Female leaders bring skills, expertise, and relationship-building skills that elevate company culture. Every professional is different, but women will lead differently than men through ethics, respect, and compassion.
Why We Need Female Leaders in Business
There are several reasons why we need female leaders, including:
- Women value balance between work and life – many women business leaders balance family duties, kids, and extracurriculars, in addition to their regular workday. Therefore, women leaders will know how to prioritize initiatives, multi-task, and favor work-life balance.
- Women leaders show empathy – empathy is critical for building and maintaining relationships in business. Women leaders will be skilled at understanding employees and then implementing change to boost morale and productivity.
- Women have strong critical thinking skills – women leaders assess and address crises effectively. Organizational growth and change will demand a level head, where women leaders thrive.
- Women are excellent written and verbal communicators – leaders must communicate well with all personality types and employees. Effective communication will also ensure that cross-functional teams and stakeholders are on the same page.
Women business owners possess powerful traits that allow them to excel in leadership roles. They have what it takes to weather a company through a storm, but they also know how to communicate and empathize with others. A women leader who values balance will also create a strong workplace culture that retains its employees for the long run.
Factors and Challenges Affecting Female Leadership
So, what are the main challenges for women business owners? In the last half-century, female professionals have made impressive strides in the corporate world. Even when the conditions were tough, several women advanced to leadership roles. However, there are still several factors affecting female leadership, including:
- Sexism – inequal work environments, sexual harassment, and subtler comments involving sexism
- Stereotyping and gender bias – because women are less assertive on average (considered weaknesses of female leaders), employers might lean more toward men for leadership opportunities because of their aggressive, strong, and direct demeanor.
- Weaker leadership networks – because men historically dominated the workplace, they might have more established leadership networks. Women do not enjoy this same access, which could delay their quest for future leadership positions.
- Responsibilities with the family – professional women will typically share a big portion of household activities, including caring for family members. Balancing these traditional responsibilities with leadership aspirations can be challenging.
Leadership Tips for Women Business Owners
There are millions of women business owners who overcome these challenges and excel as meaningful business leaders. There is no universal path for rising the ranks. However, below are five strong behaviors and tips for women to rise as leaders in business.
Find a Mentor
Mentors and business coaches are essential because they guide you through unfamiliar territory. A true mentor has walked in your shoes before. Because mentors gain skills and experience, they can provide advice for female leaders. You might not follow the same path as a mentor, but your journeys should be filled with similar obstacles.
A mentor can be someone you meet with regularly. You can update them on your leadership journey and seek feedback in times of need. A mentor is someone you can trust with all your hesitations, fears, and successes. They should be a reliable resource for you as you navigate through the corporate ranks.
Join Networking Groups
Networking groups are an effective tool for expanding your relationships. These groups meet every week, month, or quarter to engage with each other and share value. The people you meet here are like-minded individuals who want to maximize their careers. You will learn skills from others, but you could also make connections that eventually turn into future leadership opportunities.
Ask for Feedback
If you look to advance at a current company, seeking feedback can be critical. You might have a viewpoint or self-assessment of your leadership capabilities. But how do other people see you? Asking meaningful questions can uncover valuable things to improve upon.
Seek feedback from people you engage with regularly. This feedback could come from direct reports, cross-functional stakeholders, or people in upper leadership. Being a better leader for other people will allow you to rise through the ranks quicker.
Showcasing confidence in yourself is something that every leader needs. Every interaction is a chance to strengthen your brand. displaying this confidence in yourself can happen during presentations, performance reviews, and everyday conversations. Your confidence should instill a belief in people that good things happen when you are around. confidence is also infectious and will elevate the company culture.
Learn How to Delegate
One of the essential steps in female leadership development is through delegating. The best leaders know what they are great at, but they also know the areas in which they struggle. Knowing who in the organization can assist with your weaknesses will be critical. Identify the strengths and capabilities of your team members, and then assign them projects that will help them grow.
Advice for Female Leaders from Successful Female Entrepreneurs in 2022
Some of the best mentors in your life might be people you have never met. Studying the behavior and words of established leaders is also another effective tool for growth. Below are some inspirational quotes and advice for female entrepreneurs.
- “Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.” (Katia Beauchamp, Co-Founder, and CEO of Birchbox)
- As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow.” (Himanshi Bhatia, Founder, and CEO of Rose International)
- “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” (Barbara Corcoran, Real Estate Mogul and Investor from the television show “Shark Tank”)
- “Surround yourself with a trusted and loyal team. It makes all the difference.” (Alison Pincus, co-founder of One Kings Lane)
- “Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them feeling empowered and accomplished.” (Lisa Cash Hanson, CEO of Snuggwugg)
About the Author, James Webster
James Webster, founder and CEO of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.