Last week, The Washington Post ran a fascinating story that documents the clever way women in the White House ensured their voices were heard. When one woman raised a point, other women would repeat it, crediting its author. The tactic, dubbed “amplification,” forced men to recognize the contribution of women and made sure they couldn’t claim the idea as their own.
Yesterday, the Financial Times published a story in that same women-helping-women vein. It highlights the achievements of the Women2Win organization that Theresa May and her collaborator Anne Jenkin established in 2005 to help get more women into British politics. The number of female Conservative MPs has increased from 13 in 1997 to 68 now, thanks in part to the group’s efforts, which include advising female candidates on how to win over the party’s notoriously stuffy MP candidate selection panels and providing tips on conducting media interviews.
Both stories show the “shine theory” at work. The theory dismisses the notion that women have limited seats at the table, which pits women against one another. Instead, it promotes the idea that when another woman shines, you shine too.