Excerpts from a though provoking article featured in Bizpreneur Middle East.
Everyone seems to be asking what the “new normal”, the world after covid will look like, and who will lead this new world.
As we start to ask who are the ‘new leaders’ of our world, let me share highlights of a high level webinar hosted to review the extraordinary success of female political leaders across the world in managing Covid. The experts looked at the attributes and qualities that led to these successes by three women who led Germany, New Zealand and Taiwan – among other countries – and being held up as role models on how to effectively guide countries through a public health crisis.
• The women leaders who were found to be “more participatory and democratic in their leadership” had more effective approaches
• Their approaches have been effective, the panelists said, because they incorporate empathy and compassion, preparedness and an ability to collaborate and listen before making policy decisions
• They are able to inspire people and be the voice of reason
A collective sense is emerging that the future belongs to leaders with empathy, collaborative mindset and commitment towards a collective good. Is it a coincidence that more of more of such leaders are women?
Is the post Covid world ready to embrace women leaders as drivers of the economy?
For entrepreneurs who are often playing multiple roles in a start-up or SME, right from being the key decision maker to being the face of the brand; the leadership style will direct the future of the business. The entrepreneurs need to be able to make decisions quickly, take action and learn from the results and also be the chief ‘visionary’, anticipate the future, respond to unforeseen circumstances and adapt to change.
IN essence a lot of the success and future of a business relies on entrepreneurial leadership.
Creating the narrative of women entrepreneurs leadership:
While the attributes of a successful entrepreneur have historically focused on masculine sounding traits (ambitious, aggressive, risk-taking and natural born leaders), women have been socialized to be nurturing, selfless and collaborative. And despite women’s gains in business, society still sees the business world in masculine terms. For decades, researchers have been studying female and male management and leadership styles and have explained different factors that come in play.
A number of studies have noted that women have a transformational style of leadership. Transformational leaders establish themselves as role models by gaining followers’ trust and confidence and leading everyone together. For this special Women’s Day article, we have brought a panel of exceptionally gifted women who answer questions about women leading the economy and share their tips.
Our panel is built up of a diverse and dynamic group of leadership mentors and entrepreneurs. We have two highly accomplished mentors and leadership experts and three creative and special women entrepreneurs who have created unique entrepreneurial ventures built on values of innovation, collaboration and community.
Question 1: Is female leadership the future of businesses? What makes you feel that women leaders will play a significant role in the future?
Nathalie Gregg: There is no new normal. There is only the pre and post pandemic economy, and leadership is at the forefront of sustained success. Leadership is one of the most strategic challenges that we must address. However, if we want it as females we need to build it!
Ruchi Sharma: Yes, female leadership is the future of business. Women leaders bring a diverse set of viewpoints and ideas to the table. Their experiences and learnings will bring a change to the way we evaluate things. Female leaders are empathetic and go forward with empathy and compassion, this should be the core soft skills companies should invest in. They care about their team, their well-being and will take everyone together to find solutions. They listen to new ideas, believe in teamwork and are agile.
Diane Najm: Female leaders are the future of work. Covid catapulted women to use their voices and negotiate better to c-suite positions and many quit the corporate world to start their own businesses because they know they can be successful leaders, have the flexibility needed with family and work life balance, as well as no longer needing to experience inequities in the workplace.
Ronita Ghosh: For decades, women were given the position of nurturing and guardianship and hence, naturally women have become managers. They are able to foresee a lot of things more clearly than anybody else. Women are usually patient with any problem an organization is foreseeing so, I believe they are the future for businesses. As a firm believer of empathetic leadership, I see that Covid has made female leadership more visible to the world. Leadership with conscious is about using what you are born with for the good of the people e.g. in my case converting real kindness in to building an enterprise around food and emotional security, home, food and care offers to the underprivileged.
Jaya Rebello: Women in important leadership roles are definitely going to be the future of businesses. The pandemic has been an eye opener on many fronts. Organizations have begun to realize the importance of having a more gender diverse workplace and more importantly, are beginning to take concrete steps at offering a seat at the table to women in important decision making and leadership positions. I strongly believe that greater gender diversity at the workplace is no longer an option if businesses want to thrive.
There is sufficient data, studies and live examples to prove that women have what it takes to drive success. And more so, in the new world where the focus is on strategic vision and community building where women excel.
Question 2: Do you see women collaborators driving the economy and communities of the future?
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