Greater When Empowered

This entry was written by Jennifer Closson, Greater Than Games Creative Director, on her topic for the Greater Together video

 

I was listening to an interview featuring Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, the authors behind The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code For Girls, on NPR’s 1A program the other day. One of the most interesting points they made was regarding how quickly girls begin to lose their confidence and their desire to take risks. Of course, they went into the science behind it: the biological reasons, the societal reasons, etc. But what struck me was when they stated that if we want to see a new generation of confident women, we have to raise a generation of confident girls. That’s so true! But, what do we do about the women who are currently here?

 

That’s where we come in folks! We have a responsibility to not only take the moments to raise each other up - but to MAKE the moments to do so.

  • Getting credit for a project that involved more than just you? Share the credit with the other women involved. Take a second to mention what THEY brought to the table.

  • Someone asking you for advice, but you know another woman is more knowledgeable? Direct the questioning person their way instead.

  • Putting together a panel or presentation? Search out a way to bring women on board. Maybe don’t always go for the most obvious option either - see if there’s someone “lesser known” that has just as many valuable things to say, but needs a little - ahem - confidence boost.

  • Give someone a project to work on that you know they’ll excel at and bring it up in conversation when they do.

  • Work WITH others to help them build new skills or break boundaries that they want to, but were scared to try alone.

  • Seek out artists, writers, project managers, engineers, teachers, etc that are women to add to your team. You benefit from their ideas and perspectives, and they benefit from the opportunity to shine just a little brighter each day.

  • Even something as simple as sharing a social media post of women doing something you found inspiring or just to say “thanks” to a family member or co-worker can make a difference.

 

None of these are BIG things, but remember - sometimes it’s the littlest things that have the most impact. We don’t need a special day or month of the year to raise women up - though it’s great when that happens. Any moment can present opportunities to empower other women. And if an opportunity hasn’t presented itself - MAKE ONE.

 

I know what you may be asking. Jenn, your topic was “Greater when empowered”, so why are you focusing on “confidence”? Well, because they’re almost one in the same! The dictionary defines “empower” as “to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights”. Synonyms include emancipate, unshackle, set free, and liberate. Wow! Those are some pretty heavy words. Can one person really have that kind of impact on another? You bet!

 

We, as women, have a responsibility to raise each other up whenever we can. To make each other feel more confident to take risks, speak our minds, set new goals, break boundaries - to empower each other. If someone doesn’t feel respected, appreciated, or confident in their abilities, how likely are they to want to stand up for themselves or others? If you’re braver than some of us and have seized that moment for yourself already, then I applaud you! You deserve to be celebrated as a beacon of hope and encouragement for those that need it. But you also have a responsibility to those women who are still fighting to find their voice - to gain that confidence.

 

Like I stated in our Greater Together video, I am uniquely blessed because I was raised by a strong mother who was constantly breaking boundaries in the “man’s world” of business as a VP or CFO of large corporations. She even went on to get her Doctorate in Business Administration, writing her thesis on “Job Stress: An investigation of the impact of gender and other workplace diversity issues on the causes, costs, consequences, and constructive coping strategies of job stress”. I have a mother-in-law who's fiercely devoted to her family & friends, and who constantly insists on ensuring those she cares about know their value. I have a loving and supportive husband who constantly encourages me to take risks and truly believes that I am a better woman than I believe myself to be. And I’m surrounded by co-workers who value topics like this as much as I do. For this I'm extremely grateful. But I know that I also carry a responsibility to other women to create and be involved in initiatives like our “Greater Together” campaign, Women In Gaming Panels, and other diversity endeavors which create platforms for celebrating and empowering the women around me.  

 

At Greater Than Games we believe strongly in celebrating and empowering women in the gaming community and beyond. Just because the month of March is over - don’t let the drive to celebrate women wane. Remember, we are all greater together.

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Side Note: If you’re interested in learning more about the topic of confidence and empowering women, I recommend that you check out the following TED talk and books:

 

Reshma Saujani - Teach Girls Bravery Not Perfection

https://www.ted.com/talks/reshma_saujani_teach_girls_bravery_not_perfection

 

The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code For Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

http://theconfidencecode.com/books/

https://www.confidencecodegirls.com/book/

To listen to their interview on NPR, follow this link: https://the1a.org/shows/2018-04-05/the-confidence-code-for-girls