Challenges for women in leadership

challenges for women in leadership

What are the challenges for women in leadership, and how to overcome them?

Despite the fact that companies which have women in senior management are known to be more productive and more profitable, women are still underrepresented at leadership levels.

The 2020 statistics.

The WGEA recently released the 2020 gender workplace statistics and they are disappointing reading.

  • The full-time average weekly ordinary earnings for women are 14.0% less than for male counterparts
  • The median undergraduate starting salaries for women are 4.9% less than for men. This gap widens 14.4% for postgraduate (coursework) graduates
  • Median superannuation balances for women at retirement (aged 60-64) are 21.6% lower than those for men
  • Women hold 14.1% of chair positions and 26.8% of directorships and represent 17.1% of CEOs and 31.5% of key management personnel
  • 0% of boards and governing bodies have no female directors. By contrast, only 0.9% had no male directors

There hasn’t been a great deal of progress over the last few years with the challenges for women in leadership. It would be no surprise, then, that women are beginning to be disheartened. But why is this happening?

Someone recently said to me, "I'm so frustrated, it’s like banging on a door that won’t open until you give a secret password."

It’s time for change.

I hate to say this, but we can't continue to shift blame, how can we as women own that we are part of the problem?

We need to change if we want to create change.

We can’t wait and wait for change to happen. Change is slow even when there’s a solid business case behind it. People are resistant and there’s a lot of history and red tape which needs to be removed before companies can forge ahead. Can you afford to wait that long?

I didn't wait for someone to offer me a CEO role, I knew what I wanted, I found a way because it was important to me. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find excuses.

What do we need to change?

  1. We need to stop anticipating the negatives. If we expect rejection, that’s often what we’ll get, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  2. We must learn to believe in ourselves and stop falling for imposter syndrome. Remember that the system is still shaped around the male models of success and leadership behaviour. If we measure ourselves against it, we’ll always feel like imposters. In my book Lead Beyond 2030, I share how it's time to cast aside conventional ideas of business roles models embrace the need to be intellectually curious and emotionally open to remaining relevant, innovative and adaptable to thrive amid uncertainty. We’re women and it’s time to lead like it.
  3. Learn from men. They are great at establishing networks and alliances. We need to develop our influencing skills and learn to powerfully persuade to build trust and respect.
  4. We need to work together to forge a path to the top. Look at the Women In Leadership Ambassadors at UTS. 12 women have joined together to be role models and mentors for aspiring women leaders. They are also actively building career networks from women from high school and universities, and into internships and workplaces.
  5. We need to be heard. To do that, we need to understand the perspective of the people we’re dealing with so you can disarm them in your conversation and steer it in the direction you need it to go.

Will this change the system and institutional barriers in front of us? No. Will it change the unconscious bias around us? Eventually. Will it change our perception of ourselves and our innate power? Yes, and that’s where change will spring from.

Now is the time.

COVID-19 has changed the workplace and how people work. Old beliefs and processes have been tossed out the window. The way we view our jobs and work-life balance has changed, too. People are receptive, looking for new ideas and solutions so now is the time influence change.

You’re about to step into a world where everything you want to achieve depends on your level of INFLUENCE.

I know we’ve all been thrown into the deep end and perhaps you’re not feeling ready or confident to step up and lead the change. That’s OK. But if you’ve had enough of being overlooked and underrepresented in leadership, I can help. I have developed a powerful online course for leaders who want to develop and leverage influence to improve their leadership prospects and blaze the way for other women who will follow.

Mastering Influence will help you win people over, create outstanding teams,  exude executive presence, and stand out as an influential person who gets things done.

Now is the time to do it. Come join me...

If you’re ready to work on your leadership skills, I can help you. Book a free Leadership Mastery Analysis with me and become the best leader you can be.

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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you intensify your impact, influence and income.

1. Grab a Copy of my Latest Book (available in all good bookstores, and on Audible) 

Lead Beyond 2030 shares the nine skills you need to intensify your leadership impact. A powerful exploration of what separates great leaders from the rest. - Find Out More

2. FREE - Test Your Leadership Scorecard: 

Discover your leadership score and the 9 leadership accelerators to increase your ability to intensify your impact and performance. — Click Here

3. Join our Master Influence Program and be a Case Study

If you're ambitious, this is for you - I’m putting together a new leadership case study group… stay in touch for details. If you’d like to work with me to master the art of influence and unleash your most powerful self…Click Here

The ability to influence is the greatest accelerator of impact and performance, and it intensely affects our career, our income and how we lead people. — Find Out More 

4. Work with me privately

If you’d like to work with me privately to take your career, impact and leadership to the next level… send me a message and with the word “Privately”… tell me about yourself and what you'd like to focus on together and achieve, and I’ll get you all the details! — Click Here

Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished, award-winning CEO and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.


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