When I was 7, the Spice Girls sang about girl power and I learned that friendships that never end are a source of immense energy. When I was 9, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda sat on a Saturday brunch talking about sins, sorrows and successes and I learned that stories are better shared. When I was 10, the first female president in Finland was elected and I learned that there wasn’t anything a woman couldn’t achieve in her career. But when I grew to start the joyous battle of adulthood, I truly understood the importance of having a powerful girl gang by your side.
Girl power is the force that pushes babies out to the world, that wipes away the tears of a friend in heartache, that refuses to give the bus seat to a white passenger and that sparks communities of sharing and support. These communities of women supporting other women have exponentially started to grow also in online environments. In Finland, the female network Ompeluseura has almost 20 000 members on Facebook and LinkedIn while Aalto Women in Business has a few thousand, both also having various subgroups for different career and geographical areas. In Sweden, Heja Livet has over 30 000 tjejer and I’m sure there’s many more for countries all around the world. Is it mascara tips and handkerchief dropping techniques that are being shared in these groups? No, it’s the best jobs at the market, career tips, mentoring, advice on getting ahead in the working life and possibilities to network with likeminded ladies. All the hidden knowledge power that have been transmitted through the hegemony of old boy’s networks for centuries. They represent a rise of the new country club, the club of equal opportunities and even paychecks.
They also represent a rise of all the inspiring female entrepreneurs and power babes. They inspire us not only to raise the bar for ourselves but to support other women in their achievements. In my personal experience, a tight-knit girl group is a powerhouse of safety nets, comedy centrals, trusty therapists and sparring partners. It’s a true joy when the success of the other is not a source of envy, but of energy and inspiration. I really hope everyone would have such a group in their life.
I’m lucky since I have a few. I would like to take a moment to thank all the inspiring, supporting and strong women of my journey. First and foremost, the strongest female figure of life, my mother, has raised me to believe in my dreams and capabilities and of that I’m forever grateful. My oldest friend Iiris who has been by my side through the thick and thin already for 25 years and who agreed to dance with me through the entire Spice Girls album on my living room when we were seven. My greatest gal groups: the lovely ladies of #leiditliikkeellä with whom I’ve have shared all the struggles and joys of the student life and starting a career, the girls of #finnishmafia who I’ve had countless amounts of fun and unforgettable moments during this year in Lund and all the fearless females that walked the streets of Stockholm with me.
But most importantly, I hope everyone would be lifted by the spark of the #girlbosses (btw who’s excited for the show to finally arrive in Netflix?), evangelists of equality and powerful female forerunners. And if you haven’t already, join a female career network online!