What Happens When Women Lead?

What Happens When Women Lead?

January 4, 2023
Shari Steinbach
Business Skills

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

Although gender equity may not have changed as much as we have wanted over the years, women in the workplace are learning to align their strengths with great leadership. Model women leaders who tend to be empathetic, communal, vulnerable, and persistent are helping companies succeed. Julie Boorstin, a CNBC’s Senior Media & Teach Correspondent, interviews CEOs as part of her “TechCheck” program and has documented what happens when women lead. Here are the lessons she’s learned and how we can apply them to our own lives.

  1. Superpowers don’t always look like powers. Julie’s reporting made it clear that there is no one type of leadership that always works, or one core way to navigate challenges. What was most striking to her was the wide gap between the traditional idea of good leadership and the traits that actually contribute to good leadership. As she chronicled stories of women leaders she discovered their successes were due to their complex and nuanced approached to leadership. In fact, research indicates that for both women and men, a more varied and counterintuitive set of qualities yield better leadership results.
  2. We all get scared, and that’s a good thing. You may know some leaders who appear to have unwavering confidence, but the truth is, no one is ever entirely sure of her- or himself. They simply make the best decisions they can with the information available. Being honest about having a lack of certainty can actually keep you open to absorbing more information from others so you can consider a range of different solutions. In addition, showing vulnerability invites trust amongst co-workers, and they will tend to be more forthcoming with honest feedback. Boorstin states, It’s actually the balance of self-confidence and humility that enables a growth mindset, which seems valuable for anyone.”
  3. Nothing is more powerful than women helping each other. When women come together to lift one another up, powerful things can happen. Asking other professional women for help can eliminate a sense of discouragement and provide the confidence needed to feel empowered and move forward. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work or life in general, it may be time to gather a group of women friends who can help you navigate through your challenges. For tips on how to successfully support other women the workplace check out our 12/7/22 article here