A one-size-fits all approach does not work when it comes to setting each employee up for success in your organization. Therefore, your current company practices may not be addressing the unique set of challenges each person faces. This is especially important to consider when it comes to leadership roles. Leaders often face high stakes challenges. In particular, women can encounter additional obstacles in leadership positions. That’s why we’re giving you our tips for developing female leaders in the workplace. These are designed to help them overcome these obstacles and ensure you’re giving each of your employees the tools they need to succeed.
Although women can access these groups on their own, having your company actively involved encourages them more to grow professionally. Businesses can partner with organizations like the American Business Women’s Association to give membership discounts to employees. This also supports them in their professional journey. There are other ways to provide growth opportunities, including purchasing tickets to women led leadership conferences or hosting in-office workshops.
Opting out of giving constructive feedback to avoid awkward or difficult conversations will only hurt your employees. And, oftentimes, this holds them back from improvement. By giving such feedback, you are allowing employees the opportunity to take ownership over their faults. This way, they can work on them. Developing female leaders, developing all leaders, requires actionable suggestions and positive reinforcement. Every employee deserves the chance to improve, and the best way to do so is by providing honest feedback.
When it comes to developing female leaders, it’s also important that they have role models or mentors to look to for advice and collaboration. Seeking out mentors can be difficult, so implementing a mentorship program within your company will ensure that your current and future leaders receive such guidance. Mentors can help instill confidence, provide encouragement, and uplift employees so they can become the best version of themselves professionally.
An important piece of developing female leaders is developing confidence in their capabilities. Every employee—regardless of age, race, gender, religion, etc.—should be able to see that your company promotes and recognizes success based on performance. This applies to every employee, whether they are rank and file or management. Recognize and reward high-performers. In doing so, you are telling your employees that the ones that prove their value are the ones who climb the ladder. Developing certain leaders based on anything other than performance damages employee growth. If they can’t determine the qualifications for promotions or they feel as if leaders are not chosen using a predictable, performance-based system, they will not know how to maximize and prove their leadership value. Make it clear to every employee that their capabilities determine their success—everyone is in the race.
Sometimes, your company might not have the resources in-house to give that mentorship. Another way you can help develop female leaders is by hiring professional coaches. Bringing in other women who understand the unique obstacles females face will help them perform better and see a different perspective on their challenges. Just as athletes need coaches, professionals need the same in order to improve and reach new heights.
Every person should be valued in your company and have the opportunity to succeed. Even though developing female leaders may require some new approaches or a third-party perspective to overcome the unique challenges, it’s important that each one of your employees has the opportunity to grow into a leadership position. You can support them with these tips and by hiring PeopleWorks International for all of your executive leadership coaching needs.