Undoubtedly, the world continues to deal with profoundly inherent gender biases that leave the female bearing the brunt of them all. Already, 42% of working women in the US have faced some form of gender discrimination in the line of work. The need for equal participation in the labor market drives the passion for most females working tirelessly to change the status quo. Admittedly, some women have already braved the odds and perfected their personal brands. Therefore, regardless of the setback, you can be an influential female leader by leveraging the following tips.
Resilience can be inherent or learned. Indeed, not everyone can naturally recover from difficulties and bounce back as though nothing happened. However, it would help if you made a deliberate effort to show mental and emotional strength. This is a trait and a skill you are expected to have and display in the labor market to succeed. For whatever reason, some of the things that push women over the edge seem inconsequential. Before you know it, there is sudden pressure to overcome difficulties. However, many seem not to realize that tension builds over time until it reaches a point when you cannot hold it in anymore. This is where your resilience comes into the picture. Fortunately, there are self-help books written by fellow women who experienced the same but found a way to overcome and keep going.
Create a better work-life balance
The discussions surrounding balance continue to go on primarily because of the near impossibility of attaining a perfect work-life balance. Indeed, the idea behind this is to present an opportunity to de-stress and avoid burnout. Understandably, you might have to put in twice the effort simply because of your gender. Therefore, in your bid to be seen as efficient, you may inadvertently overstretch your physical abilities to get more work done in a minimal period. In reality, that is not a habit you can keep without breaking down.
Therefore, commit time to free up your brain and mental processes to enable you to unwind and recharge. Moreover, when you have a family you’re directly responsible for, it would be in your interest to dedicate quality time for them. Having a balanced life is good for your mental health, so try your best not to sacrifice one for another. Additionally, at some point, you will need that extra help and support, especially where a young family is concerned.
Take every opportunity to learn new things in the digital age
Digitization is driving the American economy, and unless you are conscious about meeting the demands of the times, you risk getting left behind. Furthermore, with technological advancement and digitization comes the issue of cybercrime. Fortunately, there are ways to contend with these online perils. To upgrade your knowledge of the digital age, you can study cyber security online. In addition to all your academic and professional laurels, a background in cybersecurity will reduce your risk of falling into the enormous cracks caused by the gender digital divide canker. While you’re at it, try you make the channels available to you, such as social media, a significant part of your communication and marketing plans.
Do not be afraid to speak up
A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review stated that women are more likely to refuse to speak up for fear of victimization. The study further indicated that most women are aware of subtle biases when they speak up, especially on matters concerning negotiation. The latter usually involves some level of forcefulness and tact, which most people do not expect women to possess. This also explains the reason most women deliberately decide to take the backseat on the negotiation table.
Indeed, the findings made by the Harvard Business Review have elements of truth. However, it is up to you to take that bold step in speaking up when it matters and when you have a point to put across. These biases and gender sentimentalities will remain as long as people refuse to see the positive shift in women’s empowerment. Therefore, do not hesitate to speak up whenever you want, as your contribution matters at that discussion table.
Build a good reputation
Reputation is everything, and it is not built in a day. Additionally, being of good reputation combines your character traits, work ethics, and being consistent at doing what you do best. It also involves being resourceful and open-minded in all your endeavors. That’s because people are more likely to trust you if you offer them something of value that makes their lives easier. Do not forget that the odds are already against you. That said, a lens may be focused on you in your field. For all these reasons, it helps to be deliberate about your reputation building.
What others think of you holds some significance to your public image. Indeed, you don’t expect everyone to like you, but what the majority perceives counts. Moreover, as an influential female leader, you will need a good amount of goodwill to make an impact. Reputation is not overrated as some people may think. If it helps, know that potential women leaders are looking up to you to pave the way for them.
Be strategic with your audience selection
On your way to becoming an influential woman leader, have you thought about who makes up your audience? Which groups do you intend to influence? By having the right audience, you can be sure that your messages will make the desired impact. Having the power to influence people directly is a responsibility that cannot be toyed with. It carries a great deal of clout that is only earned through years of consistent hard work and intelligent decisions.
Have or join a network of female achievers
The climb to the top is an arduous one, and you cannot do that without support. Professional networks do more than just connect members. Instead, they provide timely support for members. Joining a network of female achievers means you recognize the power of like-minded groups. Moreover, in your desire to grow stronger, you need your network of female achievers who have a mix of experiences to share with you. Definitely, there would be skills you never thought were worth considering or learning.
You can excel in your field and expand your influence once you take the proper steps. Hopefully, you will consider these tips for the best results.