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It is no secret that the business world has an apparent shortage of vibrant and creative women in the position of leadership. This causes great imbalances in the workforce – especially in aspects of diversity of ideas and variation of approach to solving problems. For this reason, female leadership is fast becoming a thing as firms and companies clamor for the balance, resourcefulness, and efficiency they offer.
However, just like every benefiting development, female leaders are faced with some difficulties and unique problems that affect their chances of success. The majority of these problems stem from the usual notion and falsely perceived idea of women’s inferiority – when in reality, we have more often than not proven to be better than their male counterparts in crucial aspects of leadership. Hence, as a female leader or an aspiring one, you need to possess a positive mindset towards leadership, leverage on your unique strengths and experiences, and face the challenges head-on with resilience and doggedness.
To prepare women for the position of leadership, further strengthen and equip the women leaders, and offer insight into possible problems they might have to deal with along the way, I have come up with this piece:
Advantages of female leadership and the obstacles you will encounter.
Though tasking and challenging, females handling the mantle of leadership come with lots of advantages. Some are discussed below:
Emotional intelligence helps enhance collaboration in organizations and workplaces. This is because it is an excellent tool for handling human emotions, which, when ignored, could have a devastating effect on work productivity.
High emotional Intelligence
With no iota of doubt, females tend to possess a high level of emotional intelligence when in leadership. Evident to this is a 2016 Hay Group study by Korn Ferry, which revealed that about 90% of women in leadership positions exhibit traits of emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence helps enhance collaboration in organizations and workplaces. This is because it is an excellent tool for handling human emotions, which, when ignored, could have a devastating effect on work productivity. Some of the entrepreneurial competencies are identifying and exploiting opportunities, building and maintain relationships, leading, and taking risks.
When it comes to the individual development of emotional Intelligence some norms are:
- Interpersonal understanding – get to know yourself and others in your work team and environment.
- Taking a perspective view– soliciting different points of view to your team or a solopreneur, you can ask a coach or a personal colleague.
- Awareness of emotions– setting up your principles and values and your own ground rules. What are the main goals and outcomes (legacy) you want to achieve in your personal and career life? What are the resources that you are using to make it happen? And lastly, which are the main principles and values you are using as the foundation for your leadership and emotional Intelligence.
- Caring- this is a process, don’t be stern with yourself. Regularly evaluate yourself by observing your patterns, be flexible, validate, respecting yourself, and adapting.
In summary, having more women around means that emotions and feelings are better managed so that the working environment becomes a happier, healthier, and balanced one.
Enhances diversity and inclusion
Any kind of diversity is very much welcome in organizations and companies as it transforms the workspace into a breeding ground for innovative and futuristic ideas. Gender diversity plays a big part in this as men and women are likely to have formed different perspectives and views on issues.
These differences in opinion, improve leaders from both genders as they prove challenging and to educate to each other. This is an essential part of running any organization or business as it gives way to creative ideas inspired by male and female interaction.
From a statistical survey, women make a large percentage of consumer purchases, which can be of great use to any company looking to improve sales. The power possessed by the female consumer proves that women are more capable of providing unrivaled customer insight, which would help boost advertisement effectiveness and sales.
Holds massive economic power and offer essential customer insight
On the other side of these advantages are challenges and unique obstacles that stand in the way of women in leadership positions across different levels. These obstacles vary and can show up in the form of a glaring wage gap, and female leaders need to have the right mindset and orientation to tackle them.
What unique challenges do female leaders experience?
Below are a few of the problems facing women in leadership positions and possible solutions. For more on the obstacles encountered by women and the possible solutions, you can contact us at “Pilotg7”.
More often than not, female leaders find themselves among a large number of males. This makes females stick out like a sour thumb in many settings. This alone heightens the amount of pressure a female has to overcome to excel.
Studies also show that female leaders are more likely to face bias and discrimination in the workplace because of how few they are compared to males. Another issue associated with male domination is the lack of mentorship opportunities and needed support networks for leading females. A good percentage of females find it difficult to access the necessary networks that could provide needed guidance.
This is because female leaders often prefer to be guided and supported by females like them who have a better understanding of what it is like to be in their position.
To address this issue, leading women are often urged to take advantage of their unique skill set and make it difficult for them to be left out or ruled out. Also, women leaders are encouraged to take up more mentorship roles to help lift up and improve any ambitious and hardworking female. That is not to say men do not have a role to play, but the women have to grab their opportunities by their scruff of the neck.
Lower success level in payment negotiation
In many organizations and companies, leading women are paid lower than their male counterparts. This problem is caused by female leaders’ lack of willingness to request higher pay for their roles in workplaces. A study recently carried out by Glassdoor indicated that women’s problems with salary negotiation are the main driving force behind the gender pay gap. The study reported that 32% of women surveyed negotiate their pay versus 50% of men.
However, there have been studies that countered the conclusion of the one carried out by Glassdoor. One of such is one done by the University of Warwick and the University of Wisconsin in 2016. This study’s outcome was that women were as likely to negotiate their pay as men were but less likely to actually receive a pay increase.
Although these studies are contradictory, it is widely believed that male leaders are much more confident in their abilities than females who often see themselves as inadequate. This puts them in a position to receive less pay than males.
To counter this problem, women leaders are usually encouraged to have the mental fortitude to demand what their work deserves and have much more confidence in what they offer.
Unlike most of their male counterparts, female leaders have to consider making decisions because they usually have to balance family-related commitments such as raising kids. Female leaders sometimes have to take breaks from their careers because of these commitments, as they are not usually given special consideration in most cases.
Difficulty in achieving a favorable personal life and work balance
The maternity period and home activities have often been a stick people with women leaders with over time. However, studies have shown that nursing mothers or mothers generally in leadership positions have as much drive, if not more, to excel than the other female folks. Hence, women leaders are often advised not to lose motivation due to motherhood. Instead, it should be a driving force to make them better and indispensable part of the firm.
Plan of Action- Leadership Mindset for Entrepreneurs Women
Like any other position that humans find themselves leading, being a female comes with pros and cons. As a female leader, you need to be more confident and self-assured to use the advantages and overcome challenges.
Females in leadership positions should also build on their strength and banish the mindset of having to face all the odds alone to increase their chances of success and make it easier for more females to make it to the top.
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Miles of Blessings
Always remember to Embrace your Uniqueness.
Be a Leader. Be Quality.