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17 Reasons Women Make Great Leaders

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Gender shouldn’t determine an individual’s leadership abilities. Instead, organizations must assess leadership potential by evaluating individual strengths and personality traits.

However, often, women aren’t encouraged to assume leadership roles as much as their male counterparts, which contributes to the lopsided power dynamics of the corporate landscape.

A recent Fortune coverage suggests that women now head 52 organizations on the Global 500 list, which is an all-time high! Besides, their representation is more diverse than ever. In 2020, only one woman of color headed a Global 500 business. In 2023, there were six of them!

Yet, while women’s representation in the C-suite is at its highest, the chasm between men and women in leadership roles remains apparent.

McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2023 report underlines that apart from a consistent underrepresentation of women of color, there’s been a lag in women’s progress in the middle of the pipeline.

The report also sheds light on some myths that exist about the experiences of women and regarding their career advancement in the workplace, including:

  • The biggest obstacles in their path toward senior leadership
  • The nature of their career ambitions in the post-pandemic era
  • The impact of microaggressions in the workplace

The reason behind fewer women being in the pipeline for top positions is two-fold. It’s not just the poor representation of women at such levels, which has grown only by 3-4%, but also the fact that many women are leaving such senior positions at a rate that’s much higher than men doing the same.

A gap exists in terms of promotion, with 87 women being promoted for every 100 men being promoted from entry-level positions to managers. The glass ceiling is no longer a huge barrier to the advancement of women at work, but rather, this broken rung is one of the biggest obstacles to their success.

Microaggressions – comments and actions that hint at a bias against women are having a significant impact on women, the report shows. Whether they’re demeaned or dismissed on the basis of their gender, color, race or any other aspect, it causes a level of stress that adversely affects their standing in the workplace as well as their overall health.

While this report talks about the disparities and issues faced by women vs. men in the workplace, recent research from Leadership Circle shows that women leaders are more effective at showing up as compared to men, irrespective of their age or management level.

The assessment, conducted with over 84,000 leaders and 1.5 million raters (consisting of managers, their bosses, peers, direct reports, and others), measured the competencies of Relating, Self-awareness, Authenticity, Systems Awareness, and Achieving plus Complying, Protecting, and Controlling Dimensions.

These insights affirm their abilities and the untapped potential that companies must unravel. Women may not always realize how poised for success they are in leadership roles, but their potential and skills are undeniable. To support this further, here are the reasons why women make great leaders:

1. They Value Work-life Balance

“Women are great leaders because we are able to balance professional and personal leadership skills. It’s easier to approach a woman leader with a personal request or a sensitive question. I care about my team and their well-being, which includes their performance at work and their work-life balance. I also find women more proactive in becoming mentors, and sometimes it’s already such an open and communicative relationship that the transition to mentor is easy.”

– Amy Killoran, Lead Product Manager, GreenShield Health

2. They Are More Inclusive

“I hate to say there are female and male ways of dealing with power because I think each of us has a male and a female part. But based on my own experience, women will tend to be inclusive, to reach out more, to care a little more.”

– Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank

3. They Are More Empathetic

“One of the criticisms that I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”

– Jacinda Ardern, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

4. They Encourage Free Thinking

“Our emerging workforce is not interested in command-and-control leadership. They don’t want to do things because I said so; they want to do things because they want to do them.”

-Irene Rosenfeld, Former CEO, Mondelez International

5. They Focus on Teamwork

“The women [I’ve worked with] consistently demonstrate passion, enthusiasm and an immense capacity to serve and be served by others. I’ve observed women make bold and wise decisions as leaders while relying on others to be part of their team. The environment is less authoritarian and more cooperative and family-like, but with solid leadership.”

– Katharine M. Nohr, Chief Innovation Officer for Sports Futurists, LLC

6. They’re Good at Multitasking

“Women make great leaders as we are natural multitaskers. The ability to decisively and quickly respond to simultaneous and different tasks or problems at a time is a critical component to successful leadership.”

– Carolann Tutera, President, SottoPelle

7. They’re Motivated By Challenges

“We are creative problem solvers motivated by obstacles. The desire to overcome a challenge fuels us to get things accomplished. Leaders don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”

– Jackie Zlatanovski, Founder, Flik Flops

8. They’re Strong Communicators

“Communication is said to be among a woman’s strongest skills — and female leaders know how to use it! Whether communicating with employers, co-workers, or partners, an open communication stream allows for clarity in executing roles and responsibilities. Female business leaders are able to communicate regularly, clearly and openly.”

– Tina Bacon-DeFrece, President, Big Frog

9. They Dream Big

“Women make great leaders because they have an innate ability to dream big, challenge assumptions and inspire teams — and they know how to translate big ideas into concrete action and results.”

– Angela Dejene, President, Dejene Communications

10. They Handle Crisis Situations Well

“Many women, especially moms, are trained caretakers and know how to deal with crisis situations at home with compassion and patience. These attributes become very relevant when a woman leader is dealing with crisis situations, whether this is related to HR or [clients].”

– Huma Gruaz, President and CEO, Alpaytac PR

11. They Are More Impartial

“Societies in which women take on leadership positions on equal footing are not only fairer societies but also better, more successful societies, with more talent, more potential, and more intergenerational equality.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission

12. They Keep Their Ego In-Check

“Ego so often gets in the way of good decision-making in the C-suite. Women exhibit ego differently and they are good at decision-making with the ego held in check. This is a key advantage in working with boards of directors, partners and customers.”

– Joan Wrabetz, Privacy Lawyer at Rimon PC

13. They Have High Emotional Intelligence

“Emotional intelligence — the ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others and relate — is something that has recently gained momentum as an essential leadership behavior. I believe this is something that comes more naturally to women than men and is something that I’ve personally encountered in my career. To truly create a great place to work and to get the best out of employees, demonstrating emotional intelligence as a leader is critical.”

– Lakshmi Raj, Co-founder and former Co-CEO, Replicon

14. They’re Long-Term Strategic Thinkers

“In the workplace, women are great at inspiring and lifting up those around them. This is why most women leaders are such excellent long-term strategic thinkers. They are less inclined to rally behind a short-term strategy if a more sustainable approach can be executed.”

Dana Manciagli, President, Job Search Master Class®

15. They Lead by Example

“Women lead by example, and in so many cases, women have climbed the ladder so they have experienced a variety of roles before they get to the leadership ones. Experience is key.”

– Harriet Taub, Consultant for Nonprofits

16. They Make Their Jobs Look Effortless

“I believe women make phenomenal leaders because they are experts at making the impossible seem possible. And sometimes, on a good day, they even make it look effortless. Women are pragmatic, resilient and usually able to maneuver tricky situations with grace. Their perspectives are borne out of a mix of trial by fire and sheer fortitude. They look at the world with bravery and are able to piece together the world around them like a complex puzzle.”

– Jody Clower, Founder and CEO, Nestiny

17. They Are Hungry for Success

“In the present day, women work extra hard in colleges and universities and get more degrees than men. They are hungry for success and economic freedom. It is the country’s loss if it cannot capitalize on this.”

– Indra Nooyi, Chairman of the Audit Committee, Amazon

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Tanushree is a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Deltek | Replicon and shares insights about time, cost and project tracking technologies to help organizations grow to their full potential. Having a keen interest in the ever-evolving business and technology landscape, she’s been helping businesses market their solutions with the right words for over 12 years. She divides her free time between reading fast-paced fiction and traveling experiences that fuel her creative side.


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