It’s a term that has become synonymous with the significant gender discrepancy and inequity brought to the surface during the pandemic. Shecovery.
Though women, particularly racialized women, have for years been fighting to highlight and emphasize huge gaps in economic/workforce equality and accessibility – the pandemic forced these issues to light. Making it so that corporations and government entities alike are required not only to respond but to put forth real action plans to mitigate further impact and issues for women re-entering the workforce following upwards of an 18-month absence.
For one, the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) has published a living 46-page synopsis of the COVID-19 Recovery Resources available to women entrepreneurs with critical insights into those that are working and those that require more attention – with a focus on Diversity and Inclusion. A link to that resource will be provided below with information regarding government relief programs, business opportunities, policy advice from experts, and upcoming webinars.
As a mindset coach with a passion for helping women claim their seat at the table, invest in themselves, and act on their goals without asking permission to be valuable, I knew this was an area we needed to be having conversations about, LOUDLY. In working with women who are trying to re-enter the workforce, pivot their businesses, and advance on the goals they put on hold, I have shared these three pieces of advice time and time again.
1. Don’t chase a specific company/client - chase your mission and your purpose instead. More often than not, especially when speaking with young women who are getting ready to enter their chosen fields, I hear about a company they want to work for or a client they want to land. Let me be clear, there is NOTHING wrong with setting your sites on a “big whale” – but what I wish I had known earlier is that it’s not about the company you work for or the client you have; it’s about the work you’re doing. How is that work advancing you and allowing you to grow? Is what you are doing aligned with your greater vision and purpose? When you shift your focus from one specific company or client and instead pursue the opportunity for continuous growth, that’s when you will find the most self-fulfillment.
2. Don’t wait until you’re ready - jump in. This one is especially relevant for my entrepreneurs. I’ve been there, sitting at my corporate desk, daydreaming about what life by MY design could and would look like. How it would be different. How it could also, in some ways, remain the same – but a better version of the same. It can be terrifying to make the leap, but it feels a lot less overwhelming if you recognize and know your value and what you bring to the table. You cannot achieve your goals by giving your value to places that don’t recognize it. One thing that has been a SIGNIFICANT game changer for me in this area? My coach! That’s right; this coach has her own coach. Finding the right mentorship/coaching support will help to guide you through this phase faster. Working with you to eliminate the limiting beliefs and realize what truly motivates you.
3. Don’t make long-term decisions based on short-term emotions. The last 18-months have been a challenge (to say the least) to all of us in so many ways. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. Trauma and these unprecedented circumstances may leave you feeling like you have no other option than to accept “first come” opportunities. I’m here to tell you there is no reason to downgrade your dreams and vision to fit into another box. Now, more than ever, there is a shift that understands women are NEEDED within an organization; they are NEEDED in places of leadership and contribution to help drive thriving communities - own it.
A reminder, you are your greatest ally – but you don’t have to go it alone. With peer support, we are seven times more likely to achieve our goals. It’s time to take note of the women in your life who serve as inspiration and motivation to push forward. Expanders who, like you, are ready and willing to embrace and accept what was in pursuit of what will be.
My Next Level You Collective is a group of women dedicated to moving beyond their limiting beliefs. Doing the work to claim their own “Shecoveries.” There is a space for you, and I invite you to join us!
Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women Entrepreneurs