The Women in Business Report 2017 stated that globally, the proportion of senior business roles held by women stands at just 25% and 34% of organisations have no women at a senior level. As well as being more represented in positions of authority what about the salary that comes with this? Women still earn about 20% less than men, despite equal pay laws being in place for years now. But so often these women are just as qualified, capable and experienced as their male counterparts and in some cases out-perform them.
Many businesses are pushing to redress this balance and with countries like Iceland now making it illegal to pay women less than men there's an increasing sense of urgency in this space. This is not just because we are a more developed world and it is seen as ‘the right’ thing to do. It’s because it makes business sense, it leads to better performance and in turn more profit. We need more women at the table because it means we have more strengths to collectively leverage as a team and a leadership team that creates a more balanced, successful business.
I’ve worked in leadership and personal development for many years so much of this is close to my heart and being a woman, something I’m passionate about. We have many strengths as women that we can leverage and often these are traits we've been taught to understate and play down growing up.
We may live in a mans world and a huge amount of our success will be impacted by the culture we grow up in and the leaders responsible for that culture be it in our business, our homes, our communities or our countries. But, as women, we also have a huge amount of our own success in our own hands.
We can be guilty of waiting for someone to sign our permission slip, to give us permission to succeed. To be as great as we truly can be and sometimes it’s not that we’re scared of failing but scared of just what that could mean, how great that could be. Why as women do we have a need to feel validated outside of ourselves, to be invited to speak? A lot of this comes down to self-confidence and belief. How can we expect others to believe we’re capable if we don’t?
Throughout my career in personal development I’ve met many amazing, talented women who feel like they’re not enough, witnessing female leaders try to be more like men to succeed, doubt their abilities and think they need to be someone else when all they need to do is to embrace their authenticity, leverage their strengths and be more like themselves.
"Success in leadership is not about being more like a man but being more like yourself and being confident that this is enough. I’ve found if we build good relationships and deliver on expectations by doing what we say we will and building credibility through doing a good job, then when we talk people listen. It becomes less about who is male or female around the table and more about who adds value and contributes" Jess Stuart, Leadership Development Coach
I help women to discover their authenticity, unlock their potential, build presence and balance the busyness to thrive. Learn to navigate the challenges of busyness, self-doubt, fear, imposter syndrome, people pleasing, perfectionism, comparison to others and the very high expectations we place on ourselves. Whilst at the same time leverage the strengths we have as women and the feminine traits that make us powerful.