As I write this, it is International Women’s Day. I have worked with and know many women who have and are doing great things leading teams and organizations. But I preface this article saying that these are simply observations. After all, I don’t really know what it’s like being a woman in leadership because I’m not a woman!
That said, I think there are some pretty clear observations we can make about women in leadership.
- Women are underrepresented in leadership positions
Despite the fact that women make up more than half of the workforce, they are still underrepresented in leadership positions. In fact, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, women only hold 38% of manager-level positions, 22% of senior-level positions, and 4% of CEO positions in the United States.
- Women leaders tend to be more empathetic
Studies show that women tend to be more empathetic and nurturing than men. This is an important trait for leaders to have, as it helps to build strong relationships and promote teamwork. Women leaders are more likely to listen to their employees and take their opinions into account when making decisions.
- Women leaders are often subjected to gender bias
Unfortunately, gender bias is still prevalent in many organizations, and women leaders often face more scrutiny than their male counterparts. They may be criticized for being too aggressive or not assertive enough, or they may be judged on their appearance rather than their qualifications and abilities.
- Women leaders tend to promote diversity and inclusion
Studies have shown that women leaders are more likely to promote diversity and inclusion within their organizations. They recognize the importance of having a diverse workforce and understand the value that different perspectives and experiences bring to the table.
- Women leaders are more collaborative
Women tend to be more collaborative and inclusive in their leadership style. They are more likely to listen to input from their team members and work to build consensus. This approach can lead to more effective decision-making and better outcomes for the organization.
- Women leaders tend to have better communication skills
Effective communication is critical for any leader, and women tend to excel in this area. They are more likely to be good listeners and to communicate clearly and effectively with their team members.
- Women leaders can be strong role models for other women
When women are in leadership positions, they can serve as role models for other women within their organizations. They can inspire other women to pursue leadership roles and demonstrate that it is possible to balance career and family responsibilities.
In conclusion, women have made great strides in the workforce and in leadership positions. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities and are judged on their abilities rather than their gender. By promoting diversity, inclusion, and collaboration, women leaders can help to create more equitable and successful organizations for everyone.