By enabling more women to get into senior jobs, our businesses could be even more successful than they already are. After all, their presence around the board table helps enhance performance according to McKinsey & Company’s Women’s Matter report. For instance more gender diverse boards generate increased profits and make better decisions. The case is very clear.
Top jobs demand exceptional skills in strategy and leadership, but with more men than women moving beyond management level, women may not always get opportunities to acquire the relevant skills.
There’s no doubt about it, smashing through that glass ceiling is a demanding task.
So how can more women navigate their way into the senior executive pipeline?
One solution is leadership training designed for management-level women who want a directorship. There is some debate as to whether such courses are effective. Well, based on my experience in co-running a popular women’s leadership programme in the East of England, I have seen first-hand how rewarding it can be, with women going on to pursue senior careers with confidence.
If you are among the female professionals who aspire to leadership status, you may like to take a look at this list of benefits that women’s leadership training can bring to your career.
Training is also a social opportunity. Sharing stories and knowledge with other like-minded women can be very empowering, especially if you are all facing similar issues and challenges. Whether it’s during a seminar or over coffee, exchanging ideas, opinions and solutions with women from other organisations can be a valuable form of learning. Plus, women are often very open about sharing their experiences, are supportive of others and you get to form new connections that can be of mutual benefit.
Breaking down barriers
In working their way to the board room, women can potentially come across barriers that men are less likely to experience. Caring for a sick relative, career breaks to have children and juggling domestic responsibilities can prevent many capable female employees reaching the top. A good leadership course can help you pin-point these obstacles, and figure out how to overcome what can be complex obstacles.
Mentoring is powerful
If a training course includes working with a sponsor or a mentor, this can help push you forward. Not only do senior mentors have a wealth of experience that you can benefit from, but you’ll feel driven to aim high. Your mentor could also introduce you to their peers, helping you to establish more senior connections while teaching you essential high-level networking skills. In this mutual relationship, the mentor can also benefit by the mentee applying their new skills and providing additional professional support to their mentor.
Training is also a social opportunity. Sharing stories and knowledge with other like-minded women can be very empowering, especially if you are all facing similar issues and challenges.
Stepping up self-confidence
No matter how well qualified and capable some women are, research shows that typically they are less self-assured than their male counterparts when it comes to careers. One study revealed that one in two female managers say they experience self-doubt, compared to a lower 31% of men. Leadership training can address this problem, helping boost confidence levels, so they are more likely to put themselves forward for new jobs or high level projects .
Taking care of yourself
There’s no doubt about it, smashing through that glass ceiling is a demanding task. A good leadership course will help women find the balance that’s right for them so that life in and out of work is sustainable. To be successful you need to stay healthy. Learning wellbeing techniques such as yoga, relaxation, mindfulness and good nutrition can help women develop a sustainable approach to their careers, preventing burn out.
Written by Lynn Walters, Director of Pure Resourcing Solutions, a leading recruitment consultancy firm in the East of England.