What Helps Women Leaders Move Up, Not Out?
Currently, women account for nearly 48% of the global workforce. This seems like progress for gender equality and inclusion, right? But the picture isn’t as rosy as you might think—especially for women leaders.
In fact, recent research reveals that as women move up the management ranks, they’re actually less likely to be promoted to each successive rung on the corporate ladder. No wonder women executives are quitting their jobs at a record pace!
What will it take to remove these obstacles so more women can reach top management positions?
With stellar talent in short supply these days, this topic has never been more important for employers to address. So I invite you to dig deeper with me on this #WorkTrends podcast episode.
Meet Our Guest: Todd Mitchem
Today, I’m speaking with author, consultant, and leadership development expert, Todd Mitchem, EVP at AMP Learning and Development. Todd is a future-of-work visionary who helps individuals understand and embrace the process of professional disruption and reinvention. And today we’re tapping into his expertise on key trends involving women leaders.
Work, Women, and Power
Welcome, Todd! Tell us, how can women leaders step into their power?
I teach presentation, communication, and executive presence skills for employees, often at large companies like Microsoft. And I would say about 98% of the participants are women.
Often, when I tell these women to step into their own their power, they’ll ask, “Well, how do I do that? I don’t want to seem too aggressive, or too bossy, or…”
My response is, “When you are in a room presenting, you’re there because someone believed you deserved to be there. You just need to own that. You need to step into that power.”
And the next piece is to lean on what you know, lean on what you’re good at, and step into that strength.
Executive Presence is a Skill
How are women leaders applying these lessons to engage their power?
Well, executive presence is a skill. People aren’t born an executive leader. It’s a skill.
So, if you teach them this skill, it’s amazing to watch what emerges from the process. Because it frees them to bring out all the things they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
It’s powerful. But it’s skill-based. Once you learn the skill, your intelligence, your wisdom, your knowledge all emerge, almost naturally.
Women Can Lead With Their Strengths
You say women leaders need to realize they deserve to be in the position they’re in and should claim it. But what do you really mean by this?
I think society tends to make women think they’re supposed to act like their male counterparts who are successful but may be aggressive or overly dominating.
But in truth, if women just lead with their knowledge, instead of trying to outmatch the egos of their male colleagues, they’ll find they’re in a better place. That’s because they have much more confidence.
How Men Can Help
Todd, you’ve helped thousands of women claim their power and step into their roles more fully. As a man, how can you do this?
It’s not as if the corporate world is now magically wonderful for women. It isn’t. That’s an illusion. But women are evolving at an incredible pace, and men need to help step that up.
As women step into their power, men need to step up and check our egos at the door.
Resistance, or fear, or an unconscious belief structure will destroy you. The ego’s fight to win is about wanting to be right, instead of getting it right.
But the best thing to do for the future of work is to embrace the power we have as a unified group—men and women working together.
For more great advice from Todd, listen to this full episode. Also, be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. And to continue this conversation on social media, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.