Biggest challenges women leaders face and how to overcome them
Even though we’ve never had this many women leaders before, the number of female CEOs is still staggeringly small (Fortune 500 companies only have 26 female CEOs). Still struggling to reach the top of the business world, women are facing some unique challenges. Here’s what they are and how to shake them off.
Being treated like equals
This is probably the most common issues female leaders face and need to overcome. Unfortunately, there’s no easy and quick solution to this. The best thing you can do for your career is going for things that you want and not giving up. Improve the skills you need for the position you want (communication, leadership, emotional intelligence) and speak up when you need to be heard. Once you start behaving like an equal to your male colleagues, they will start looking at you like an equal.
Finding support from other women
This might be surprising, but garnering support from other women is very hard in the business world. Women all over the world should do their best to support each other and empower each other. It’s time to leave that stereotypical female rivalry in the past where it belongs and start showing togetherness, compassion and enthusiasm towards laying the foundation of women’s progress through the world of business and leadership.
When speaking to career-oriented women and female leaders, the biggest challenge you can notice is their confidence. Unlike their male colleagues, most women are not comfortable with the fact that someone dislikes them for no apparent reason or that someone will want to undermine their work. If you make peace with that fact and if you’re clear on your goals and purposes, you’ll be more than successful in getting the position you want and filling it perfectly.
Asking for money
Many women who struggle to reach the leadership position often have issues with sales and anything related to income. There are issues like not charging enough for their expertise, being afraid to ask for raise, holding back on marketing, being too shy to promote their business and avoiding to “brag” to establish authority. If you too struggle with this, make sure to master sales and gain some confidence in your skills that will harbour you a lot of respect. Also, businesswomen are often less likely to sue in order to avoid looking greedy and ungrateful. However, if you know you deserve compensation for your injury, make sure to contact an experienced compensation lawyer right away and show that you value your body and mind. If you don’t take action today, people will learn that they can walk all over you without any consequences which will definitely not bring you that leadership position you want.
If you want to achieve great results, it’s not enough to be invited to sit at the table. You must learn to speak confidently, no matter what odds you’re facing. Many women leaders choose to stay quiet in fear of being rejected or ostracized. However, respect comes when you let your voice be heard—it allows you to shape policies and manage your workforce. Speaking up will not only make your presence heard but also mark you as a leader for good.
Being proud of their success
While men usually have no issues speaking about their hard-earned accomplishments, many women leaders shy away from anything that resembles bragging for fear of being perceived conceited and boastful. However, there’s no need to make yourself smaller just to avoid being intimidating. If you’re in the CEO position, you deserve to be there and that’s a fact. Shrinking yourself does nothing but delay your goal to be taken seriously.
If you add maternity leave, frequent sexual harassment, lack of role models and egos clashing, you see that women leaders have so many different obstacles to jump over before they get established as authority figures. But, we’re collectively getting there, slowly but surely.