beerMy first job out of college was working for a beer company. Yes, I did have some pretty awesome perks–an unlimited supply of free beer and t-shirts and I basically got paid to hang out at bars and drink yummy Harpoon every night and weekend. 

But now as I look back, nearly 13 years ago, the best part about working for a beer company was not the free beer, the fun atmosphere, or the interesting people I met along the way, it was the fact that the company employed very few women.

Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but as a woman at Harpoon you were  just another one of the guys. You burped, you said exactly what you were thinking, and when you were pissed off or disagreed with someone, you told them.  Maybe they’d disagree, maybe you’d get mad, but when all was said and done…it was over, you’d have a beer together and never bring it up again. 

Working with women is different. We can be so critical of each other, so jealous of another’s success, that sometimes it seems like we’d rather get in each other’s way rather than lift each other up. Why do we seem more interested in pointing out the other’s faults rather than strengths? Does it really make you feel better? More important? More worthy? I haven’t figured it out yet, but its got to be something.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve met some great women too, but they are hard to find. So ask my fellow females: Next time you think of criticizing a great woman like Hilary Clinton for her lack of emotion, Oprah for her weight gain, Caroline Kennedy for saying “ya know” too much, or your co-worker for going out on a limb, try supporting her.

I know it will lift us all up in the end.