Women in business face both advantages and challenges. Fortunately, there are steps businesses can take to accelerate their success.
The initial step in combatting bias is awareness. Raising public awareness about this issue is essential for eliminating it from hiring and promotion processes.
1. Be a role model
Female role models in the workplace can be an invaluable asset in combatting gender bias. They teach women how to say no, become comfortable with challenging conversations, and support those coming up behind them.
Women entrepreneurs especially need someone to look up to when starting out. Having female role models who are successful gives them the assurance and motivation needed to launch their own companies.
An international study conducted by HSBC revealed that women entrepreneurs around the world tend to draw inspiration from their parents or other family members. This trend is particularly strong in Sub-Saharan Africa, where mothers largely follow their daughters into the workforce.
2. Be a good listener
Listening is an essential skill for any leader or professional. It helps develop relationships, fosters understanding, resolves conflicts and enhances accuracy.
Effective listening requires keen observation and an intense focus. This ability, commonly referred to as active listening, enables you to develop a meaningful and lasting connection with the person speaking.
Listening is a skill that can be practiced and improved with practice. Begin by maintaining eye contact while paying close attention to what the speaker has to say.
3. Be a good communicator
A successful communicator knows how to select the appropriate words, comprehend their audience and establish meaningful connections at precisely the right time. While this can be challenging for some people, it is an invaluable skill that must be developed.
Great communicators are aware of their own tone and delivery to guarantee they are connecting with the audience on a personal level.
Excellent communication abilities are essential for creating strong working relationships and reaching goals at work.
Effective communicators take time to pause, comprehend the situation, clarify and demonstrate empathy before they begin talking. Doing this helps avoid misunderstandings or arguments during conversations.
4. Be a good team player
Team players are the foundation of any organization, and recruiters and hiring managers seek out individuals who excel when working together.
A strong team player communicates constructively and isn’t afraid to express their ideas. Additionally, they understand the significance of maintaining a positive outlook, not letting negative remarks or snide remarks affect their morale or the progress of their team.
They accept responsibility for errors and strive to learn from them. Furthermore, they demonstrate flexibility when changes within the team arise.
Good team players keep tabs on their colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses, encouraging them to use these abilities. Furthermore, they celebrate when their colleagues succeed and are always ready to lend a helping hand when necessary.
5. Be a good leader
A great leader is self-aware and uses their natural patterns of excellence to motivate, inspire and guide others. This does not involve trying to develop weaknesses or adopting a style that doesn’t suit them.
Leadership skills are acquired and refined through experience, continued study and adaptation; therefore it’s essential for leaders to be open to growth. Furthermore, they should dedicate time and energy into their personal and professional development.
Strong leaders prioritize education above all else, whether through management degree programs or daily learning exercises. They don’t fear to make mistakes and constantly assess their own performance; moreover, they don’t hesitate to admit they were wrong and encourage other people to do the same. This attitude allows teams to work better together and fosters a sense of team spirit among everyone involved.