Soft Skills

Women in Leadership Roles

Women have always played a vital role in pushing a human race forward. Therefore, maybe even nature has given her the responsibility to bear a child and nurture her/ him to be a human being. This doesn’t mean that the women in a leadership role are restricted to just that; it means that she has invincible capabilities and phenomenal strength to lead, manage and bring prosperity.

A report named “Women on board” published by the UK government, in the year 2012, says “firms with more women in their senior management outperform their male team members, giving 42% higher returns on sales, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity.”

An article called “What makes a team smarter” published by Harvard Business Review tells us that teams that have women are more intelligent than teams made up of men alone.

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Below are some women leadership qualities which women naturally possess.

1. Communication is said to be a pioneer stone of effective leadership and women outshine men in this arena.

They know how to communicate in order to get this done naturally, but many women are unaware of this quality they possess.

2. The feeling of empathy lies in every woman.

She is born with an ability to understand what others feel which helps her connect easily with her co-workers and subordinates.

3. Women have the habit of setting targets.

They know how to set priorities which gives them the vision to accomplish. Having a set vision is a quality that every leader must possess.

4. Women are true fighters.

According to international research done by Catalyst and McKinsey & Company, they found that women in senior management bring more variety of thoughts and approach the decision-making table more frequently because they have a tendency to look at problems differently. This tells us that women have a different perspective to find solutions and don’t easily give up.

Therefore, as a house needs a woman’s touch to make it habitable, similarly, this world needs a woman’s touch to be sustainable.

However, somewhere women still lag behind, despite so many leadership qualities they possess. According to the latest survey conducted by Catalyst, called ‘Gender Parity In The Workplace’ says only 4% of women occupy a corner office at S&P 500 companies and they hold only 25% of executive or senior-level jobs in those same firms.

Below are the three main factors that come in the way of women’s success

1) Unconscious Gender Biases:

In this world, there are certain stereotypical views attached to a female personality that still create hurdles in their path of success. These hurdles are invisible even though they occur due to some unconscious biases. Sometimes women quite unnecessarily think they are damsels in distress and need a man to protect them, but until they don’t bring an inward change, there won’t be an outward change in the society.

2) Maternity Break:

All women go through this phase where they take maternity breaks and then joining the workforce again becomes difficult for them. Some join, but some compromise for positions that give them the flexibility to juggle kids, home and career together. These women never take the initiative to opt for higher positions.

3) Lack of flexible work options:

Very few organizations have daycares installed on their work premises. Such facilities give mothers a chance to peruse their careers efficiently. Nowadays, in order to give mothers a helping hand, many organizations give females liberty to work from home. Such initiatives must be taken at all types of organizations irrespective of their size and culture.

Regardless of these hurdles, some women are still making a benchmark.

We bring to you three examples of the toughest and smartest women in leadership who are leading the world while following their inner calling.

1) Angela Merkel:

Forbes has listed Angela Merkel among the top ten powerful people in the year 2016. The world-famous magazine further states, “If there is a single leader who is able to defy existential economic and political challenges to the European Union from edges and core, it has been German Chancellor Angela Merkel.” This woman leader is known as one of the architects of the European Union.

2) Arundhati Bhatacharya:

Arundhati Bhattacharya, the first woman chairperson of SBI- India’s largest bank, has been ranked among the top five most powerful women in leadership finance by the Forbes magazine. This revolutionary lady has transformed the traditional 200-year-old bank into techno-savvy lender by introducing SBI IN TOUCH – Digital Banking Outlet, Mobile Wallet State Bank Buddy, SBI Tech Learning centres for educating customers, State Bank Anywhere – a Banking mobile application for Smartphones and SBI e-pay – a payment service. Due to her outstanding leadership, the country’s youth prefers SBI over private banks and today, SBI grew to 17000 branches giving service to over 330 million customers with a presence in 36 countries.

3) Malala Yousafzai:

Her name goes into history as the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner who won the award at a tender age of 17. She started humanitarian work to spread education among girls in the remote area of Swat Valley in Pakistan which was under a Taliban Rule. She even almost sacrificed her life for the cause. Malala rose to fame after this incident and the United States took her noble initiative ahead by launching a campaign that demanded education as a birthright of all children around the world. Today, she is considered one of the most influential people throughout the planet.

If you have more examples of powerful women in the world, do share their achievements with us in the comment section below.

Kudos to Girl Power!

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