Career Strategy and Business Support for Women: 5 Tips for Leadership Women


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Much is written and talked about equality of women, but the reality - especially in everyday working life and in Company - unfortunately often looks different. A study now shows where it is at fault and what could make women and employers better.

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Fiona Elsa Dent 92 Fiona Elsa Dent is Director of Executive Education at Ashridge Business School.

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Vicki Holton vicki_holton Vicki Holton is Research Fellow at Ashridge Business School, UK.

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Guide manage

The complex area of ​​leadership is an area that is rarely completely manageable. Just say goodbye to controlling all aspects of your area of ​​responsibility.

All you can do is understand your own style, skills, and procedures, and know what you can do to develop them to be even more effective.

Women have less role models than men

Effectiveness and performance is not the problem of women and leadership. In fact, the problems lie elsewhere: as we know from our research, but also from other studies, women have less role models than men and often find it difficult to compete on an equal footing with their male colleagues for career success.

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In addition, we see in our work again and again business people who have held leadership positions for some years before they clearly understand their style, their strengths and strategies. So what tips can we give to leaders who want to make a career?

5 Tips for Career and Leadership Success

From our point of view, the most important thing is to develop your leadership strategy - Know your abilities and skills and play to your strengths. This includes:

  1. No macho leadership: From our research and our teaching and consulting experience, we know some organizations in which older women considered it necessary to adopt existing leadership styles for men / macho; their goal is to be as hard if not tougher than men. We believe it is possible to take a different approach, and maybe the younger generation of female executives may feel safe enough to do so. We would also give some advice - Macho leadership should not be seen as an "ideal" as it often creates a toxic culture of fear that is not healthy for the organization.
  2. Be clear about your personal leadership vision: Understand your preferred leadership style - and develop the ability to do so when needed. Be honest with yourself about your preferences, any restrictions and work with others to get feedback.
  3. Be authentic: Be true to yourself and feel comfortable with your leadership style.
  4. Explore your leadership image together with others: > Ask for feedback on your style and impact and the impression you leave.
  5. Train your voice: Many women have a high voice that is thin and therefore not easy to hear. Therefore, we recommend women to train their voice and use it to make their voice heard. Those who do not make their voices heard and do not speak with a certain authority will not be fully respected.

Examples of successful women's management

There are some outstanding examples of politics where women have recognized the need to manage their image for greater success,

  • Margaret Thatcher used vocal training to create a deeper sound to improve her performance as she spoke in the crowded and noisy Chamber of the House of Commons.
  • Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was Prime Minister of Norway three times, called the voice of importance when she was asked for her advice for young women politicians.

And what counts for female politicians, of course, applies even more to successful female executives, managers and entrepreneurs.

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