The climate change happening in the business world, albeit a slow progression, sees steady growth in acceptance of women running Fortune 500 companies. The companies that have taken the step to hire women CEOs have made interesting discoveries. Some women carry specific traits that help them not only land these top positions but thrive in them.
According to Fortune, women running Fortune 500 businesses in 2021 hit an all-time record high of 41, two of which are black women – another first.
Given women’s history in business, these records are worth celebrating, and Korn Ferry states that the celebration will continue with foundations like The Rockefeller Foundation starting initiatives like the “100×25” initiative. An initiative to hire 100 Fortune 500 women CEOs by 2025.
So what is it that helps women stand out as leaders that can profoundly change organizations for the better?
3 Traits Women Running Fortune 500 Companies All Possess
According to Forbes, McKinsey published research titled “Women Matter,” with proof of how differently women CEOs run things. The main finding suggests that women leaders implement at least five of the nine most important leadership behaviors to improve organizational performance, whereas men tend to lack in this area.
The five behaviors most commonly referred to by women include:
- People Development: Teaching, mentoring, and listening to individual needs as a top priority.
- Expectations and Rewards: Clearly defining expectations and rewarding when targets are met.
- Role Model: Focusing on building respect and being a role model for the company.
- Inspiration: Presenting a compelling vision of the future that inspires workers to implement the changes necessary to get there.
- Participative Decision-Making: A team atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to participate in decision-making.
Aside from these behaviors, there are 3 personality traits that women CEOs possess as well:
- They are driven and committed to the success
It takes women an average of four more years than men to make it into leadership positions. During this time, women spend their careers in a number of different roles, companies, and industries. By the time they make it to the CEO, they are ready to commit to the company and apply their wealth of experience.
- They are devoted to positive workplace culture
In Korn Ferry’s study, 25% of women were proud of the positive culture they created in their companies. Women understand that for the company to succeed, it starts with the workers, and workplace culture is one of the main things that can make or break a company.
- Most have STEM or substantial financial backgrounds
Nearly 60% of all women in business have a definable background in STEM, business, finance, or economics, as posted by Korn Ferry. This type of knowledge serves as a catalyst for success, whether male or female.
Still, women know they have to work harder and prove themselves more than men do. This is a tide that is beginning to shift but still exists, nonetheless.
Women make it abundantly clear how beneficial it is to start from the bottom and climb your way to the top. Most women are forced to start in lower positions than men, but it only proves to help them succeed later on when finally promoted to CEO. Women continue to prove how resilient, courageous, and agile they are in business. They have the ability to revolutionize the modern-day workforce.
Every company that hires a woman CEO brings that reality into fruition.
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