A little over 25 years ago, my mentor who was a decade older than me, philosophized that with every passing decade, things would get easier for women in the future within the business marketplace. The challenges I faced climbing the proverbial corporate ladder were nothing compared to the obstacles she had faced. Although I remember thinking that regardless of the “degree of hardship” that women over the years faced, hardship is still hardship. Less pain, still implies pain.

Fast forward to 2015, getting ahead in the corporate environment is still challenging for women (albeit maybe less so than 25 years ago). However, we now see more and more women as entrepreneurs, mompreneurs and at the helm of small businesses that they had a hand in starting or growing.

Women have finally come into their own. They now respect the fact that they can’t do everything, for everyone, perfectly, all the time. With that, women have come to the understanding that it’s okay to set their own rules and pace, in accordance with the way they run their lives and still be successful in business.

Women networking is a must in today’s market landscape.

I believe wholeheartedly that most women in business today applaud one another’s efforts. Kudos to them! Gone are the cut-throat, competitive, isolation-style tactics that existed between women in business in the 70’s and 80’s. Despite the genuine lack of support that existed among women in those decades, women in business today are achieving greater independence as a result. I for one, recognize the sacrifices that those women had to make.

However, applauding one another simply isn’t enough – although it sure does feel good. It’s high time that women networking catch up and reap the benefits that male-dominated networking has enjoyed for eons. Women in influential or “decision making” positions need to open the door for other women. Make no mistake about my intent. I am not saying that women networking with other women should be anything more than a connection or a meeting for the potential of developing a business relationship. All women need to do for other women that they are acquainted with, is to open the door. The rest is up to the professionalism of the woman who will be walking through that door to ask for the business and turn that connection into an opportunity. Men do it all the time. It’s time women do as well.

What have you done for a woman business colleague lately?