Becoming a great leader comes with challenges and obstacles along the way. Women leaders can face stigma, bias, and discrimination all based on their gender. While there have been decades of progress and determination for more female leaders to rise in the ranks, there is still a long way to go. Now is the time to pave the way for future generations of female industry leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Foster Female Talent
Uplifting more women to leadership roles start with hiring, onboarding, and training. From day one on the job, take the time to deliver intensive training and development to foster talent, no matter what an employee’s gender may be. Today, not many businesses have a stellar hiring and training process, which leaves more room for basing promotions off of stigma instead of merit. More women must be given the opportunity for ongoing training, mentorship, and community engagement.
Encourage Women’s Voices
More often than not, a leader in the workplace will have to have an aggressive edge and make sure their voice is heard. However, when a woman shows these traits it comes off as pushy and loud. Over the years women were often criticized for the very traits that men are praised for. Being pushy and aggressive is what helps an employee rise up to leadership roles in the workplace, but women are discouraged from portraying this behavior. It is essential that young female leaders can express the same traits of a strong leader no matter if these traits are based on masculine or feminine norms.
Retain Talented Women
A woman knows her worth in the workplace and will undoubtedly leave if she feels she is overlooked for promotion opportunities or is unsatisfied with work-life balance. Especially when starting a family, women feel their career comes to a halt before it even has a chance to excel. Navigating new family responsibilities, high costs of childcare, as well as poor options for maternity and family leave can easily work against current and future women leaders. It’s imperative for workplaces to offer more flexible and accommodating policies or programs. This is not only beneficial for working mothers but all parents as well, no matter what their gender may be. Without it, more women with exceptional potential could miss out on greater opportunities in their careers.