Its international women’s day! Sheryl Sandburg once said, ‘In the future there will be no female leaders, just leaders’ and whilst this is an aspiration that many of us can relate to, we are not there yet.
In 2020, there were only 37 female fortune chiefs, (7.4%) of the total number of fortune chiefs and whilst this number is on the increase, it still falls far short. This ratio of male to female in senior leadership roles is reflected across many organisations today. Whilst there is obviously a role for organisations to play in ensuring they increase female representation at senior level, there are actions that female leaders can take to increase their chances of breaking that elusive glass ceiling.
Below are 3 simple but powerful steps female leaders can take to help them move their career forward.
Understanding your why
When making any significant career decisions, it is important for understand why you are making the decision. This is particularly important when seeking a promotion. Depending on where and how you go about this, you might be required to undergo a series of quite challenging assessments either with your organisation, or with an external organisation. The degree of resilience required to excel under pressure will be a key requirement to succeed in your quest for a promotion.
Another factor to take into consideration is the fact that it might take several attempts before succeeding in getting a promotion. Remembering your why will go a long why in helping you remain on track.
Remind yourself of what you have to offer in terms of the skills, experience and knowledge you bring to the table and use these to help you prepare and present the best version of you.
Become a networking champion
One of the things that men are often perceived to do well is building a strong network of connections, both within and outside their organisation. The stronger your network, the greater your chances are when it comes to making your next career move. Female leaders need to ensure that continuously build and cultivate a network of people around them who can support their career and point them in the direction of opportunities when they become available.
Find a mentor
Getting promoted to the top table often means having the support of others who can help guide and even pave the way. Working with a mentor is a great way of ensuring that as a female leader you have someone in your corner who can help you avoid any pitfalls and offer practical advice based on their own experience.
As far as possible the mentor should be a female leader who has trodden a similar path. They will be able to give advice from a female perspective, which is often different to how a male leaders approach. In seeking a mentor, the person could be someone from either within or outside your organisation.
Becoming a top female leader is getting easier to achieve, however, there is still a long way to go. Working with others who can help you along the way, is an important step in moving forward in your journey to the top.