This article is part of our female leadership series, in which which we will question what it means to be a good business leader, why we need more women in IT and Tech, and what steps can be taken to achieve diversity goals.
To start our female leadership series off this article will define what it means to be an effective business leader. These qualities and capabilities are not limited to women, however, women still only make up 17% of CMO roles and 16% of CIO roles in organizations globally. Therefore, there is still room for improvement where female leadership is concerned.
“Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Herman Hesse may be right that wisdom cannot be taught, and can only be learned through experience. Therefore this article doesn’t serve to tell you how to break into leadership but educate on the skills and abilities that are recognized in effective leadership.
It’s easy to identify the qualities of a capable male leader, but what about a female leader? At the moment we don’t know who she is, what she looks like, and how she behaves – so lets try to define this.
SHE IS INCLUSIVE
There is a unique perspective that you can provide as a female leader, and it’s important not to forget that. Female leaders have been acknowledged to encourage inclusion in their teams, strengthen group identities, and share power with those she leads. Therefore, the inclusion of women in business leadership and the diversity this provides is beneficial for organizational growth and innovation.
SHE IS EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT
It has also been highlighted by Nina Angelovska that women are more capable of being people-managers, as opposed to men who are task-focused managers. She says that ‘AI is expected to automate most of the task-oriented elements of leadership, we can expect that people-managers will be in demand, hence making room for more women in leadership positions.’ Therefore, as the landscape of business leadership changes emotional intelligence will be a valued quality of future leaders.
SHE ENCOURAGES COLLABORATION
A mark of a good leader is the ability to make team working more natural in the workplace, and as collaboration within the team grows so does its ability to adapt to business trends and build on its productivity. Women have the ability to be flexible in their working style and to strengthen their relationships with others, which means they are more able to achieve company objectives.
SHE TAKES ON THE CHALLENGE
Connectamericas.com notes – researchers have found that women experiment with their leadership behaviour, they are precise in making decisions, and embrace the challenge of leadership. In fact, in a Harvard Business Review they found that women are rated higher in most leadership competencies than men, which highlights a significant problem in businesses today. Why aren’t more women business leaders? However, what this does mean is that women are equally as competent and motivated in leadership roles as men.
SHE CAN OPERATE IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS
Have you ever heard the term, ‘women are better at multitasking’? Well, this may be true, as female leaders are reported to be much better at working in multiple directions at the same time. This means that they offer the advantage of being able to face a business crisis in an effective and productive way.
Therefore, it can be said that men and women can learn from each other as business leaders. Women can learn to be more assertive and confident in the workplace, whereas men can learn how to be more people-oriented and inclusive. However, this article shows that effective female leadership is just the embodiment of good leadership skills, and we can see visible business results as a consequence of these qualities.