Collaborations are great for women, here is why

Author: Janani Sampath 

Women are expected to compete and they do it in their way. Stories of motivation that showcase the undaunted spirit of womanhood have always shown them putting their best foot forward singlehandedly without support or help. While there is nothing negative about being competitive, I have always wondered if being competitive is superlative. I have asked myself: is there something more effective?

Here is research that answers not just my doubt but can also offer a solution for all those women seeking enduring success and growth. The research paper by Dr Jessica van der Wal indicates that there are positive effects of collaboration for women researchers when compared to male counterparts.
The study dwells on research-specific factors like networks, and co-authoring, to name a few. However, some of them can be extended to women everywhere.

While competition makes you faster, collaboration makes you better. Here are some reasons for it:

1. Women are said to naturally care for the collective. Collaborating takes the whole community of women who are working together on the path of success and growth.
2. Collaboration means strengthening networks. Research has shown that women find it relatively harder to network with peers when compared to men. Collaborations take them closer to building a network.
3. Being seen as an enabler offers the advantage of attracting more collaborators. A woman lifting another woman or a group of women is perceived as a positive influence and automatically attracts more people to reach out and lend help.
4. The research by Dr Jessica reveals that those who collaborate are likely to persist in the field. Collaboration enhances career progression.
5. Too many cooks may spoil the broth. That’s because too many people repeat the same task. But when you have a feast lined up, it is best to divide the dishes among chefs who specialize in them. Picking the right teammates considering the skills can lend the perfect combination to pull off a challenging task.

Women straddle many roles and juggle many hats at the same time. A collaborative approach towards career and work will not just make them resilient to the dynamic atmosphere they move around but also bring the best out of them. So, the next time you have a daunting task staring at you, remember, you just have to see how you can collaborate.