Elevating women in power
Over the years, as a part of Pairee Learning, I have worked with leaders of all ages, genders, and locations. More recently, we have developed a focused program on women leaders, and I myself have had the opportunity to coach several of them.
As we draw close to the year two with COVID-19, we can see that the burn out is greater among women leaders. Though we have stepped into a new era when it comes to work, women are still loaded with more responsibilities than their male counterparts and while there is a gradual change, it is not a distinct one.
Why women leaders are important?
Women bring with them unique skills, abilities, and the much-needed diversity into the workplace. It is crucial for organisations to step up and enable women to tap into their true potential. Only this will help them unleash their self-limiting beliefs and ensure personal growth that will in turn help the organisation as well. Until women move up to top management roles at the same level as men, there will always be an uneven progress to the top.
McKinsey research on leadership behaviours that will be most effective in the future suggests that the traditional leadership behaviours like control, corrective action, and individualistic decision making will be least critical in the future for an organisation’s success. What will be key drivers, apart from intellectual stimulation are five traits, namely inspiration, participative decision making, setting expectations and rewards, people development, and role modelling. What is interesting is that these are exhibited more frequently by women leaders.
Different strokes for different folks
The roadblocks that women face in the workplace are different from that of their male counterparts. Men hardly face disruptions in their career. Women are expected to adjust their professional lives in accordance with their conflicting personal lives. All this has to be dealt with while keeping in mind hard-wired beliefs and biases that are in place across the world. This bias will create a long-term talent shortage as companies will end up losing out on valuable leaders. This is the reason why they must be dealt with in a different way.
Rising to the occasion
It is heartening to see that despite all the challenges that are being thrown their way, many women leaders are stepping up to make a mark in their career. Many organisations are today supporting their well-being, diversity in the workplace, equity, and inclusion, however, it is a tough road ahead. Women at work till date encounter challenges when it is time to advance in the workplace.
Strategy for the future
What we need to do in future is clear. Organisations must take charge and address the concerns of these women and provide them opportunities to shine. Creating a good workplace eco-system, recognition and rewarding women who are successful will play a crucial role in gender balance the eventual success of these companies. For this to happen, it is crucial to bring in learning and development specific to women leaders.
Journey based leadership program
These last couple of years, it has been interesting to see companies promoting women leaders as a part of their diversity and inclusion initiatives. I have personally seen women, through the journey-based programs Pairee Learning has run in progressive organizations, have shown exceptional improvement over the course of our programs. After a 10-month journey-based program, they ultimately exhibit a shift in their beliefs, confidence and maturity, and this has a positive impact on both their work and personal front.
It is during times like these that I feel truly satisfied as a coach. The reactions and positive affirmations of these young women leaders are truly a wow moment!
Here’s to boosting women leaders of the future. Remember, each one of us has a role to play in this.