Women in Leadership
Women in leadership roles may not come around often but when they do they show strength and balance of qualities that really push them towards the top. Some examples of female leaders in business and in the world include but are not limited to, Danielle Lee – Global Vice President at Spotify, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook and Arundhati Bhattacharya former Chairperson of the State Bank of India.
The challenges that women face in leadership positions are many, both in their work and personal lives. Society dictates that women must also take on the persona of a caregiver for their children and families. Their genetic makeup also means that they may be disfavoured when applying for jobs, salary increases and even promotions from the fear that their family life would pull them away from their work. They also may be impacted more than men when it comes to redundancies. As a result, women are less likely to find themselves in leadership roles as a result of the struggle to climb the career ladder itself. Some women themselves choose to dedicate more of their time to their families, and are happy not to occupy any leadership roles, and that’s fine too. Juggling home life and work is no easy pitch, yet society’s expectation is still there.
As with time more and more women are investing in their own careers, we’re slowly seeing the emergence of the woman leader which we did not necessary have 50 years ago with some great qualities. Despite this, 93% of world leaders remain male. In fact, according to Forbes just 19 countries worldwide have women leaders. It’s no wonder then, when thinking of the word leader, as a result of societal bias, most people would picture a man, and this could subconsciously affect women to not let them identify themselves in a leadership position and so doubt that they could ever reach such a position. According to a study by KPMG, growing up women were more likely to be thought to be nice and respectful, rather than learn leadership qualities
As a result, the challenges they have overcome to get to their leadership position, women may have developed some characteristics that assist them daily with the role. This isn’t to say that men in leadership have necessarily had an easy time getting there. Although they may not necessarily be occupied by every woman leader, in honour of Pink October, we have distinguished a few characteristics we see in women leaders that have helped them get to where they are today:
Emphatic leaders are able to understand their team and effectively find solutions in cases of low performance, understand the reason behind their weaknesses, and allow you to cultivate future leaders and make informed decisions with this in mind.
Mixture of both male and female traits
As many people have a societal bias to picture a leader as male, or perhaps may have experience with male leadership, women may often take on some masculine traits in positions of leadership whilst upholding their own natural feministic traits.
According to Forbes, it is believed that women are more likely to assess risks in depth and take into consideration expert advice before acting upon or making a big decision.
4. Balance of Authority
As a leader, a woman is faced with balancing authority whilst showing a warm exterior, as women in leadership positions can easily be labeled as cold or shrill. Although some characteristics for leadership are better for either gender, what is becoming clear is that most leaders possess qualities from both genders.
We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of Laferla’s founding directors, the late Mrs Marie Rose Laferla, who passed on the 2nd June 2020. Marie was vital to the establishing of the company not only in her role as a mother, but with her help to get the company set up, her honest advice as well as her never-failing support especially in the early years of the company when there were not as many women leaders as there are today