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7 Ways Women Can Motivate And Empower One Another


Last September, when she was a guest on E!’s Fashion Police, Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) had some snarky things to say about Lea Michele (Glee) regarding her, er, “confident” red carpet style.

Hyland told host Joan Rivers that Michele “sticks out her collar bones to make her look skinnier” and then demonstrated her fellow actress’s pouty lips and head turn, calling the whole thing “very strange” and “awkward.”

(See the video clip, courtesy of E! Online.)

I actually saw a clip of her doing that on the red carpet and you see me in the background, like with my back turned looking at my publicist, being like ‘I don’t know what to do right now.’ Like this is very awkward for me, I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life.

Michele replied to Hyland’s remarks while at Variety‘s 3rd Annual Power of Women event, stating that they did “hurt [her] feelings a little bit” and using the venue to make a very clear point, I think:

I really think the message of today is that women should motivate and empower women, and so that’s why I’m honored to be a part of today.

The next day, Hyland took to Twitter to clarify that she meant for her (quite practiced) imitation and comments to be comical, congratulating Michele on her red carpet know-how and “great ass” and noting that she (Hyland) just can’t take herself that seriously.

It’s over now, with Michele noting she thinks Hyland is a great person and sends her love, but Michele’s comment about motivating and empowering women made me start thinking about how women interact with one another – one on one, in groups, even alone. I’m not going to even attempt to muse on those dynamics here (this is a blog post – I’d need an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica!), but I will share some key points I think many of us can benefit from when it comes to motivating and empowering each other:

1. Lead by example. Isn’t this how all role models are born? They blaze a trail, catch our attention, and consequently motivate and empower us to work toward our own goals and dreams?

2. Offer a helping hand. If you see a woman struggling, don’t sit back and snicker (all the while silently thanking God or whomever that it isn’t you); offer to help her.

3. Share what works for you. On that note, if you see a woman really struggling – and you’ve been in the situation before yourself – share what worked or works for you.

4. Think of your family. Don’t say or do anything to another woman you wouldn’t say or do to your mother, sister, grandma, cousin, aunt, or any other female family member in the same situation (or what you wouldn’t want anyone else doing or saying to them).

5. Be the voice of reason. If you’re on the receiving end of a rant about a particular woman, don’t fuel the fire by adding your own complaints or insults. On that note, don’t start any of your own fires. If you have a problem with a particular woman, address it with her. By abstaining from gossiping or trash-talking behind someone’s back, you might even inspire others to do the same.

6. Offer encouragement. If your sister or girlfriend or any other woman you know shares dreams of going back to school, leaving an abusive relationship, starting a business, picking up a new hobby – anything for which she might benefit from some encouragement – provide that encouragement. You never know when your encouraging words are the only ones she’ll hear.

7. Volunteer or donate. Whether it’s a local women’s shelter or an international organization that teaches women how to start businesses, consider volunteering your time or donating funds to help these programs work. You might even meet a new friend along the way.

Question to My Female Readers: What additional advice would YOU offer when it comes to motivating and empowering other woman? Is there a [articular woman who’s behavior has inspired you? Someone who’s help was crucial to your success?

Image Source: Wikipedia

7 Ways Women Can Motivate And Empower One Another

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2011). 7 Ways Women Can Motivate And Empower One Another. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 12, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Nov 2011
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