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How 7 female leadership skills breed success for organizations

While many industries are making a real commitment and real progress towards a diverse workforce, unfortunately, still only 15 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are female according to a McKinsey report. So perhaps it’s time to look again at the benefits of female leaders and how their particular skills breed success.

There are, of course, good and bad leaders across all genders. However, the instincts and qualities of males and females do play a role in the characteristics they are able to bring to leadership roles, so this is worth exploring in more depth. Then we can better understand how male and female leadership styles influence a team to achieve success and learn from each other, so organizations can benefit from the different leadership skills.

Let’s delve into what females can bring to a management role and what we can learn from this.

Is it still a man’s world in the C-suite?

Gender-specific obstacles have not been eradicated, as the McKinsey data shows, although we are making improvements and moving closer to greater gender-balance. However, many female managers report that they struggle to overcome the typical stereotypes and gain acceptance at a senior level. There has also been a scarcity of female role models at senior levels in many industries, such as the project management profession and the construction industry.

With females under-represented in leadership positions, there is a misconception that they ought to be more like males in business. Yet we know from research by McKinsey and others that when there are more females in top leadership roles then profitability, revenue, employee engagement and retention rates are all higher. That suggests females already have the skills to succeed in leadership roles, and perhaps we should encourage more exchange of ideas and approaches between men and women at senior levels for the benefit of all, and, not least, the bottom line of an organization.

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