Women make up more than half of the labor force in the United States and earn almost 60 percent of advanced degrees, yet they bring home less pay and fill fewer seats in the C-suite than men, particularly in male-dominated professions like finance and technology.
Research suggests that the male presence in the majority of senior leadership positions does not indicate that men possess better talent than women, but rather there is no significant indication of better performance in a specific gender. In fact, many studies consider women to be more likely to excel in leadership and mentorship roles.
Female leaders are proven more likely to coach and mentor successfully for many reasons:
Less transactional and more strategic relationships with employees
While men use networking to advance their careers, women tend to use their networks for both support and relationship building. Women’s presence in the upper echelon can enhance the social networking and mentoring opportunities of other women in the organization.
Women tend to be kinder in leadership roles
Kindness is rarely ever associated with leadership. However, some form of reassurance, compassion, and empathy can make a huge difference in your team’s dynamics. According to studies, women tend to be equalitarians, sharing evenly with peers while men tend to be more individualistic. Effective leadership demands kindness. In fact, leadership in itself is an act of kindness.
Women trend more emotionally intelligent
When it comes to empathy and self-regard, women tend to score higher than men. Studies show that women are more likely to identify emotions and subtle cues of emotional expressions.
Psychologist Daniel Goleman considers higher emotional intelligence a major trait of ineffective leaders. A leader or a mentor needs to connect with people at a deeper level to make an impact in their lives. These traits help them support, coach, influence and resolve conflict among individuals and teams effectively.
Most people imagine leadership to be a male-dominant field. For example, qualities such as confidence, independence, and assertiveness are frequently associated with men. We hardly ever think of empathy, kindness, relationship building, or collaboration to be leadership traits. This is a bias handed down to us since our childhoods. It is time we change these narratives and think of leadership as an amalgam of traits that cater to both a variety of qualities and attributes.
Mentoring is critical for team growth and talent retention. Are you doing enough to support your team? Hire a recruiter today to find the next leader for your team!