“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin
Decades ago, when women began to enter the ranks of leadership in corporate America, they entered not as women, but as men. What I mean by that is that many of us assumed that in order to compete or live up to our male counterparts, we needed to be just like them. We even dressed like them, in pantsuits and oxford shirts. In looking back on my own style choices, I’m pretty sure I owned some clunky masculine loafers. It was about fitting in and being accepted; gaining a seat at the table. But today things are changing. We are seeing the emergence of women as women in leadership roles, which is needed to meet the adaptive challenges in today’s rapidly evolving world.
This is a good thing because we need both strong female and male leaders in order to make good business decisions, create innovative solutions, and write thoughtful policy.
While flurries of articles exist to tell us how female and male leaders are different, and why women are better or worse than their male counterparts, through our work with both female and male leaders at pLink, we’ve come to realize something:
The only person women and men should be striving to be better than is the person they were yesterday.
Our ability to achieve our strategic vision, positive leadership, and a better world will be enabled by becoming better versions of ourselves, and working collaboratively as men and women every day.
The challenge is women still represent a small minority of positions on boards – 20.2% according to research by Catalyst, and 23% in the c-suite according to Korn Ferry. There are still large financial gaps between female and male leaders’ salaries, and in some cases, 42% of women are still showing up as men at work.
The time has come for women to become stronger and more influential leaders by investing in developing their most authentic leadership traits. The more we learn to build meaningful and trusting relationships, raise our self-awareness, have courageous conversations, and strategize and act decisively, the more positive influence and impact we’ll have. It’s all about getting to our peak as female leaders, so that we can complement – not copy – our male counterparts.
So, that got us thinking:
How can pLink help empower and inspire women leaders so that we can help bridge the gender gap in organizations?
Coming in May 2018, we’ll be launching our inaugural ShePeak Women’s Leadership Development Program, bringing together female leaders to share and grow their competence, character, and consciousness in a community of women, facilitated by women.
If you are interested in supporting female leaders in your company, or developing yourself as a female leader, please sign up here to be the first to receive detailed information about the program.