Being a woman in business comes with its own set of challenges. In some sectors, the business industry is still predominantly filled by men. It can be daunting to enter this environment as a woman, especially if you’re young. You need to find your inner confidence, character and commitment. Your dedication and strength are what make you a successful business leader, regardless of your gender.
Throughout your career, you are likely to be questioned by employees and scrutinised by other leaders in a world that still struggles to promote women to top positions. It’s important to build a thick skin and to remember why you started.
Here are a few more characteristics of a successful female leader.
Men and women are generally assumed to have some different traits. For decades, the stereotype of the female caring nature was defined as a negative characteristic unsuitable for business. In reality, empathy makes you a much better communicator and team player. As such, women learn empathy from a young age, meaning they can communicate with different team members and identify their strengths to get things done efficiently. They can deal with crises by being effective and empathetic in handling the situation: a woman can keep track of various projects and simultaneously deal with employees sensitively. Pretty impressive qualities in a leader!
You need to build your confidence to be a team leader, whether you’re a man or a woman, by being assertive and decisive with important choices. Usually, this comes with experience as you learn about the industry and the mistakes to avoid. It requires a huge amount of confidence to lead a successful business and put your reputation on the line.
Networking is a vital part of the learning process, and your contacts can help you become more confident over time. Make sure to hand out impressive business cards at network events to present your most professional self and so new connections can get in touch with you.
You need to be creative and flexible as a business leader. If a problem emerges, it’ll be up to you to formulate an action plan and decide how you will respond. Historically, women used to be excluded from the business world in favour of more traditionally creative roles. These days, creativity also reaches into the business world, and you need an innovative mind to lead a company. You’ll be called upon to come up with fantastic ideas and solutions throughout your career.
A successful female leader is fully committed to her business. You will face a lot of challenges, stigma, and a few harsh critics along the way. However, determination and persistence can push you through the tough spots and sail you towards success.
If you want to start out as a woman in business, find a female mentor to give you some advice.