How Are Women Unique as Leaders?

Guest Contributed by Sam Bowman

Self-care in leadershipWomen are rising up in the ranks, leading companies, global organizations, and even countries.

According to a Pew Research Center study, the number of world leaders who are women has doubled since 2005.

Women simply make great leaders. As WGU points out, women are more effective than men in leadership roles. They’re also more innovative and cooperative problems solvers who tend to see the bigger picture as they work toward goals.

It’s not a stretch to say that as leaders, women are unique. Here are just a few of the exceptional traits they bring to the leadership table and how women can highlight these strengths to move up in their chosen field.

Women Are Empathetic

When leading people, it’s important to be able to put yourself in their shoes. Leaders must understand the different perspectives people bring to the table and empathize with them in order to be effective.

This is not to say that men aren’t empathetic, but it’s a trait that research supports as being a strength possessed and utilized more effectively by more women in leadership roles than men. The ability to empathize also assists leaders in being more flexible and able to build stronger interpersonal relationships with subordinates than their male counterparts.

Women Communicate Effectively

If you want to lead, then you must be an effective communicator, especially when it comes to communicating across cultural lines. Many studies done over the years indicate that women are better at communication than men. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that women’s brains possess a “language protein” that may explain the communication differences between men and women.

In the workplace, women put these communication gifts to good use. Their naturally interactive leadership style encourages participation and the sharing of information at all levels. This makes them better at getting results from their teams since they’re able to communicate what they want and set expectations clearly.

Women Collaborate

It’s important for leaders to understand that team members simply approach problems differently than they might and value those different perspectives. Women seem to possess an innate quality for working well with others and enjoy learning about new solutions to solve problems together. This all relates back to the fact that women value teamwork and can make everyone on the team feel as if their contributions are valued.

Women can also use this collaboration skill to keep information flowing throughout teams and departments, ensuring that everyone has the data needed to do the job right.

Women Are Convincing

The willingness to build interpersonal relationships in the workplace also helps them to be more persuasive leaders. This is due to the fact that many women are empathetic listeners that take the time to learn about people in order to appeal to their sensibilities and needs. The result? Women tend to understand concerns or objections others may have to ideas and can effectively formulate a response that bears these facts in mind.

Women Are Generous

Many women are givers in their personal lives and that translates to the workplace, too. It’s easy for women to encourage the people around them and allow them to thrive as team members. They inspire and uplift the people they’re surrounded by, which is part of what makes women such great long-term strategic thinkers in the workplace. They want others to do well because they recognize that if their team does well, they do well too.

Don’t mistake generosity in the workplace for weakness, however. Women may be willing to be inclusive, but that doesn’t mean they are playing the role of mother to the people on the team. They’re not there to make sure you have your lunch, they’re there to make sure you’re participating in an environment that welcomes your ideas.

How to Highlight Your Unique Skills

Remember, being a positive and effective leader isn’t a position you apply for or a title you’re given, it’s something you show through example and action. When writing a compelling resume or cover letter, it serves you well to include your leadership skills and expertise, highlighting how you use these skills to set you apart from the crowd.

To showcase your workplace leadership styles and skills, you should:

Discuss them: In your cover letter, address the leadership experience you have that makes you a successful manager or executive. Talk about the qualities you possess concisely to help convince a prospective employer that you have what it takes to be an effective leader.
Prove it: You can say that you’re great at solving problems or delegating work, but you have to be able to demonstrate it with your resume too. Back up claims you make with bullet points that show your achievements and describe how you’ve leveraged this skill set in the past. Also, think about how you have used your leadership skills in the past to benefit employers and make sure to point these out in detail.
Prepare: Whatever skills you choose to highlight in your resume must be backed up in conversation. You should expect to be pressed for details on these subjects, so think about how these skills make you perfect for this job and come to the table with examples.

Women Make the Workplace Successful!

Research has shown that companies that have women as a representative portion of their management teams perform better financially than those that don’t. While women still face many challenges in the workplace and must work hard to show they’re up to the task, progress is being made. As women continue to chip away at the barriers they face, organizations only become stronger. Lead by example and soon enough, people begin to follow.

About the Author

Sam Bowman writes about marketing, tech, and how the two merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

The opinions and views expressed by guest contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of