As a woman who has worked for the better part of my life, I feel a certain responsibility to help the next generation of females succeed. I try to find ways to impart the things I’ve learned over the years so they can benefit from the experience. After all, there is no reason for any one to take on the bumps unnecessarily. Over the last few weeks, I had two women approach me — not about the plight of women in the workplace with male counterparts — but about how women are becoming more and more difficult to work with. Is this true? One of the women said that she was becoming very disappointed in the fact that women were not banding together to help each other but instead working hard to keep other women down. It’s hard to understand why this would happen and of course, I can’t disclose the details, but truly I have witnessed an undercurrent of hostility toward women by other women these days. It’s almost as though women feel like they can’t be as successful as they would want if other women were doing well too. Circumstances can be complicated, but even in the face of competing business to business; it doesn’t mean that there has to be just one woman at the top, right? There is room for many people mingling in the winner’s circle. It’s true. For me, this magazine is a tribute to the women in our community doing great things. I believe that supporting women is not only something that I enjoy doing, but I feel like it’s a responsibility to my contemporaries, this generation and the next. That’s why our cover story on Emily Caswell is so important to me. There have been so many wonderful women who have come into my life as part of my business endeavors. I can honestly say that I’ve learned as much from them as they probably took from me. I still keep track of those ladies and am so proud to see them continue to grow and succeed in their careers. My sincere hope is that they were able to take a tidbit from me that helped them navigate a situation more effectively. Emily has been a bright spot in my life for four years and I could not be prouder of her accomplishments, her drive to pursue her dreams and capacity for love. She is someone who I didn’t want to see go, but understand that everyone has a path they must follow to fulfill their goals. As a woman who hopes to always give support to those women pursuing dreams, I wish her the best in everything she does. She knows if she moves down a new path and needs an older, maybe wiser perspective, she can count on me. Moving through this holiday season and into 2015, I want to encourage women in our community to consider how you relate to other women. Think less about how this relationship impacts you and more about doing the right thing, whether you’re competing in Lansing for the same business contract or working toward the same promotion. When making decisions about who to work with, consider helping a woman-owned business if it fits the need and always spend time mentoring the younger generation of ladies out there to help them reach their potential. I understand that we are complicated individuals and sometimes it’s difficult to use words like “always” and “never.” Celebrating seven years of CAWLM has been particularly joyful for me. I want to sincerely thank you for your support over the years and allowing us to give you positive information about the thousands of wonderful women and men and those community events going on all around you in the capital area. As a celebration, we are working with Apple Vacations and Capital Region International Airport for a trip to Cancun January 25-28. With the start of the winter season, I can already see that I will be ready for a little fun in the sun. I hope you’ll consider joining us for an amazing trip. Have a safe and joyous holiday season. Looking forward to a great 2015.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.