Written by Daniel Gospodinov
Lucy Fernando knows full well about stereotypes: women aren’t decisive or authoritative, their voices can’t be heard, and they lack assertiveness or self-confidence. Today she’s a well-known and respected master franchise owner at Fantastic Services, who manages a team of handymen and construction workers and has proven those biased people wrong.
While current data still shows great discrepancies between men and women in the C-suite positions, women’s role in global leadership is increasing and vital for many aspects of business, administrative and civic life. And here are Lucy’s thoughts on why this is so important:
Women Are Humble
Humbleness is both a skill and a choice that comes from incredible inner strength and character, and women have plenty of both, but due to anachronistic leadership stereotypes, humility isn’t one of the top traits among many leaders. However, it’s a must-have quality that can make or wreck a business, let alone individuals.
As women are naturally more self-aware and humble, and humility focuses on bringing forth the power within people, humble women make excellent leaders and managers.
Humble leaders tend to have more influence, attract better people, and inspire loyalty and confidence. They bring together people of different backgrounds and cultures and easily unite them behind a common vision. This helps create a healthier, more functional work environment, strengthening the company's core and improving overall morale and productivity.
Women Are Great Mentors
Ideally, a mentor and mentee relationship is a mutually beneficial bond. It is also crucial for career success. However, many women simply don’t seek mentorship or don’t know how to get one, which is a pity, for women leaders make great mentors and have lots to offer.
Many modern women need a strong female mentor who can recognise and develop their talent and help guide them through the trials and tribulations of a career. A woman mentor usually has the experience and deeper understanding of others’ strengths and weaknesses and possesses a keen eye for what is needed to help grow their mentee’s potential and skill base.
And most importantly, female mentors can be role models and inspire and build self-confidence in younger women, which is much-needed in this day and age and makes their role doubly important.
Sometimes, all young women need to do is proactive and just ask. However, the mentee has to show promise, come prepared and be able to ask good questions, and last but not least, learn and respect the mentor’s personal boundaries.
Women Are Great Listeners
One of the greatest needs any human has is to understand and be understood. That's why listening to what someone has to say is one of the greatest forms of respect. And essentially, leadership in any form is about others, so a good leader is ideally a catalyst and an enabler for the group, someone who seeks input from others before choosing the best course of action.
Most women excel at that skill. They tend to actively listen to others and ask follow-up questions, fostering creativity and building more trust and meaningful relationships over time. They are also less judgmental, which fosters open dialogue and collaboration, all requirements for a healthy and productive work environment.
Great listeners also build considerable influence over time and can make good managers who can select the best people for the job, or effective mentors who can better develop talent through insight and getting to know better what someone’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Women Are Team Players
Most women are great team players and have no problem taking on additional responsibilities to help advance the team. They are known for their strong communication skills and naturally collaborative spirit and are more likely to be active listeners.
All of the above helps interpersonal communication and forms strong bonds with others, creating a family-like environment, which over time makes their commitment to the team even stronger.
Furthermore, women are naturally more empathetic than men and will display more solidarity or genuine happiness for a teammate's success. In combination with their deep sense of accountability and dutifulness, all of that can form the backbone of a great team.
Women leaders are naturally great team players, and precisely because of that, they can form and manage a great team themselves. They can also more easily bridge the gap between people of different backgrounds and cultures to form a singular vision and unity team.
Women Are More Transformational
Transformational leadership leads through inspiration, cooperation, and example. Such leaders are often role models who offer their followers individualised consideration and intellectual stimulation. This makes those who are led feel heard and understood and inspires them to rise to new heights professionally and personally.
Women can make great transformational leaders because they possess many of the required soft skills like empathy, communication, and active listening to lead through this particular leadership style.
Transformational leaders foster collaboration and creativity and have no problem letting their followers take the credit where it’s due, all areas in which women excel. This creates a deeper sense of belonging and satisfaction within the team, which increases its members’ overall productivity, self-confidence, and job satisfaction.
Women Are Emotionally Intelligent
Considerable research has been conducted to determine how emotional intelligence impacts leadership and job performance. The data shows that women score overall higher on emotional intelligence, while men score greater in the self-control department.
Higher emotional intelligence means greater empathy, awareness, open-mindedness, and communication skills. That is precisely why women make great leaders who know and understand what makes their employees tick, and how and when to motivate them (or even help them find their own reasons for working at the best of their abilities).
Empathy is also critical for not only attracting but attaining talent. This makes empathetic women in charge more likely to form and maintain strong teams, thus greatly increasing overall productivity while also preventing companies from losing valuable employees.
While female leadership is still struggling to overcome old stereotypes, plenty of women prove themselves to be more than capable leaders who can offer much to the world, proving biased people wrong. The world is fuller, more diverse, and a better place for having women among its global leadership.