Women have the natural characteristics that have been missing in leadership. Studies show that the impact of having more women in the C-suite – executive-level jobs – is greater than having a woman on the board or as CEO.
There has been much speculation about the working mechanism of the male and female brains leading to gender bias. When a woman understands the uniqueness of her brain; how it works, how to care for it, how to overcome its challenges, how to deal with internal and external biases, how to unleash its full power—there is no stopping her.
Indeed, she becomes limitless. This enables her to bring the best of herself to work, into relationships and how she leads. It also equips her to be a better strategic thinker than organisations normally give her credence for.
‘Women are no longer ‘optional extras’ but are the hope for the business world of the 21st century’
Statistics show women flooding into the corporate world all over the world, working their way up from the bottom, reaching middle management in ever increasing numbers, but then the decline sets in. Many, at this point, stall in their career development or opt out of senior leadership roles or leave the corporate world in order to consult or start businesses of their own. Too few make it to the C-suite where they could have greater power and influence.
This pandemic has demonstrated how effective female leaders are, so it’s time we see more women pushing through to become executives and managing partners in order to influence the changes that will create gender balance. Studies show significantly that when women are in the C-suite, companies make more money and tend to have a greater influence on society.
In order to optimise the gifts of the female brain and at the same time fit into the male-designed work world, female leaders must develop the following leadership and communication strategies:
• Employ strategic and effective decision-making that utilises the whole female brain analytical/intuitive style
• Communicate effectively by understanding the male brain’s propensity to speak the language of facts, actions and results – unlike women who speak the language of feelings and emotions
• Develop high emotional intelligence and resilience by learning to handle internal and external fluctuations
• Build confidence – rewire your brain – and dare to make a difference.
Women are no longer ‘optional extras’ but are the hope for the business world of the 21st century. And in order to normalise gender balance at work, it has to be made a part of the mandate for all senior leaders. It’s about making it a business issue – not a diversity one – where the executive team consistently and convincingly drive gender balance as an essential lever to achieving strategic goals, increasing revenue and boosting the bottom line.