How women managers can prepare for taking up leadership roles


By Vandana Luthra

Gender inequality is a fact of life in India and globally. While participation of women in leadership roles in business has definitely grown over the years, gaps remain. Many contemporary researchers have found that women leaders tend to have a differentiated style of leadership as compared to their male counterparts – one that is more inspirational than instructive. And this makes them inherently capable of achieving success as leaders in business.

Here are some pointers on how women can keep in mind while building their careers as impactful managers and be prepared to successfully take up leadership roles in their organisations.

1. Development first: The key is to focus on educating and making your teams more aware of the field you operate in. When managers work on development rather than only accomplishing goals and meeting deadlines, they help others in the long run through the right learning. Some of the ways to do this are by

○ setting an example and being their role models

○ Coaching them on personal development alongside professional learning

○ Putting more emphasis on teamwork and better communication

2. Transparency: Often times, your team members feel uncomfortable approaching you or communicating with you directly and openly. Building an open environment that is conducive to transparent discussions will lead to a more motivated team and lead to fewer problems and challenges at work that can be collectively addressed in a more effective way.

3. Don’t be transactional: Women are more naturally sensitive and empathetic towards people. Bringing that out at your workplace can be an added advantage. It will help you inspire your team members more and set higher expectations. Some ways of inspiring leadership that are not transactional in nature are

○ While exercising effective supervision, exercise due patience and avoid micro-managing. Let the teams figure out their own styles of working.

○ Give clear directions and work closely with individual team members to help them evolve as better thinkers

4. Communication: Effective communication has proved to build more impactful teams in businesses. Communicating and engaging with your team members in a receptive manner inculcates trust and makes your task as a leader much easier.

As women, we have immense potential to be natural leaders at both professional and personal fronts. Let’s all work towards showcasing our strengths and making gender equality a reality at work and in other spheres of our lives. All we need to do is focus on our natural strengths and channel them into our work.

The author is the Founder & Co-Chairperson at VLCC Group.



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