At a restaurant two days ago my husband and I sat next to a couple of young ladies. We were there for about two hours and the whole time, their conversation centered around how terrible and manipulative their female manager was, and then finally disintegrated into a negative comment about the manager’s physical appearance.
I felt sorry for the two girls and was also saddened by the fact that they felt the need to attack their manager’s physical appearance in response to some perceived unkindness in the workplace.
I believe it is so important that women learn to be kind to one another because have climbed so far to get to where we are today. We must lend a hand and encourage other women behind us to be their best whenever possible.
It is from this belief that I founded Stree, or “Dignified Women” to help and encourage women to succeed in their own environment ― because success has a different definition for all of us.
Stree’s primary focus is on education, and over the past 15 years has helped over 3,000,000 women. Stree has provided scholarships and fought for the rights for women in villages and countries around the world, and financed 1000’s of women-owned business. While I feel this is only a dent in the larger picture, those women we have helped will go out and help others in their communities.
We have fought for their human rights and their civil rights. We support and fund several orphanages for girls around the world. I believe that if we do not support more women things cannot continue to change for the better.
It is important for women to help one another as mothers, as business women, as mother-in laws and as daughters. Certain skills are naturally more developed for women than they are for men. We can multi-task. We are nurturers. We can handle tremendous amounts of professional and personal pressure. We possess these attributes because we are made to have children. These skills are already in our DNA.
I feel very strongly that maintaining our femininity in all of it’s various shapes and forms is our strength. We do not have to become men to be strong. Our femininity is POWER, and we should never sacrifice it or try to strip it away from others.
I did not have the privilege of having a woman guide me through my journey, but I wish I did. I built my business from nothing to over a billion dollars. My role models were strong women like Indira Ghandi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher. They fought more difficult battles to get to where they did. They taught me to never give up.
Women are the future. We are the movers and the shakers of the new millenia , our foremothers spilt blood and fought for our freedom and our rights. We should embrace it now and help each other to ensure our girls ahead of us learn from us and stand tall.
We live in a time when we are all connected through the wonderful world of web and the world is so small. This allows us to reach out more than before and mentor those who are rising behind us, increasing the possibility of women presidents (regardless of political party), women chairpersons , women in management and owners of businesses.
We are women, goddesses who have the power to change and make the world better if we stand together united. Regardless of our race, religion or status in our societies we all have one thing in common. We want to move ahead in whatever that dream is for us. We MUST stretch our hand out to help one another.
I’ll leave you with this quote – Indhira Ghandi – “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. Stretch your hands and bring our fellow women to the forefront of politics, our homes, our business lives. If we have reached our pinnacle be that money or stature. It is our responsibility to stretch our hands to those behind us and draw them up.”
So please, stop judging your fellow women by size, beauty and color. We are all WOMEN so let’s ROAR together.
This originally appeared on Huffington Post.com.