On Saturday, May 9, 2020, two legendary singers, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott ("Jilly from Philly"), blessed us with three hours of love, light and soulful music in the first Verzuz live stream battle between two women. While the event produced by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland was hyped up as a battle, it was more of a peace fest between two great friends. Ms. Badu and Ms. Scott played each of their hits as well as songs they've written. Erykah kicked it off with You Got Me, written by Jill Scott. Jill followed up with the live rendition of You Got Me, that she performed with The Roots. Erykah paid mad respect to Jill for her creativity as a writer and performer. And Jill did the same.
Some people say that traditionally we have been taught to be competitive with one another, because of the challenges that we experience with reaching to the top. But this wasn't the narrative portrayed on Saturday evening. To witness two skillful and talented performers give each other accolades, was so inspiring and uplifting. Erykah and Jill embodied the phrase that "Empowered Women...Empower Women"; and strong women don’t compete with one another, they lift each other up. We need to reverse the stereotype that women don't support other women. Women in particular benefit from collaboration over competition. In fact, there are studies to show that women who support women are more successful within their respective fields. I believe that a woman alone has power but collectively women have impact.
The performance by Erykah Badu and Jill Scott on May 9th, will be viewed as epic, for years to come. They exemplified what it means to empower and uplift their sister. They were true examples of the phrase: "I Am My Sister's Keeper". Let's continue to build on the positivity that we witnessed. And if you didn't have an opportunity to see it for yourself, make sure you check out Verzuz on Instagram.
Let Erykah and Jill's mutual respect and admiration for each other's artistry serve as an example that we can also operate within the same realm when interacting with other women. Here are a few tips to consider as you navigate your professional journey and interact with other women in your field:
Prioritize relationship building.
We make time for the things that are important to us. It's imperative that we make
time to build our professional relationships. Make sure you schedule time to check in
with your professional connections and maintain an open line of communication.
Making connections isn't "one and done".
Making connections and networking isn't about collecting and distributing business
cards. It's about developing relationships. As a result of those relationships, you will
create long-term partnerships. It's important to nurture the relationships that you've
developed through the multiple connections that you make.
Develop other women
Build other women up. When you see your colleague doing a great job, give them
credit. Not only are you demonstrating that you can highlight and support another
woman but you are also demonstrating that you are secure enough in yourself to
Find Your circle and tap into them.
Who are the people that you would talk to if you need honest advice or want a
business introduction? Build a circle or network of women who you can engage with
professionally. They can serve as your support network within the professional space.
Remember, you must also reciprocate in order to build a strong circle, as well. Your
circle will be critical in your development and future professional opportunities. Your
circle can actively help you to achieve success within your respective field and vice
Remember "Empowered Women...Empower Women". If someone asks you if you are your sister's keeper, how will you respond? I know one thing for sure, my response will be a resounding, YES! Let's keep the vibe, ladies!