Only 51 of the Fortune 1000 companies are led by women CEOs. This may seem like a small number, but in reality is a reason to cheer. Women in business have come a long way in the last decade.
It’s also interesting to note the results of global studies conducted by Dow Jones and Catalyst – companies with highest representation of women in the top management performed financially better. A number of organisations have identified the potential of hiring female managers & leaders, namely increased engagement and motivation levels. This has led to women having an equal share at the mid-management level and significantly larger representation at the top level. But India is yet to come at par with global standards. Women comprise only 2.5% of the senior management today and 10% of entrepreneurs in the country.
There are certain innate qualities all women leaders have identified and leveraged to fight the biases and become successful in their fields. Here are some things women leaders do differently:
1. Multi-task efficiently
Given our culture-based gender-roles, women are natural champions at multi-tasking and dealing with interruptions. Those who assume they can’t multi-task just need to find a system & routine that works well for them.
2. Solution-oriented strategy
Women are generally calmer and better at maintaining their cool in difficult situations when compared to their male counterparts. They take a step back, evaluate, and are willing to ask for help and collaborate with others for the best possible results. They are willing to look for opportunities even in the most challenging situations.
3. Make presentations matter
Who better than women to understand that substance and style go hand in hand? They care about aesthetics and pay attention to detail. In the extremely fast paced business world, women certainly know how to make the best first impression, of themselves, their organisation, and their ideas.
4. Stay grounded
Women typically are more humble and grounded, open to feedback and eager to collaborate. They also don’t hesitate to ask for help and are perceived as more down-to-earth and approachable than their male counterparts, making them more desirable as leaders.
5. Work life balance
Women always strive to find the perfect balance between work and home and are better at achieving this balance. As a result, they are more empathetic as managers/team leaders. They focus on family and work equally and allow their peers the freedom to do the same. A woman’s ability to multi-task efficiently is also a key contributing factor.
Woman leaders generally have higher EQ and display empathy towards their subordinates. When a leader is passionate about her job, she can inspire the same passion within the team. They are better listeners and prefer to create a collaborative environment where every team member contributes and helps out, irrespective of their expertise.
7. Show gratitude for work well done
Everybody feels motivated and secure in their jobs when they are praised and appreciated for their hard work. Most women leaders do not shy from giving compliments. Women prefer to know the real person underneath the employee; hence they also take time to provide specific feedback and are quick to offer further training or assistance in specific areas.
8. Take calculated risks
Women leaders have the tendency to take calculated risks, cover all aspects and do what’s best. When compared to their male counterparts, women usually prefer taking decisions which will have maximum positive impact. They cover all plausible loopholes and have a response to every objection that may crop up along the way.
9. Realistic goals
Women leaders tend to be more realistic with their deadlines and goals set for the team. They understand the effort involved and are more willing to compromise on deadline if it means the quality of work is top-notch.
10. Know themselves
Women leaders are generally more honest about their strengths and weakness. They have a realistic perception of what they can achieve which helps them set expectations with the team and clients straight from the beginning. Women also confidently stand for what they believe in and are okay with going against the crowd.