Women Business Leaders You Should Know About Leading Great Teams

When women are empowered to lead, businesses and the economy flourish. A 2016 survey by the Hay Group found that women outperform men in 11 emotional intelligence traits. These included emotional self-awareness, empathy, conflict management, flexibility, teamwork, and more. These skills are essential to becoming a good leader at work. Decades of studies have proven the role of women leaders in enhancing productivity, collaboration, organizational dedication, and workplace fairness.

Despite the exceptional skills a woman leader brings to an organization, only 10% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. Women continue to confront higher obstacles to success and authority in the 21st century than their male colleagues. However, despite these challenges, women are slowly yet steadily moving up the career ladder. This blog aims to celebrate women making strides and setting an example for other women with a business idea or wanting to grow up to be leaders.

Female Leadership in the Workplace 

Women leaders in the workplaceAs stated earlier, women taking over leadership can have metamorphic effects on organizational performance. Studies have supported the notion that female leaders exhibit transformational leadership skills. Additionally, the simple fact that a female leader is in a position of authority is a beacon illuminating the way to progress and upward mobility. It fosters trust, innovation, and fair treatment in an organization.

An analysis by McKinsey & Company reported that increasing gender diversity at the senior executive level contributed to the highest performance increase in their data set. For every 10% increase in gender diversity, EBITDA rose by a glaring 3.5%.

Also read: This Study Says That You Should Hire More Female Leaders

Importance of Female Leadership

Women are blessed with a unique set of skills and creative talents. Effective solutions are fueled by the structural and cultural distinctions that female executives bring to the table. Their creative standpoint and exceptional awareness enable them to study and uncover the finer details that others may miss. Following are the six ways female leadership benefits an organization:

  • Enhanced Teamwork 

Women exhibit passion, zeal, and the capacity to assume control of a situation when necessary. They are considered good leaders as they exhibit the ability to make audacious yet prudent choices when promoting collaboration within the team. Additionally, the ability to inculcate a family-like feel in the team boosts teamwork across the organization.

Also read: Managing Virtual Teamwork in 2023

  • Superior Leadership Values 

A Pew Research Center Social and Demographic Trends survey report outlines that half of the respondents ranked women as more honest than men. Moreover, most respondents believe women are smarter than their male counterparts. In other cases, women were ranked as being more compassionate, outgoing, and creative. These are some of the essential skills that make a great leader.

  • Enhanced Business-Wide Communication  

Communication skills are one of the greatest strengths of women. Female leaders utilize this power to facilitate meaningful conversations with employees, co-workers, customers, and partners, maintaining an open communication stream to promote clarity.

Also read: Tips on Communicating Better in a Hybrid Work Environment
  • Better Financial Decisions

Since more than half of women are responsible for managing their household finances and savings, investing in women leaders is a smart business move. In a workplace study, it was found that 21% of businesses are more likely to experience greater profitability and lower turnover rates when led by a female leader.

  • Better Conflict Resolution 

Women often reflect more and analyze better, which helps them practically resolve most problems. The resolution of disputes is crucial since it affects the team’s energy level. Men are more inclined to take a more linear approach to dispute resolution in the workplace. They are generally competitive and work toward resolving the conflict by compromising and accommodating.

Conversely, women are naturally good at bringing people together and are more aware of potential underlying issues, such as personality conflicts or authority issues. A great female leader will assist people in resolving a problem to enhance relationships among staff members and avoid a recurrence.

Also read: The Delicate Art Of Conflict Resolution
  • Improved Pay Equity 

It is possible today to see the gender pay gap transformed into a gender opportunity gap. Employing more women in leadership roles provides the benefits listed above and helps close the pay gap more effectively. Moreover, when one organization hires women as leaders, other organizations are either inspired or forced to keep up with the trend to satisfy customer and employee expectations.

Famous Business Leaders and Their Leadership Styles 

Shattering glass ceilings and challenging traditional barriers, here are the five inspiring female business leaders who took risks, persevered, and paved their way to success.

  • Susan Wojcicki, YouTube 

Susan Wojcicki took charge of YouTube, an online video-sharing and social media platform, in 2014. She made her way to one of today’s highest-performing female CEOs. The American business executive is enriched with strong analytical knowledge and innovative thinking.

Her innovative leadership style drove YouTube towards innovation, cultivating a culture of creativity and a conducive work culture. Some innovations proposed under Susan Wojcicki’s leadership that propelled the company’s success are AdSense, the doodles on Google’s homepage, Google Analytics, DoubleClick, and AdWords.

Susan Wojcicki understands the idea of teamwork and encourages employees to add value to the organization by working on new ideas or reworking an existing one. She values and carefully considers all recommendations or suggestions from team members, implementing those that she deems beneficial for the organization. 

  • Falguni Nayyar, Nykaa 

Falguni Nayar, a self-made billionaire, is among India’s top 20 wealthiest people. Her strong belief in taking risks and experimenting with business ideas helped her business scale to new heights.

As a leader and successful businesswoman, Ms. Nayyar has always participated actively in the various aspects of the business, from drafting the overall business strategy to building growth through new initiatives, technology, marketing, and commercial strategy, all while cultivating a customer-oriented business. Her agile methodology and open-minded approach have adeptly guided the company through the challenges posed by the pandemic.

  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon 

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is another self-made woman, ranked among India’s richest women. She is the chairperson of Biocon Limited, a leading biopharmaceutical company. She is a visionary leader, inspiring thousands of women aspiring to become entrepreneurs. Her managerial approach promotes employee engagement and empowerment. Her leadership has cultivated a culture of creativity, excellence, and diversity.

  • Melanie Perkins, Canva 

Canva, the graphic design platform, has helped hundreds of Fortune 500 companies create professional-looking designs. Its co-founder and CEO, Melanie Perkins, is just 34. What’s more interesting is that Perkins was 19 when she first pitched this business idea of an online platform that makes it easy and free to create designs and templates.

Her ability to spot sticking points in industries and her commitment to offering a platform that allows easy creation of custom graphics helped her company reach a valuation of $40 billion. Furthermore, she upholds the values of compassionate leadership and social responsibility, exemplified by the significant portion of the company’s profits dedicated to charitable causes.

  • Tricia Griffith, Progressive 

Tricia Griffith, CEO of Progressive Corporation, is known for her innovative ideas and speaking honestly about women’s challenges in the corporate workplace. Under Griffith’s leadership, Progressive ranked among the top companies in diversity and inclusion.

Tricia played a crucial role in reshaping the company’s human resources department. She helped the company embrace diversity and introduce employee engagement programs, including employee resource groups. Her strategy to cultivate an inclusive culture paid off, and the business started witnessing revenue soaring under her leadership.

Also read: How To Add More Women in Leadership Roles

Summing Up 

In recent decades, workplaces have recognized the importance of gender equality and inclusivity, highlighting the necessity of bridging the employment gap between men and women. Despite considerable progress, there remains room for improvement. It’s crucial for organizations to implement enhanced policies and opportunities for women to address this challenge effectively.

A robust performance management software is one such solution that offers an unbiased and effective solution to managing performance, helping women rise in organizations based on their merit. Engagedly offers a platform that effectively streamlines HR processes to ensure everything remains on track. It offers centralized goal-setting and tracking, keeps goal progress auto-updated with native integrations, and provides real-time visibility into performance review cycles, mitigating the risk of gender bias.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How does gender inequality hamper the progress of an organization?  

Workplace gender inequality hinders innovation and productivity. When women employees aren’t appreciated and their distinct perspectives are ignored, the company misses out on a powerful competitive advantage – fresh ideas and innovation. Women contribute diverse insights and experiences crucial for fostering new idea generation and effective problem-solving.

Q2. What are some of the initiatives that organizations can take to help develop women leaders? 

Organizations can take the following initiatives to encourage qualified women to take on leadership roles.

  • Flexible working options to help women have a more balanced work-life equation.
  • Training and tools to tackle gender bias, negotiate salaries, etc. Female mentors can empower women with this knowledge to help them climb the corporate ladder. 
  • Identify and address unconscious biases to improve employee satisfaction.

Q3. How do employee resource groups help in reducing gender disparity in organizations?

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs or affinity groups) are voluntary, employee-led, and interest-based groups created to build a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with their organizations. Women’s ERGs, particularly help in ensuring equality for women employees. This, in turn, fosters diversity, reduces gender disparity and promotes effective team building.

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