12 Dec THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP. WHAT NOW?
Despite the increase of women in leadership positions and as board representatives, inequality in the workplace is still undeniable. Stated by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, there is currently a 14% gender pay gap in Australia, with females earning on average $241.50 less per week.
InfoCentric & Alex Solutions took inspiration from this topic and decided to host an event ‘The Role of Women in Leadership. What Now?’. Our panel was moderated by Linda Price, an experienced and accomplished IT leader who has been a key member of executive management teams across her career. Linda and our panel of talented leaders discussed the proposition – ‘what is the role of those women in leadership who have “arrived”. What is their responsibility to female colleagues within their immediate sphere of influence and beyond?
Panel – ‘Key moments in your career, that influenced your managerial style?’
Our panellists discussed surviving in roles that were beyond their capability and learning to ask questions in order to succeed. What to do early in your career, when you arrive in a position that is well above your professional experience, surrounded by a team of more senior individuals? Taking inspiration from feeling inadequate and moving towards a servant style of leadership, where instead of pretending to know everything, you embrace curiosity. Having an openness to learn. Being humble may allow you to gain a range of attributes that can improve your management style.
Similarly, a panellist described being asked to ‘step into’ a C-Level management position, that was ultimately in a male dominant leadership team. Their initial reaction was to copy behaviours and management styles to ‘fit in’ or ‘earn respect’. However, they came to the conclusion that society is diverse, and therefore managerial styles should be diverse. You cannot be a good leader if you are not authentic to yourself. Be genuine, treat people how you would like to be treated, allow your leadership style to reflect your true qualities.
A panellist referenced a pivotal moment in their career during a leadership program that involved team evaluations about co-worker’s strengths, weaknesses and self-review. She experienced a ‘disaster moment’ where she only received negative comments, exposing insecurities and raising self-doubt. This resulted in self-reflection, rebuilding and resilience. Taking advice from others, utilising it to decide what your brand is, taking risks and building the mindset to get where you want to be. Recognise your individual leadership style and learn to embrace it. Ask yourself the important questions to gain a better understanding about your personal strengths, weaknesses and driving factors.
The issue of polarising management styles was discussed, what do you do when you have to work with difficult people? Identify where your strengths lie. Embrace your opportunity to grow from a difficult experience, learn to adapt and manage emotions. A panellist explained the value of developing solid and genuine relationships with stakeholders and peers. Work in a team and gain support from those around you. Be willing to help others and show enthusiasm about outcomes. Essentially, what you give is what you get.
Bianca Kruk & Isabella Smith | 12 Dec 2019