By: 2019 Fellow, Hyasintha Ntuyeko, Founder of Kasole Secrets, LTD.
Gender shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not a person can be a great leader. A person’s leadership abilities should depend on their individual strengths and personality traits. That being said, discrimination remains present in the workplace – the higher up you are promoted, the fewer women leaders you see.
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 her own sources of strength and personal power.
Women must stay true to and act from their innate strengths in their everyday approach to work and overcoming the inevitable obstacles. We 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 business goals.
How can women leverage their unique outlook as leaders?
Women need to identify their unique talents, understand what they bring to their work environments to best enable success, and then, make sure their voices are 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, etc. who can help navigate through an organization and provide a support system.
Importance of women in leadership roles?
Women leaders have a measurable impact on the bottom line due to their in-borne traits which are the essential qualities required to lead, including the ability to collaborate, connect, empathize and communicate. These qualities are feminine in nature and can help build a more sustainable future.
Women leaders are also more likely to provide an integrated view of work and family, resulting in an engaged and promising personal and professional future.
Gender parity in leadership is important because true progress cannot happen without a diversity of perspective in leadership roles. Any institution, whether it is society or an organization, in the present century cannot function effectively without women’s equal participation in leadership activities. Women create a perspective that brings competition and collaboration to organizations and teams.
What can be done?
I believe change begins with you, and each one of us is a leader in their own capacity. Whether for your family, community, in the public or not-for-profit organizations. So, I invite you to connect to this inspiration in whatever form your leadership takes to support, encourage and inspire professional women so they can unleash the bigger impact they feel called to make in society.
And together, we can create a ripple of change that goes far beyond our gender and adds up to a wave that could change the world.