NEWS AND INSIGHTS UPDATE:
Women have unique skills and abilities that make them innately great leaders, but women are still very much in the minority in the world of business leadership. Susan M. Heathfield, the About.com Guide to Human Resources, interviewed Susan Lucas-Conwell, global chief executive officer at Great Place to Work, to gain perspective on how women can build careers as business leaders.
When asked how women can overcome stereotypical challenges in the workplace and leverage their unique outlooks in the workplace, Lucas-Conwell says:
“Whether perceived or real, women leaders sometimes feel pressure to conform to the male leadership model and if she bends to that pressure, she sacrifices one of her own sources of strength and personal power. The first step toward overcoming any challenge is awareness. Once aware, she can put some queues in place to remind herself to rely on her emotional intelligence and the immediate situation demands rather than conforming to some role model and associated actions she is pre-conditioned to think are required.
“Women can overcome this by staying true to and acting from their innate strengths (e.g. creativity and collaboration) in their everyday approach to work and overcoming the inevitable obstacles. Women tend to lead from a more interactive, cooperative style which often results in strengthening the sense-of-team in employees or as we say at Great Place to Work “we are all in this together,” inspiring a higher degree of commitment to strive to achieve the business’ goals.
“Women need to identify their unique talents, understand what they bring to their work environment to best enable success, and then, make sure that their voice is heard. Speak up, speak out, and contribute. Women may experience difficulty with this in many work environments. So, it’s important to find a community within the organization – mentors, role-models, networking groups – who can help navigate through an organization and provide a support system.”
Read the full interview: How Women Can Build Careers via humanresources.about.com