in the power of women to educate and motivate each other. Reciprocal networking results in meaningful connections. Female entrepreneurs are changing the way business is conducted and creating refreshing new norms centered on mutual support:
The “ripple effect”. Studies have demonstrated a “ripple effect” of ways that women entrepreneurs help each other succeed, rather than competing. For example, 21% of women in a global entrepreneurs study have gone into business together, and many have invested in each others’ companies’. We have seen this play out first hand within the Evolve community!
Giving builds confidence. We’ve witnessed countless examples of female leaders lending their expertise through coaching, marketing, social media, business development, finance and legal matters. Extending support across sectors and industries demonstrates how women can be the mirror for each others’ talents. When there are opportunities for networking to create more of a "sisterhood" women feel more confident and it's easier for them to create their own personal brands.
Connection as an opportunity for growth. Shift the mindset at work to one of growth and abundance. Rather than seeing others as a threat, look for growth opportunities - it opens doors! Having an abundance mindset means there are more than enough clients, businesses and partners to go around. Have the conversation, schedule the coffee, make time for a phone call.
Choose Collaboration, Power Your Reinvention!
At Evolve, our unique approach to career reinvention focuses on the power of connection and togetherness as an antidote for the feelings of isolation that often accompany career change. We bring together groups of women who are interested in exploring their next chapters through Evolve Collectives .
What propels each individual forward is the momentum and accountability they gain from the group - relating to the hopes and fears of other women at a similar stage. At the end of the six months program, women have a community invested in them and often form bonds that result in new professional collaborations!