Women not only have equal legal rights with men, in practice, they also have the same or higher educational qualifications, qualifications, and management skills. Even though nearly 90% of companies worldwide have at least one woman in a senior management role as of 2021, women are still severely underrepresented on the executive floors.
Nevertheless, the need for female leaders has never been more critical. Recent studies have shown that companies with greater gender diversity, directly among senior leaders, are significantly more profitable than those without.
Thus, let us dive deeper into what character traits and specific leadership skills should a woman have to reach the top of the career ladder or successfully run her own business? Do women initially have a leadership style that gives them an advantage over men?
Why Is Women’s Leadership Important?
Women play a central role in the growth of a company. Thus, McKinsey & Company found that the companies performed significantly better in leadership, direction, taking responsibility, coordination, control, innovation, outward orientation, performance, motivation, work environment, and values.
Furthermore, for every 10% increase in gender diversity, earnings before interest and taxes rose by 3.5%. This proves that women leaders bring skills, imaginative perspectives, and structural and cultural differences that drive effective business solutions.
Key Challenges for Female Leaders
The business world is no longer exclusively a male game. However, not only young talents but even the most experienced women leaders who have already achieved success in business still face some challenges on their way of achieving the goals:
- The majority of employees in companies are men, but this gives women the opportunity to stand out and make a lasting impression right from the start.
- It is often difficult for women to combine work with personal life, family, children. However, it is worth learning how to create a healthy balance between work and personal life in any situation.
- Very often, women vastly underestimate their expectations when achieving specific goals. It is essential to change your vision and understand that there are no unattainable goals.
- Women are often perceived as more emotional and less determined than men. Still, it is not uncommon for women to bring a greater variety of mental and emotional experiences into their daily work routine, often resulting in better problem-solving.
However, any difficulties women face on their way towards success make them even better employees, communicators, and leaders, in the first place.
5 Leadership Skills of a Successful Businesswoman
Working conditions are changing. The focus is now on the “smart economy”, which generates a lot of ideas and innovations – all this affects how women are treated as they move up the career ladder.
Here are the 6 skills that most influence the success of female leaders.
- Confidence: There’s no doubt that successful leaders need confidence, especially when it comes to decision-making. If you are unsure about your decisions and commitment to them, you need to make everything possible to convince yourself in the first place. Consider the assessment of your strengths and weaknesses to gain confidence in understanding the questions posed and be ready for the challenges ahead. Keep in mind that sometimes you can fail, but don’t be afraid to make decisions that you think will positively impact your leadership, as that is what defines your leadership.
- Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is often understood as the ability to understand and manage individual emotions and the emotions of the people around us. This quality helps managers build effective work teams, reveal the talents of subordinates, and effectively manage divers teams. Emotional intelligence is essential in any teamwork, not to mention personal life and family relationships. Therefore, the more effectively a woman can relate to and work with others, her leadership will be more successful.
- Effective Communication: Undoubtedly, communication is an integral part of our life, and those who achieve great success in this matter can achieve many business goals. The ability to convey one’s point of view and express oneself simply and clearly already works at the level of everyday communication. In business, it is one of the key skills. For women leaders who communicate a lot, it is vital in business to be able to negotiate, smooth corners, and resolve conflicts. If you follow specific rules and develop communication skills, you can turn an enemy into a friend and a loss into income.
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving: Critical thinking is the ability to see all sides of a problem, think impartially and independently, evaluate information objectively, reason, and draw reasonable conclusions impartially. Thus, this is the ability to choose the best possible solution and effectively identify hidden risks or opportunities. Successful women leaders tend to keep an open mind about the various implications and assumptions associated with the many decisions they make. You need to analyze the information that comes from outside, your thoughts and beliefs, and constantly train and improve your critical thinking skills to solve work problems better.
- Creative & Innovation: Today, creative thinking in business is a systematic approach that aligns product value for consumers with value for the company. For a businesswoman, creative thinking begins with a complete understanding of the issue, the external environment, social factors, adjacent markets, and new trends and directions.
Thus, in mixed teams, various solutions and tools for solving a problem get more expansive due to the variety of views. Therefore, new creative solutions to problems or new ideas are generated much more efficiently.
Women are currently still under-represented in leadership positions. However, in the future, it can be predicted that companies will become increasingly dependent on qualified women leaders and that more and more women will occupy leadership positions.
This trend is confirmed by the increase in women in leadership positions in recent years. In addition, given the growing and rapidly changing needs of a global society, which are accompanied by changes at the social, political, and economic levels, society can no longer afford to ignore half of the talented population – women.