It’s a very good time for women everywhere.
We have women taking positions of power in government and political offices, we have more women than ever before in CEO roles, and a new generation of women are climbing the ranks of their industries as leaders.
The trouble is that women often find it difficult to find mentors that can guide them into executive roles, without all the competition and cattiness that happens.
Why are women suited to executive level roles?
A study conducted by EY and The Peterson Institute for International Economics looked at the absence of women from decision-making positions and the impact that women have on businesses. The study also wanted to find the answer to the question on whether gender diversity is profitable to global organizations.
Findings of the study concluded that:
- Companies with 30% female leaders can add up to 6% more in net revenues, and those that have females in various levels of executive leadership earn the highest returns.
- Around one-third of all companies were lacking women in c-suite positions, and only 5% of the firms polled has a female CEO.
- Half of all companies had no female executives at all.
- Healthcare, finance, and utilities are the most gender-diverse industries.
There have been other studies on gender diversity in the workplace, including the Dow Jones study from 2012 that showed when a woman is on the executive team of a startup, it’s more likely to succeed. The Center for Women’s Business Research also studied women in business and found that women own 40% of the private businesses in America.
How can women take their place in executive leadership roles?
The business world is slowly, but steadily catching up to the need for more women in executive roles, but only if women are proactively seeking out these opportunities. In some industries that are more female friendly, this has been relatively easy. But in other sectors, such as those in the STEM arena, women have had to fight negative stereotypes and discrimination to rise to the top.
More women can take their place as leaders by understanding that, first and foremost, they have to be their best advocates; and secondly, they need the right support and resources around them.
Here are 3 tools that can help any woman transition successfully into an executive level position.
An executive coach with the right connections and years of experience
In your toolkit of career surprises, you need an executive career coach with a track record of helping women like you head for the top. This is someone who has climbed the ranks of the corporate world and can shed light on what to expect and how to leverage your skills to get there yourself. The best coach is a woman because she will share your unique perspective as a future woman leader. Find the right coach to help you as you focus on career-building activities and reducing self-defeating thoughts.
According to an article on the SHRM blog, “Coaching is most effective for executives who are preparing for a promotion, who are moving into a new role or who have hit a wall in their development.” This is something that needs serious consideration, and so does the selection of an executive coach.
Membership in a powerful elite group of other women leaders
It’s been said that ‘birds of a feather flock together’ and this is true when it comes to fostering leadership in women. In the past, females have typically attacked one another. But now, with more women taking leadership roles around the globe, there is a growing sense of sisterhood that is helping to form elite groups of executive women. Join an organization like this as soon as you can in your career. You will find the information, advice, and resources here to be invaluable at all stages of your advancement and development as an executive.
An exceptional female leadership and executive community include:
The ABWA is a national community of women business leaders that is geared specifically for working women and those who own businesses to connect and support one another. They also have local chapters.
Transformational learning and career building experiences
In addition to becoming part of a network of other powerful women, it is critical to take complete ownership of your success by being a lifelong learner. This learning should come from getting emersed in career-enhancing workshops, events, and other confidence-boosting efforts. Don’t just stop at a college degree thinking it will be enough.
And while you are at this, why not revamp your resume with the help of a leading executive resume writer and career coach? You need to be able to demonstrate in less than a few seconds what you are worth to employers, and a strong resume can help do the trick.