Women in Leadership - The Characteristics of Female Leaders
As a member of Soroptimist and Impact 100, I witness many female leaders doing great things. Women giving back to society has its benefits including making the world a better place, mentoring younger women, and creating opportunities for women to be in positions of leadership.
While some women in leadership positions are celebrated for their glass ceiling-breaking achievements, the overall trend is still not entirely up to par. The U.S. lags behind the global average. We only have about 21% of our senior leadership slots represented by women. This is quite a difference compared to countries in Europe or Asia like China, which holds a 51% statistic.
However, the women who find their way into this coveted position all have similar characteristics that set them apart from their male opposites. The research is still out over which gender role may present better advantages in the long run, but what is certain is that women are gaining momentum and are showing just as much promise, if not more than men.
Female Leadership Characteristics
One of the more common points that gets argued is whether or not women “have the guts” to make difficult decisions. This can apply to a woman’s wealth management situation as well. As a leadership example, there was a popular talking point in the Clinton V. Trump election where everyone was concerned with Clinton’s ability to take a phone call at 3 am. As if suddenly having breasts meant you could not wake up when the situation called for it.
The truth is powerful women tend to have the strength to take risks. We see the challenges they face because of how society views their activities, which creates fertile ground to prove everyone wrong. That pressure cooker actually helps women become better leaders compared to how it excuses men's mistakes.
Women Offer Diversity of Perspective
Women often provide a broader perspective over a challenge. We are more willing to listen to the opinions and assertions of others from varying backgrounds. This innate understanding that the challenge has macro and micro factors empowers women to be more decisive decision-makers.
Women Provide Accountability
There is this foolish idea in male-led media stating you should never apologize or be accountable for your actions. This behavior was reinforced by political leaders over the past few years who openly disregarded any accountability. While some think this is the mark of a good leader, it only reinforces this bad behavior among the company culture they oversee. Eventually, no one is willing to step forward and be accountable for their actions.
With women, you tend to get leadership that acknowledges problems and then works to overcome the cause of these issues. This is a more agile response to problem-solving that offers way more advanced opportunities in how to move forward, often unlocking advantages never before seen in the company or organizational processes.
Women are Empathetic
Let’s be clear - empathy is not a bad word. We are traditionally more empathic because of our natural role as caregivers. That does not make us weak. It makes us stronger because we can bolster our interpersonal skills necessary for management and leadership. This is actually a crucial trait that many Fortune 500 companies are now seeking out in their new hires.
Women are Resilient
Women, in general, tend to bounce back faster from stress than men. We can move past the initial stress of a situation faster and more effectively because we have the innate ability to juggle more ideas and topics than men. Our desire to balance the work-life struggle of life translates just as well into the board room as it does our personal homes.
Leveraging Female-Led Financial Leadership
The list of quality female leader characteristics could fill a few books. The fact is we as women offer the world a new perspective with unique qualities and insights that others may have missed. Look at almost any man in history, and you will find strong, empowered women somewhere in the background doing the essential work, but receiving none of the recognition.
Ironically, that is precisely what we offer at Meyers Financial Services. We are a strong team of dedicated women who are experienced professionals in the fields of accounting, bookkeeping, and budgeting, ready to offer our services to leaders from all over. We specialize in working with strong women who are ready to seize control of their day-to-day finances so they can prepare a brighter future for themselves and their families. Give us a call today to get started with our team and embrace the strength and perseverance of being a woman!
Lillian Meyers CFP®, CDFA®, EA is a Financial Planner for Women in Sonoma, California helping clients live their best life through the use of financial planning, investment management, and other sophisticated financial options.