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A successful leader inspires, motivates, mentors, and directs others toward a higher goal. Let’s be honest here: you’ll have to do more if you’re a woman in our male-dominated business world.
According to a study by Calpers, successful women leaders have common traits that are found in all good leaders: assertiveness, a mindset of action, the ability to take risks, and problem solving. However, they must also acquire other qualities to succeed and overcome the many obstacles they face at home and in the workplace. Over the years, women have advanced in the ranks of the professional world to represent more than half of the U.S. workforce. However, women continue to occupy a much smaller proportion of leadership positions in various sectors than men.
Gender disparity in leadership remains very high. Experts say one of the reasons for this is the unconscious bias that causes people to react differently to male and female leaders; for example, masculine ambition is often praised. In contrast, female ambition often results in hostility. In addition, women are expected to be more compassionate, ethical, and better at forging commitments than men.
How can women entrepreneurs succeed in a male-dominated world? The following are some of the qualities I found useful during my trip as a founder and entrepreneur of a company.
Related: Rise of women entrepreneurs
Integrity (adhering to ethical or moral principles and keeping your word) is critical to effective leadership. In addition, it builds valuable trust with people, from the employees you lead to the investors and partners you bring to the customers you serve.
People want to follow an ethical leader who acts with integrity, because they can be sure that they will be treated fairly and that their leader will do the best for the organization. In addition, ethical behavior, honesty, and respect starting at the top are crucial to creating a corporate culture based on these values.
2. Humility and desire to learn
Entrepreneurship is a lifelong process, and smart businesswomen understand that. The business world is changing so fast that today you can be innovative and tomorrow obsolete. Successful women entrepreneurs continue to learn and study so that they can quickly adapt to the ever-changing trend. They humble themselves and learn when the opportunity presents itself.
3. Resilience and persistence
Regardless of your gender, entrepreneurship is challenging and full of uncertainty. With the heavier responsibilities that women have and the slowdown in the professional drive that often comes with having children, the challenge becomes even more complex. However, millions of women create businesses thanks to their resilience and perseverance. In business, nothing good is easy. To be successful, you have to work hard and persist in what you want. Persistence is necessary to grow as an entrepreneur.
Related: Women entrepreneurs redefining the business
Women have a strong sense of intuition. In addition to using facts and data to guide their decisions, strong women leaders can also leverage their intuition to orient themselves. Intuition is often what guides them through the ups and downs of business.
Women are also experts at reading their equipment and detecting potential problem points. With this skill, they can create loyal teams of employees who feel valued and understood.
Taking action is essential, but a deep understanding should inform you of your customers, your industry, and your market. Women leaders are curious and open to new ideas.
Adaptability allows us to see the changes approaching the business, which is especially important in this age of technology-driven high-speed changes.
6. Communication skills
Communication and leadership go hand in hand. Women are not only good at talking, but in general they are also good at listening and listening. Communication goes beyond talking. Women have an innate ability to perceive body language and feelings. Having a deep understanding of what drives people, women are great motivators for their teams.
Women are socially conditioned to be more empathetic. Naturally, we serve as caregivers and peacekeepers. Future generations value spending time with their families and their mental health more than their predecessors, and are looking for entrepreneurs who understand their unique circumstances. Employers can create loyal employees by connecting on an emotional level.
Related: 6 starting tips for women entrepreneurs
8. Strong support system
It is common for successful women to support their female counterparts, advocate for women in the workplace, and help others rise through the corporate ladder. Women are less likely to be “lone wolves” or “herd leaders,” lending themselves naturally to helping others.
As women, we must support each other and strive for recognition and support for our local communities, online, and our industries, influencing decision-making and systemic change.
Don’t be afraid to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Will it be a challenge? It sure will be. Will you get discouraged sometimes? Sure, but that’s what should keep you going. You need consistency, determination and a refusal to give up to take your business to the next level. You are not alone.
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