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Supporting women leaders
August 2, 2015, 1:50 pm

Women have innate characteristics that make them well-suited for leadership roles and allowing them to engage in their own unique management style and tap into their full potential could be beneficial for many companies, says a new study.

One of the main reasons that women opt out of leadership positions is because they do not receive the support they need in this role. They have to deal with unrealistic expectations, stereotypes and very little flexibility in some male-dominated environments. Encouraging women leaders by implementing some gender-focused policies will allow them to grow into a revenue-creating force.

Let the women be women: Women may outperform men when they are in leadership roles, but this typically occurs when they are allowed to be themselves. One study explains that women's leadership style encourages strong, collaborative relationships and teamwork. They want to engage their workers and empower them to make changes. They encourage innovation. However, women cannot fall into this natural leadership style when they are placed in male-dominated roles where the company expects them to ‘act like a man’. Allowing woman to lead in her own way will increase self-confidence, not just for the woman leader, but for everyone that she leads.

Give women an opportunity to thrive doing what they do best: Everyone's leadership style is different and supporting new leadership means being flexible enough to embrace a new leadership style. Speaking generally, women leaders tend to crave conversation and connectedness among employees. Allow women leaders to fulfil this need by letting them engage in different activities that will support this management style. Allow for company outings, brainstorming sessions, and projects that embrace teamwork. This type of environment will generally increase company morale, overall loyalty, and reduce turnover.

Allow for discovery and mistakes: New leaders, whether they are men or women, need some time to figure out their own personal leadership style. This is particularly important for women who do not have active women role models within their own company. Like any new leader, they will make mistakes, and it will take time to adjust. Do not assume that revenues will automatically increase the second you promote a woman. Give the process time and offer support when needed.


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