Why Women Make Great Leaders & How to Retain Them

Women leaders - a woman leader speaking in front of her colleagues

Women are finally shattering glass ceilings. Women leaders are rising to leadership roles with increasing momentum. In fact, the number of women in the C-suite level has increased from 17% in 2015 to 28% in 2023. More women under 30 are also ambitious about their careers; 90% of them want to be promoted to the next level, while 75% seek senior leadership roles.

Besides achieving equality, this trend is also smart business. Female leaders offer valuable customer insights, retain employees through empathetic communication, and fuel innovation with diverse perspectives. For these reasons, you should actively seek out and promote talented women. A booming business is the ultimate reward for embracing female leadership.

Read on to learn more about the strengths and qualities of female leaders and how to value them in the long run.

5 Strengths of Women Leaders

Women leaders bring many unique characteristics to the table, which can help your business find its footing and eventually rise to the top.

  1. Empathy
    Many female leaders often excel in empathy. They can understand and connect with the emotions of their team members. This strength fosters a supportive work environment and great company culture where individuals feel valued and heard. When they acknowledge the diverse perspectives and experiences of employees, they can build strong interpersonal relationships and boost morale.
  2. Collaboration
    Most women leaders tend to prioritize teamwork and seek input from various stakeholders as they realize that diverse perspectives make the team stronger. This team spirit sparks creativity and innovation and makes everyone feel like they’re part of something big. The outcome? Smarter problem-solving and decision-making that the whole team can be proud of.
  3. Effective communication
    Female leaders often exhibit strong communication skills. They don’t just talk; they make sure everyone understands and knows what’s going on. Their knack for explaining their vision and really listening to the team creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts. It’s like having a conversation where everyone’s voice matters.
  4. Inclusive
    Inclusivity is a key strength of female leaders, as they actively strive to create environments that embrace diversity. Women leaders often champion inclusive policies and practices. They ensure that all team members, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background, feel welcome and valued. This commitment to inclusivity contributes to a more innovative and resilient organizational culture.
  5. Respectful
    Many female leaders prioritize respect in their interactions, fostering a positive and collaborative atmosphere. They acknowledge each team member and turn the workplace into a spot where different talents are celebrated. This respect-driven leadership style enhances employee satisfaction and can lead to a more harmonious and productive environment.

Common Challenges and Bias Women Face in the Workplace

Recognizing and eliminating biases commonly directed toward women leaders is an important step to help them integrate better into leadership roles. Here are some obstacles that can hinder women from climbing up the corporate ladder. 

  1. Gender stereotypes
    Women leaders face many stereotypes in the workplace. For instance, some people believe that working mothers may compromise their dedication to their careers because of their commitment to their families. On the other hand, female leaders who exhibit assertiveness and confidence are often labeled as aggressive or bossy, while men who have the same qualities are lauded.

    These stereotypes can limit career opportunities since they perpetuate harmful biases and contribute to an environment where companies overlook women for leadership positions or specific tasks based on traditional gender roles.
  2. Unconscious bias
    Some people might not realize they’re treating women leaders unfairly due to the stereotyped thinking that men are supposed to be the leaders at work. Many workplaces also have biases that affect how other employees see women’s abilities to lead.
  3. Gender pay gap
    Unfortunately, many women still earn less than men. In 2022, the gender pay gap for workers of all ages was 18 cents. This disparity not only hinders financial equity but also reflects systemic inequalities in the workplace.
  4. Work-life balance disparity
    Women leaders often grapple with the challenge of achieving a work-life balance, as societal expectations and traditional gender roles may place additional caregiving responsibilities on them. This disparity can impact their career progression and make them further struggle to balance professional and personal commitments.
  5. Glass ceiling
    The “glass ceiling” is like an invisible hurdle holding back women from landing top leadership roles. It’s a challenge fueled by old-fashioned biases and stereotypes suggesting women aren’t fit for executive positions.  

How to Retain Women Leaders in Leadership Roles

It’s one thing to give women a place on the main table and another to allow them to stay. Consider practicing these effective strategies to help your female employees excel in their leadership roles.

  1. Implement flexible work policies
    Flexible work arrangements allow women leaders to handle their professional and personal responsibilities more effectively. It’s not just about making them happier on the job. This strategy is like your company saying, “We’ve got your back.” Observing flexibility is a sign that your workplace is all about being inclusive and supportive.
  2. Promote at all levels
    Create a pipeline for female talent. Ensure that promotional opportunities are accessible across various tiers to break down the barriers of the glass ceiling. When you showcase diverse leadership at every level, you can signal your commitment to gender equality and provide role models for aspiring women leaders.
  3. Offer mentoring programs
    Irrespective of gender, aspiring leaders thrive with a guiding hand on the journey to the top. That said, pair experienced female leaders with emerging talent to provide a platform for skill development that gives guidance and support.

    Mentorship programs contribute to professional growth and create a sense of community. They also make women feel valued and supported in their leadership journey.
  4. Promote diversity and inclusion
    Don’t view diversity and inclusion as a corporate trend. Make it a fundamental aspect of your organization’s culture, not just for retaining women in leadership but also for embracing an innovative workforce.

    One area where you can start promoting diversity and inclusion is recruitment. Train your hiring managers to remove their biases and hire candidates based on their skills and potential. Continue fostering an inclusive culture through promotions, engagement activities, and more. This way, you can reduce employee turnover and grow your business.
  5. Normalize non-linear career paths
    Some women have careers that take various trajectories. They may take job breaks or undergo life-changing experiences. Don’t let these non-linear career paths discourage you from hiring them initially. Acknowledge that not everyone has the luxury only to go down one straight path, and be flexible—letting aspiring female leaders show their potential.

    This approach allows them to navigate their professional journeys more authentically, contributing to greater job satisfaction and commitment to their leadership roles.

Women Leaders Are The Future of Business

The future shines brighter with women leading. Their collaborative spirit breeds loyal teams, their resilience fosters innovation, and their diverse voices spark better solutions. Yet, biases still dim their light. For these reasons, it’s high time to break the mold. 

Champion mentorship, challenge unequal opportunities, and shout about their successes. A workplace that empowers women leaders grows stronger, more creative, and truly thrives. 

Tamika Cua

By Tamika Cua

Tamika Cua is an aspiring freelance writer navigating the adventures and misadventures of adulthood. Her writing explores all things adulting: work, wellness, relationships, and the crazy stuff in between.

Leave a comment

Recent Post

The Tragic Case of Temidayo Awe: One ...

Temidayo Awe's story is that of deceit, robbery and a crime that ended in hea...


May 21, 2024

Scotland National Football Team vs En...

On June 10, Scotland will face England at Hampden Park in a World Cup qualify...


May 20, 2024

Malin Bogue: The Party That Made Head...

Who is Malin Bogue, and why is she in the news? The media ran with a story ab...


May 14, 2024

Inside the Dark World of Marius Gusta...

Marius Gustavson hosted a website that allowed subscribers to view castration...


May 10, 2024

Netizens react as Bayern Leverkusen i...

Bayer Leverkusen is a professional football club based in Leverkusen, Germany...


May 10, 2024