Women and the C-Suite

Change is on the horizon when it comes to women and the C-Suite. For the first time in history, over 10% of women now hold an executive leadership position within a Fortune 500 company. While this number could be higher, it’s important to celebrate the success women are finding in key role positions within companies.

It may not be easy for women leaders to navigate the unique challenges and barriers they face in leadership roles. However, their successes can be attributed to a strong development of skills and abilities that are being recognized by their peers.

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Success for Women Leaders

There are many reasons women belong in such high-ranking positions. One reason, according to Forbes, is that women display stronger leadership traits than men, which was shown in a Harvard Business Review study. The study revealed that women scored higher than men in 17 out of 19 traits considered desirable in a leader. “This data continues to reinforce our observations from our previous research — women make highly competent leaders…” (Harvard Business Review).

Four Strategies for Success

Just like anything worthwhile, maintaining success is hard work. Women executives may want to consider incorporating a few of these tips as a way to continually grow in their leadership roles. 

  1. Growth and development: by building on the skills and abilities already possessed, female leaders can enhance the expertise they hold within their field. 
  2. Leadership skills: leadership skills can be sharpened by building on communication skills,  emotional intelligence, as well as decision-making abilities.
  3. Workplace diversity: being in a leadership position may allow female leaders to create a more inclusive culture for all employees as well as to aid in the elimination of workplace bias and discrimination.
  4. Authentic leadership: remaining true to one’s individual core values with your team, and communicating openly and honestly aids in building trust. It also creates a positive culture with your team that can be easily maintained.
Woman at desk working on a laptop

Inspiring Others

Be a role model to those on your team and encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and be the change they may seek. Instill confidence, provide equal opportunities and offer workplace activities that empower women.

Building A Strong Network

Developing a network of peers and mentors who offer a strong foundation of support or advice when needed is a great resource to have when obstacles present themselves. Relying on a set group of individuals who not only provide guidance is key. Consider adding an executive coach to your network of individuals who can offer mentoring and provide tools that aid in workplace satisfaction.