Leading Women to Connect and Grow Together
Women can be extremely powerful and influential, especially when they work together—a truth Dr. Nancy O’Reilly hopes more women will understand. O’Reilly, a clinical psychologist, motivational speaker, podcast host and women empowerment expert studied women’s issues at the graduate level and sees the importance of the need to empower women. As a mother of three daughters, she also hopes to set an example and leave a legacy for them. She noticed at a young age that there was not exactly complete equality for men and women in society. It became her “crusade” and the “baton” she carries, as she put it.
“We still have work to do, which is still, to me, pretty amazing,” O’Reilly said. “The work is not done. There are many of us still working for equality and making sure women have a voice and that they have their power.”
One way O’Reilly hopes to inspire more women to find that strength is through her latest book, Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life. O’Reilly selected 19 other women with the same vision to collaborate with her in this book to remind women how important it is to connect with and support one another. It provides personal insight from each writer, offering advice on how to find success as a woman in an often male-dominated society. In order to do so, O’Reilly continues to promote women working together rather than constantly competing against one another.
“My hope is that there comes a day that women realize they have to support each other,” she said. “I’d love to see generations of women who are continuing to see that we truly have to understand that if one of us is suffering, we all suffer.”
Leading Women features the stories of authentic women—including New York Times bestselling author Marci Shimoff, advocacy leader Gloria Feldt and Emmy Award-winning TV host Aurea McGarry—who share their journeys and wisdom. As O’Reilly pointed out, there are many individuals who are struggling and don’t have proper support, but would love mentors to walk alongside them in their pursuits. Women also have the tendency to be very competitive with one another; however, O’Reilly said she hopes to see more encouragement than rivalry.
“The goal is a movement of women who are truly connecting at a level that we haven’t seen before,” she said. “We truly believe that, until women really do support each other in all shapes and forms, we are our own worst enemies.”
Through both her book and her work, O’Reilly seeks to remind women that they are not alone in their journeys. Being willing to ask others for help is often necessary, as is being inclined to help others, as well. To her, life is not about networking, but about connecting. And this, she hopes, is a notion that will be put into practice by women everywhere.
“When women join together and connect,” O’Reilly said, “anything is possible.”