Strategies for Female Leaders

It is an old adage, but can be used to explain a world of realities: men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. In few industries is the gender divide so obvious than that of the digital and technology sphere. In an emerging realm of a limitless number of workplaces, men still outnumber women fourteen to one.

At the same time, women leaders in the sector are few and far between. While IBM’s Ginni Rometty and HTC’s Cher Wang paint an aspirational picture for budding female technology leaders, their cases are a stark minority against a backdrop of the endless march of male leaders out of Silicon Valley.

It is in this context that one must ask the question: as we strive toward a brave, new digital world, how can we encourage female leadership in the sector?

Researchers have found that women tend to have a distinctive leadership style that shapes how they run their teams, known specifically as a transformative leadership style. Transformative leaders aim to enhance the motivation, job performance and overall morale of followers by working within their teams to identify much-needed change, create a shared vision, and lead via inspiration.

If this sounds like a leadership style that resonates with you, read on for these strategies to enhance your performance.

1.    Development, Not Goals

While setting and reaching goals is vital to your business success, transformational leaders view their employees’ development as the key road to achieving these goals. As such, female managers should aim to accomplish their goals by transforming the members of their teams into better versions of themselves.

Here are a few key tactics of transformational leaders:

●     They seek to be a role model to their team members;

●     They invest time in coaching their team members, and take an interest in their personal development; and

●     They emphasize teamwork and genuine communication.

Action items: 

●     Spend time with your team members, and create space to engage with them on a personal level; and

●     Be on the lookout for ways to inspire your team members to be motivated to accomplish team goals.

2.    Ban Bossy

From a young age, girls and women are often conditioned to think of themselves as “bossy” whenever they speak up and take charge. Boys, on the other hand, are often described as leaders for identical behavior. This is a major factor in why substantially fewer women pursue leadership opportunities than men. You can change this.

Action items: 

●     Do away with the word “bossy”, and don’t let it come up in descriptions of leaders or team members;

●     Draw attention to this expectation within your team.

3.    Assign Tasks by Strengths

One of the best things you can do as a leader is to assign team members tasks according to their strengths. Rather than delegate key actions based on time or each members’ workload, learn what each team member is already naturally good at, and play to their strengths. 

            Action items: 

●     Engage with your team members on a personal level, and learn what makes them tick.

With these three tools, you can boost your own performance while helping write a brighter future for budding female leaders.