• Sharon Gill

A Guide For Women In Leadership At Any Age



I recently read an article by John Eades entitled "The Biggest Leadership Trends to Know for 2020" and was encouraged by the trend toward an increase in female leadership. The article stated that while women were effective and productive in positions of leadership, the challenge for HR was providing more leadership development opportunities so they could be promoted from within. (Read article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/biggest-leadership-trends-know-2020-john-eades/). I want to piggy back on that article to offer some feedback regarding effective leadership development and integration for female leadership in the 21st century.

I call them the Big 'C's.


The first 'C' addresses the Culture that upper management needs to change surrounding the perception of women leaders in the workplace. As a female leader I have personally experienced a double standard in the past and I am certain is still ongoing for many. It may be subtle but at times overt. For example, a male leader handling a challenging situation may be described as 'assertive', while a female leader in the similar situation would be deemed 'aggressive'. There is also this assumption that female leaders are more emotional than male leaders and therefore should be taken less seriously. Words like 'vindictive', 'spiteful' and 'b..ch' are used more to describe female bosses than their male counterparts.



On a positive note I have seen a great effort to address the corporate culture in major organizations, but this need to trickle down to mid and small companies.


The next 'C' I would like to highlight is for the female leader to develop rock solid Confidence. Speaking from my own experience coaching female entrepreneurs and from conducting an online survey of several thousand female followers on my Facebook Fan Page, the number one setback for a female leader is a lack of #confidence. It has been well documented elsewhere that a woman may have more credentials/qualifications than her male peer yet still feels less smart, ask for less raise, and demonstrate less confidence. This is internal and has nothing to do with corporate culture. This requires a shift in the #mindset of the female leader.


I developed a confidence course for women a few years back to address some of these issues. The Confident Woman




My third and final 'C' is Connection. The female rising star must seek to connect with sponsors, mentors and coaches in addition to other leadership development activities. A sponsor in an organization can open the proverbial door for promotion, while a mentor helps to guide you while you are there. Coaches are paid to help you reach your goals by providing accountability and feedback. Connection also includes peer groups and masterminds that expand the field of opportunities available for that up and coming female leader.


All in all, the landscape looks very good for the rise of female leadership in the coming years. Let me know what you think!


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