“There is not a human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

Pure happiness that is not set on external things is beautiful. Happiness can be contagious in that it sparks the curiosity question of how and what can make someone happy despite the twists and turns in life. If we ask ourselves the question why women appear more guarded toward each other, the answers can be surprising. We can think of “Mean Girls” as simply horrible people but often that is not the absolute truth. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “There is not a human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.” Women are often leery of forming strong bonds with other women for fear of belittlement. This becomes a challenge of women connecting deeply with one another and potentially helping each other to succeed. Time and time again, as I meet new groups of women the topic always comes up that wow I did not think you would be a nice person. This is not isolated to just some women often I have said some of the same things to other women. Are we all jaded or just extra cautious? In the age of social media and over sharing it leaves us, wondering if someone’s portrayal online is the one of most authentic self? I must admit I have met some women portray themselves as happier and nicer then when we begin to know each other more deeply. Plaid for Women accepts the challenge of uniting women from all walks of life to actively empower each other by not allowing mean girl influencing behaviors.

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates

Plaid for Women is providing voices for women to share success stories and tools for overcoming personal and professional career challenges. Finding your voice and owning it helps you become more aware of how difficult it truly is. Once a woman begins to own her voice hindering another woman on her journey seems counterproductive. If we all desire to be truly happy, it involves not only fully accepting ourselves but others as well. As I grow in my journey, I recognize that my individuality is very important to me and I must embrace diversity of thought even more. I can’t expect someone to accept me if I am unwilling to do the same for someone else. Daily I accept the challenge of connecting deeply with other women. When I meet a woman, I always make it a point of finding something to compliment her on. This is not just something surface level but something I notice nice about her without deeply analyzing it to the point of finding it wrong through a second glance.

Overall, if we dig deeper when connecting with other women we may discover that a mean girl is just a cautious girl waiting to meet more empowering women.