Bossy, stubborn, pushy, cold. These are common words used to label female leaders, but not generally used to describe their male counterparts. Often, any defining characteristics used are more so directly linked to a woman’s likability rather than her ability to lead. This ingrained societal behaviour continues gender biases and impacts confidence levels, while further increasing difficulties for women looking to achieve higher positions, like being overlooked for promotion. We all have unconscious biases that can create barriers instead of an inclusive environment that promotes based on performance instead of preconceived notions. It’s vital for us to all take our word choices into careful consideration because, whether intentional or not, it can come across as demeaning, biased, and discriminatory. With the lens of female leadership, it’s important to understand how gender bias and ingrained speech mannerisms negatively impact one gender while solely benefitting the other.
Does this sound familiar? Feeling unqualified for the position you currently hold, skeptical of your worth, and questioning if your education and experience are enough. This causing you added anxiety and stress, negatively impacting your confidence, and a nagging need to ‘do more.’ If this rings a bell, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. Although common in nature, there are aspects of imposter syndrome that disproportionately affect women. This can have a lasting impact on their careers, mental health, and confidence in overcoming challenges in the workplace.
From the shift to a digital economy and pivoting business offerings to employee layoffs and complete closure, it’s clear that Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on businesses. We’ve interviewed five women who have showcased strong leadership qualities and found success navigating their business and employees through these unprecedented times. Read more to understand how their individual definitions of success and leadership styles have led to positive outcomes for their business, employees, and clients.
A controversial study in 2017, showed how women in higher positions judge women in lower positions more severely.