A study by Pepperdine University shows that women leaders in top positions continue to break industry records in terms of profitability and productivity. While more women than ever are obtaining professional degrees like MBAs, we are still far from gender balance in leadership in America’s top corporations. Gender balance can be achieved when there is 40-60 percent of either gender.
Some (controversial) studies show that the ways female and male brains are wired are ideally complementary. According to this view, women are naturally wired to act, think and innovate in ways that men are not.
Although it is still debated how much of our differences are due to nature (inherent biological) or nurture (cultural conditioning), the anecdotal evidence of the advantage women seem to have over men points to these three:
Women rock at networking
Having a low threshold to sharing and self-disclosure, women reveal their vulnerabilities quicker than men. Between women, this quickly leads to friendship making and trust. Not only most women make friends easily, they are keen to share their ideas for more input and feedback. As they network, they are knitting a net of trusted friends with whom they can cultivate business relationships and collaboration to build on their ideas.
Many women leaders are known as collaborative leaders. Because they value cultivating relationships, they are masters at understanding what is meaningful, genuine and purposeful for people they interact with. They have a special skill at making people feel heard and seen as they make a point to focus on nurturing healthy, long-lasting relationships – which, in turn, is helpful in business.
When they are out networking, women see a wide spectrum of situations and opportunities that men might overlook as women have a hawk’s eye in paying attention to the practicalities of life. While multitasking is not easy for anyone, it seems that women tend to be more agile in shifting from one task to another and quickly assess what else needs to be done. Businesses benefit from women’s uncanny attention to beauty and detail. Leaders who are said to be masterful at this include Pepsi’s CEO Indra Nooyi, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty and Oprah Winfrey.
Men who work with experienced female leaders quickly learn that most women are focused, diligent and hate to waste time. They will also learn that most women are great connectivity masters: they effectively facilitate connections between resources, people and relationships. This builds long-term, sustainable value to both business and individuals.
Article Author: Kristiina Hiukka is a Seattle-based professional leadership consultant, coach and trainer. She works with CEO’s who are ready to invest in women leaders in their companies. She specializes in up and coming CFO’s, CEO’s, and Management Teams. She believes in creating positivity driven performance cultures. She grooms leaders and facilitates teams at small companies as well as global organizations such as Microsoft, Nokia, and the American Red Cross. She founded Women in Innovation, a community and summit that convenes women leaders with Big Ideas. A native of Finland, Kristiina serves as Honorary Vice Consul of Finland for the State of Washington. Kristiina speaks on a variety of leadership topics connected to her passions: Leadership, Innovation, Collaboration, Communication, and Gender Intelligence http://kristiinahiukka.com/.
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Be Smart About Your Leadership Intelligence – Kristiina Hiukka
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