There was an extraordinary moment this month when Beyoncé showed up unexpectedly at the premiere of Taylor Swift’s concert film ‘The Era’s Tour’. As two women with rival concert tours, competing for space and record sales, they are in direct competition with each other. But instead of putting each other down, they supported each other and sung each other’s praises.
In my new book How To Be A Lioness (Not a Panda), I make the point that women can do amazing things when we support each other. I’m not the first to say it. But we appear to be living through times that are proving that when women see each other as allies not competitors, great things can happen.
“I’m so glad I’ll never know what my life would’ve been like without Beyoncé’s influence,” Taylor Swift wrote on Twitter the night of her premiere. “The way she’s taught me and every artist out here to break rules and defy industry norms. Her generosity of spirit. Her resilience and versatility. She’s been a guiding light throughout my career and the fact that she showed up tonight was like an actual fairytale.”
Breaking rules, defying norms, and supporting each other are proving to be some of the most successful tools women are using to create a tipping point, a pivotal moment in culture where women are, dare we even imagine it, dominating?
Thanks to Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Barbie, economists are now talking about the rise of the ‘Sheconomy’. The combined impact of Beyoncé and Swift’s tours is estimated to have boosted the global economy by $5billion. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, a film directed by a woman about women, has become the highest grossing movie of 2023.
And for other signs of the times, look no further than Harvard Professor Claudia Goldin who became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics without having to share it with a man this month. Or the two asteroids which have recently been named after two female astronomists, Annie Maunder and Alice Everett whose work, until now, has largely been misattributed to men, or The Bank of Ireland which is about to be the first corporation to offer paid leave to women experiencing the menopause.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup also broke records, giving an estimated $7.5 billion boost to the global economy. In the US, women’s soccer now gets higher viewing TV figures than men’s and the country’s first soccer stadium devoted entirely to women is about to go up in Kansas. Meanwhile, in Nebraska, a women’s volleyball game smashed attendance records with over 92,000 people showing up last month. While tennis player Coco Gauff’s victory at the US Open attracted a million more viewers than the men’s final the following day.
From elementary school to university, girls outperform boys in academic work. They are more likely to get degrees and less likely to drop out of education than men according to the Women in the Workplace 2022 report by McKinsey and Lean In. But on average, women in the US still typically earn 80 percent of what men do if they are white, 60 percent if they are of color, while in Australia, women earn 87 percent. Until there is no gender or diversity pay gap, we cannot stop supporting each other. Our superpower is each other.
Lucy Broadbent is the author of How To Be A Lioness (Not A Panda): Find Your Roar With the Women of Ted Lasso. Out on Amazon October 30.