Evolving women into senior leadership roles


Recent studies show that having women on the boards of companies, help with sales of goods and services of the organization. Since roughly 50% of the consumer base is made up of females, and they are highly under-represented on executive levels, Helen Pitcher, the Chairman of IDDAS, (a board level consultancy providing experienced based board effectiveness services,) explains ways in which women can be evolved in to senior leadership roles.


She believes that this evolution will come about when there are developments in technology and there’s support for women combined with positive results in businesses. She adds that this can happen through three core elements.


Business competence and knowledge

Women need to achieve a good balance between front-line business experiences and staff roles to gain access to senior positions in the organization. She further highlights the need for women to have an expertise on handling of financial matters, which needs to go beyond the basics of Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance.


[Picture Courtesy: Chief Executive Officer]



Effective networking and communication

Communication comes easily to women, who have already proved their superiority in Human Resources and Finance by acquiring high positions as Directors and CFOs- especially in developing economies such as China and India. Pitcher reveals that communication is one of the most vital skills required in board rooms and women are often reluctant to build career specific networks strategically.

This also manifests itself in terms of women reaching out to sponsors and mentors.


Self-belief and Self-image

One of the key elements in developing women into senior leadership roles is confidence and self-view. Women often get caught in the historical web of being stereotyped as less aggressive, and are more reluctant to claim recognition. However, according to Pitcher, “…as more balanced and flexible female role models emerge with more specifically designed support processes which recognise women’s particular requirements… this often self-inflicted stereotype of ‘hanging back to be asked’, is fading.”


ORIGINAL SOURCE: The Hawkamah Journal