Although women account for roughly half of the labor force, the unfortunate truth is that they are less likely to be employed as business partners or corporate officers compared to men. Without many peers present to emulate or even exhibit that women can excel in these positions, those who aspire to reach the top of the business world will have to carve their own paths. The following advice can be helpful for individuals making that climb.
Women who aspire to work at the corporate level must be comfortable with the fact that not every task will be hands-on, and this requires some delegating. You can start small by delegating everyday tasks and getting rid of the stereotype that those in higher positions are unable to do so. Employees who have more responsibilities have a greater chance of learning and growing.
For women with high career aspirations, one of the smartest ways to grow and improve is to surround oneself with similar, successful women. It may take a bit of effort to create a peer group of women if there are few in a given company, or even industry as a whole, however, starting an open dialogue with women who have faced similar struggles and have held those jobs for longer periods of time is important. Women may also consider females mentors to guide them through uncharted territories. Once a woman has made it to the level of a C-suite executive, she should consider mentoring women herself and passing the torch to continue this chain of support and encouragement.
Every person has their own strengths, and for women, those strengths may differ from the strengths held by men in traditional roles. Rather than focusing on how someone in these positions is expected to act, women leaders should examine their own strengths and determine whether or not they are applicable to that role. It is highly beneficial for a woman to know exactly how her strengths will add value to a company, and even leverage that knowledge when climbing through the ranks.
The practice of looking inward continues when looking for your own superpowers. If others continue to approach their boss or manager with specific problems, she likely is adept at offering solutions or solving them herself. These skills can function as a filter through which a businesswoman views her work, which can put her in a position to utilize these skills wherever they are needed. Furthermore, these skills can be highly refined, and she can seek feedback from others for further improvement.