Our Why: A Message From the Founder
Welcome! I’m so happy that you found The StrongHER® Initiative!
From the time I was in middle school, I’ve been fascinated by female communication. I never understood when girls would say, "Oh I just don’t get along with other girls…" I remember thinking in sixth grade, when I overheard that for the first time, “That’s really sad because girls are awesome!” But ultimately, I too, growing up, had my moments of competition and cattiness with other girls. I have memories and moments I wish I could redo. But, I now know that some of this was normal developmentally. I also understand that the labels society gives females as being drama queens, divas, catty, or worse have done nothing to help female relational aggression and do not promote conflict resolution that can lead to connection.
In college, I overheard a guy once declare that ‘girl code’ had nothing on ‘guy code’ and that girls would stab each other in the back, but not guys. I pondered this for days. I knew I had witnessed this, but I was determined to understand why. I wondered if this idea of "girl power" was just some cute phrase... All around me, now I just saw clickiness, gossip, and backstabbing. I knew there had to be a better way.
I now also know that society has done an amazing job of dividing women and encouraging cutthroat competition. Competition over scarce and coveted top-level jobs, competition over men, even competition in motherhood - the mommy wars of shame are very real! I wondered if all of these women had felt validated and knew their worth if there would still be such divisiveness.
That comment in college started my fascination and desire for understanding women's power dynamics into adulthood. I refused to believe that strong groups of women could not exist. I embarked on a journey of trying to become incredibly self-aware of my emotions, my feelings, and even my jealousy and insecurities as I attempted to recognize how that impacted my relationships with other women. I was determined to create communities where women felt safe and welcomed, unjudged and uplifted for who they are.
As I emerged into adulthood and motherhood as a young mother and military spouse in my 20’s, communities of women became essential. I witnessed firsthand that those who adopted the lone-wolf persona would struggle. And although they would survive, I believe it was more difficult than it needed to be by carrying their burdens alone. Creating and joining communities of women was the key to me not just surviving but thriving and growing through difficult times!
For most of my adult life, I have sought out the latest research and ideas on women's communications. Having worked as a counselor for the last 8+ years at a K-12 all-girls school has allowed me to better understand how to create these mindsets, comraderies, and communities from an early age, and I know it’s possible! Through the research articles and books I’ve devoured, I’ve come to realize firsthand that the emotional angst, the way we are prone to solve problems, our need to be seen, and the desire and ability to see and feel others' pain are all things society labeled as weak or problematic. But I believe these attributes can be some of our greatest assets when honed properly! Some of the greatest societies have been led by women, and I believe with all of my heart that women are the building blocks of society. I hope is that StrongHER® will be the opening and welcoming circle of strong supportive women you have always wanted. Welcome home!
Are you ready? Take a few moments, look around, explore, and see if The StrongHER® Initiative feels like home for you.