Posted by nyssa on May 06, 2014 in ,

I was recently watching a video clip by the CEO of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg and it really got me thinking about why “women” are not making it in the world today? We live in the year 2014, we can vote, we have been through the feminist era so we “in theory” have equal rights. There are more job opportunities for us now than ever before. So why are we not making it in the world today?

Some of the statistics that Sandberg quoted really
gave me food for thought. Out of all people in parliament in the world only 13% are women. In the corporate world, roles like Board seats and C level jobs only see 15-16% of women in women powerthem and these figures have not changed since 2002. Women who are at the top of not for profit organisations top out at 20%. So what can we do about this? How do we change these numbers at the top and in Sandberg’s opinion how do we keep women in the workforce? Like Sandberg said we don’t live in a world like our mothers and grandmothers and we are not limited to career choices now.

Sandberg had three ideas:

  1. “sit at the table”
  2. “make your partner a real partner”
  3. “don’t leave before you leave”

You can view her video here , which is well worth viewing but I have also come up with some of my own ideas.

“Lead from where you are”

Ladies we need to be clear on our mission – it doesn’t matter where you sit in the team or organisation but it does matter what you’re setting out to accomplish, why you’re doing it and how you go about it. Be clear on what your mission is as a leader and communicate it. Get the support you need and follow through. In my humble opinion these are all key elements of great and transformational leadership, whatever your role. You don’t need permission to lead.

“Look for the best”

An important part of being

a great leader is about leading with positivity and optimism and focusing on people’s strengths, not their weaknesses. Most managers focus on what needs to be fixed instead of looking for the best in their people. Ladies I suggest you find their strengths and recognise them.

“Show people what is possible”.

We all know that the world in not in great shape at the moment, financially, politically and environmentally, but things in the past have been far, far worse. So as a female leader, look for the prospects of new projects, new

ideas and how to drive the business forward. You just need to swing peoples focus and help them create the space for possibilities to be exposed and opportunities will arise.

“Do what’s right, not what’s easy”

There is always the easy path and then there is the right path. Great female leaders always choose the right path.

“Take initiative.”

Leaders don’t wait to be told what to do. Ladies, you need to seek out opportunities and ways to add value. So reflect about the type of leader you want to be. Spend some valuable time thinking about the female leaders you admire, look at their qualities and decide how you can implement this into your life.

If you do just one thing today to make yourself a better leader what would it be? For me it is “be a good role model, make a difference and leave a footprint”.

Go girl power!

Alicia Sumich – Group Manager; Business Development


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