Why does supporting women even matter? These are my own professional and personal experiences.

Men frequently ask, “How can I be a better ally?”

While I have a R E A L L Y long list for this answer (and a great story below), I’ll summarize it here by simply stating: buy from women-owned businesses.

The most earnest way you can support women…just buy from them.

To be an ally, directly invest in their businesses, tell your networks about their businesses, Share, Like and Follow their businesses on social, and when someone asks for a recommendation share women-owned businesses at the same rate that you share male-owned businesses. I’ll say it again, invest in women-owned businesses. This is quite easy! Now, I’ll give an example of a great leader doing it:

A few months ago, I received an email from Libby Buckley saying The Colonnade Group at Thrivent Financial was throwing an event for their female clients. The November event was being held to celebrate and empower women, financially.  While trying to find women-owned businesses and suppliers to partner with during the event, Libby learned of MAIA’s website. This turned into a great connection for both she and I; for her as she used MAIA’s directory to partner with a number of wonderful women-owned businesses, and for myself as I was now able to join the celebration.

I attended The Colonnade Group’s event held at the women-owned Lynnhall, a beautiful space rich with ambiance, food, and drink. Along with me, 75 women had shown up to celebrate the financial empowerment and community of women. The Colonnade Group treated their clients to a flower design session from the hilarious women-owned duo Haute House Studio. We were also fully entertained as we swooned over the beautiful messaging of Portia Allen. As we left, we were gifted an amazing swag bag full of women-owned gifts (which had been found through MAIA’s directory): carmels from Sweet Jules Gifts, cookies from Junita’s Jar, Spices from MN Nice Spice, and a candle from Excelsior Candle Co.. In total, The Collade Group spent over $7K directly with women-owned businesses to celebrate with their female clients.

This is a big step in the right direction – the path to becoming an ally.  It is also a great example of how acting with intention, leading by example, and spreading the word about your mission builds a community investing in one another’s success.

So, spend, invest, and gift with women-owned companies. The second most earnest way you can support women is to assume and embrace domestic parity. Share equally in the joy and the burden of it. When women are freed up to seize the same risks for opportunities that men have been afforded for centuries, women will be able to actualize their greatness outside of the status quo. We are all born with a wide variety of talents, skills, and inherent emotions. What if social conditioning, gender norms and biases weren’t the main drivers of those, what if we were all given the ability to explore all of our gifts, talents and skills more openly, and what if that yielded more well-rounded, more interdependent, more interconnected humans, regardless then of their gender?

Peace & Love,