How Leading Like a Girl Can Inspire Future Women
Empowering women is not only good for women, it’s good for everyone. We all know this. And because of this, more and more women are sitting at the head of the decision-making table. Despite that fact, there is still a disproportionate number of women moving up to senior level positions compared to those entering the workforce each year. Why is that?
It certainly doesn’t have to do with a lack of desire. In fact, a Gallup study found that 45 percent of women express interest in becoming a CEO or holding another position in senior management or leadership. And of that group, 69 percent are very determined to achieve their goal. Where is the disconnect? It seems as we push our way up the corporate ladder, we are forgetting to throw a rope down to future leaders to follow in our path. Many successful women in leadership today value those before them who held the door open to opportunities. Inspiring tomorrow’s leaders can be done in 3 simple ways.
1. Lead by Example
Some women still struggle with an imposter syndrome that inhibits their ability to see themselves as successful leaders. Fear of failure or appearing vulnerable when starting a family can prohibit potential leaders from pushing through barriers to achieve their goals. Today’s leaders can inspire future generations through example. Be yourself and don’t be afraid. Openly talk about your family as well as your fears to foster stronger relationships in your organization through transparency. It is important to show that you can fulfill many roles as a woman and succeed in all of them: Leader, mother, wife, daughter, friend and more!
2. Speak Your Mind
Your voice is important. Find your voice and own it, not only in the boardroom but also throughout the office. Women tend to be less assertive than men in the workplace and will often minimize the importance of what they say when they do speak up—even female executives in meetings with their peers. And “manterrupting” is a big problem. In the boardroom or in the office it is important to avoid being on the defensive.. Find those opportunities to express yourself as opposed to waiting for others to talk. And if someone interrupts you, make a declarative statement like, “I haven’t finished what I am saying.” No apologies needed.
3. Foster Mentorship and Collaboration
The best way to encourage female leaders is through a supportive environment that actively empowers women to lead. Women increase their chances of succeeding in business when they have mentors to provide real-life examples. Mentors encourage women and help them develop their skills. Passing along a useful resource, referring a potential client, putting someone’s name forward for a role that will elevate their visibility or even connecting them to someone else—is there a better way to hold the door open for future generations? Women supporting other women sets off a ripple effect that leaves everyone in a better place.
Women are great leaders because they are great at building relationships, empowering others, tuning into people’s needs, and just being awesome. Once you have made it to the top, don’t forget those behind you, following the path you have blazed through. Be you, and lead courageously...like a girl.
Looking for ways to celebrate the woman in your life who helped you get where you are today? Read these tips and show her how much she has inspired you!