In this article, you will understand why women are important for various leadership roles.
What is it that the following women have in common?
These women are powerhouses in their respective fields. They are today’s most inspiring women leaders, motivating people around them, carving their journey, lifting others, and setting an example for the next generation of leaders.
While societies, organizations & economies at large, are witnessing a gradual increase in the number of women in leadership roles, still with all the talk about great strides in gender equality, women are still far from getting a fair share of the leadership roles in the real world.
Women leaders are a must for the 21st century, and it falls on societies and organizations to work toward empowering women in various leadership and administrative roles.
It is time for the world to recognize that women are powerful agents of change, and therefore, women as leaders bring far-reaching benefits to society and the economy.
Research finds women leaders to be more assertive and persuasive, have a stronger desire to get things done, and are more willing to take risks. Compared to their male counterparts, they are more empathetic, flexible, and robust in interpersonal skills.
Such qualities combine to create a unique leadership style in women that is collaborative, transformative, consensus-building, and open, thereby making a solid case for the importance of women’s leadership.
Research indicates that societies or commercial organizations that practice gender neutrality in leadership, whether in work roles, organizational activities, or decision-making positions, tend to achieve higher revenues and overall better results.
Women leaders bring with themselves to the workplace new views, fresh talents, diverse experiences, and cultural diversities. All such traits play a critical role in fostering creativity and innovation and helping make better decisions at all organizational levels.
By their very nature, in life and at work, women, when subjected to trying circumstances, find it easy to adapt to change as they are open to acquiring new skills that will help them to deal with the changes in an effective way.
Empathy is often seen as one of women’s superpowers. A compassionate leader is a good listener and can easily relate to and comprehend his team’s challenges. Women, being highly empathetic, as leaders, are more likely to be effective at influencing others, and being open-minded makes them excel at exchanging information.
When it comes to communicating and collaborating in everyday life, women, by their very nature, are excellent and can communicate with intimacy. Women can share more with their superiors, colleagues, and juniors, maintaining and fostering meaningful connections at all levels.
Many women, mothers, in particular, are highly adept at handling everyday concerns with patience and compassion. These leadership qualities are critical when coping with emergencies at work, and for women dealing with crises comes naturally.
Women are inherently better at understanding, strong-willed, prudent, and mindful as compared to men, and this is what makes them women leaders better mentors than men of emerging potential at the workplace.
Women leaders help foster work-life balance at the workplace as subordinates find it easy to approach them in case of personal or sensitive matters that affect work-life balance.
The emerging workforce believes in freedom of expression, wants to do things because they want to and not because they are told to do them, and does not want to work in an environment driven by command and control.
Women leaders consistently demonstrate passion, enthusiasm, and a deep desire to serve and be served. As leaders, they encourage wise and bold decision-making and consider the say of their team members while making critical decisions, making the environment less authoritarian and more familial, thereby fostering a spirit of teamwork.
Women are natural multitaskers, having solid abilities to respond quickly and decisively to simultaneous and spontaneous challenges at work and in life.
The ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others and relate — has recently gained momentum as essential leadership behavior. Getting the best out of employees calls for nurturing a great workplace.
Therefore, leaders must demonstrate emotional intelligence, which comes naturally to women compared to men.
Related Article: 8 Ways to Improve Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
When it comes to leadership in a corporate landscape, women are seen as the underdogs, which motivates them to defy the odds and make it to the top of the corporate ladder.
By all considerations, a leader’s proper behavior flows from his values and purpose and not from a set of assumptions of what leadership is all about.
When it comes to leadership, reactive tendencies may have helped us reach where we are today, but will not get us to where we want to be tomorrow simply because reactive tendencies inherently contain self-limiting beliefs, are designed to keep us safe and hold us back from achieving full potential as leaders.
The hour needs leaders to develop creative leadership competencies encompassing the following dimensions: Associating, introspecting, genuineness, organizational awareness, and realizing objectives.
Research indicates that when it comes to these five dimensions of creative leadership, women score significantly higher than their men counterparts.
Women leaders have been observed to be much higher in their abilities to associate – create relationships with others and in their genuineness and understanding of organizational dynamics.
Further, women leaders often lead with a win-win mindset, focusing their natural tendencies more on what is most critical to the future they are creating and forging a clear path for their end goals.
Women leaders are distinctly different and much better than their male counterparts in building and nurturing caring connections and developing and mentoring others. These are essential and critical leadership traits, like a leader’s superpower in today’s environment.
Diversity in leadership ranks and positions does have a strategic advantage. Organizations need to develop initiatives and programs that help create a strong pipeline of women leaders.
At an organizational level, maintaining gender neutrality when it comes to leadership can be quite a tricky issue, the main reasons being:
In society, women are often stereotyped, as evident when it comes to occupying high positions in culture, society, economics, or politics, or by advertisements where they are more shown as housewives, etc., rather than as empowered individuals. Such stereotyping tends to undermine women’s likely advancement to leadership positions.
Women often lack support for their efforts at developing businesses and organizations because men believe they are more apt for high-level leadership opportunities.
It is unfair to judge a woman’s suitability for a senior management or leadership position by her weak physical constitution compared to the male counterpart and ignore her outstanding achievements and pursuits of peak performance.
Women have to carry a tremendous responsibility for balancing work and domestic life and often need time to deal with pressing situations.
Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with women in high positions, organizations do not very readily recognize the need for working flexibility for such women, and this inflexibility acts more as a deterrent for women aiming to climb the corporate ladder.
Without any doubt, women do have the scope to play an important leadership role in the success of society, economy, and politics.
What is needed is for organizations to empower their women employees who have the potential to grow as leaders and gradually work towards gender neutrality regarding senior leadership opportunities.
Women need to empower themselves and build a career that would make every woman proud.
The moment is when the world needs to acknowledge the benefits of women’s power to organizations and take firm steps to put more women in leadership positions.