As a co-author, I’m delighted to share a sneak peak series to the new book on women and leadership—The Female Leader (2014, PWNbooks.com), co-authored by 33 international consultants, coaches and leadership experts, sharing our behind the scene must-haves for every professional woman seeking strong leadership strategies.
Let’s begin with advise from my co-author, and new friend and colleague based in the UK – Nicole Dominique Le Maire – with an introduction to her chapter, “Being!”
Embracing the Female Being for Leadership Success
The global workforce is always changing and evolving, and while female entrepreneurship is rapidly growing, there is an urgent need to broaden women’s aspirations and career choices.
The stark gaps between traditionally male and traditionally female careers are more obvious in certain economies and there is a need for those economies to create skills enhancement and provide opportunities at every stage of a woman’s career in order to develop more dynamic working environments.
What makes women different from men in the workplace?
Organizations are pressured into treating people as individuals, and traditional roles are no longer valued. At the same time, the differences between women and men are not acknowledged and understood. Our behaviors differ at a bone-deep level; it is in our neurobiology and in our upbringing and cultural training.
Women behave differently to men in the workplace, and women’s behavior is subconsciously in most cases, and consciously in others, labeled as wrong, when they are really just different.
In truth, women in the workplace bring added skills such as questioning, risk-taking, consensus building, emotional cue reading, empathy and connection to the role of leadership. The emotional nature of this type of leadership is seen as a weakness. Organizations have to come to terms with the woman’s role and understand that diversity is an asset to a stronger, more competitive leadership team and a more productive organization.
How can a woman develop opportunities for herself?
As a woman, it is important to embrace your diversity. While authenticity is not embraced in many corporate environments, it is important for a woman to embrace it in herself, and for Human Resources departments to acknowledge it in order to retain skilled female leaders.
Authenticity is key to fulfillment, and success grows from that.
Women want to be themselves. They want to be honest, transparent, true and authentic in order to feel fulfilled and to thrive in the workplace. Due to the fact that leadership doesn’t appreciate this need, women are leaving the workforce to pursue their own businesses, where they can create an environment that delivers that level of fulfillment.
As a result, women succeeding as entrepreneurs are a loss to the corporate world.
How can a women celebrate their Being in the workplace?
1. Shift awareness from ‘doing’ to ‘being’
Companies can inspire their female talents to make a shift in awareness, changing from doing their jobs to being the talent that leads the organization to a new level of success. However, as a woman, you can encourage your organization to do this by effectively communicating the importance of inclusion and diversity.
2. Celebrate your gifts
It takes courage for a woman to claim her stake in the workplace with authority. Support those female leaders that empower others and who walk the talk. These are the women who create powerful role models of female leadership.
You can hone in on your own gifts and celebrate them, rather than trying to hide them in order to fit into the corporate gender-mold.
3. Reconnect with you
Unless you make time to reconnect with yourself, you will have difficulty staying grounded to your authentic self.
Stay tuned into your own gut-level authenticity by making time to reconnect with your passions, and by fine-tuning your skills. Embrace your personal authenticity, confidence and self-worth. Enhance your decision-making skills, your communications.
By encouraging women in the workplace to be themselves by following the three strategies above, companies will retain more of the plentiful talent that is being lost every month. However, companies can help women develop at every stage of their careers, retaining strong, skilled leadership and talent.
Nicole can be contacted via www.TheFemaleLeader.biz
By Nicole Dominique Le Maire, ‘Being!’ (Chapter 29) in The Female Leader.