Today more than ever, women are fighting to be in leadership roles. With the gender wage gap still proving to be a hot topic, and so few women in leadership roles, the motivation to make change is strong.
As an example, in the 2018 midterm elections, a record number of over 100 women were nominated to fill seats in Congress. While progress is happening, it is still slow going, and there is a lot to understand to make changes.
The Benefits of a Leadership Program for Women
While some people have a natural ability to be a leader, others need some education and training to get them to the next level. By choosing to participate in a leadership program, a student could expect to develop both the hard and soft skills critical to leadership success in any organization.
Some important soft skills for women leaders to master include effective communication, inspiring cross-functional team collaboration and motivating staff to perform at high levels. Being a leader can be very rewarding, but also challenging, especially when conflicts arise.
A leadership program will provide students with the tools necessary to negotiate the resolution of these conflicts and help to prepare them to be the most effective leader they can be.
Understanding Women in Leadership Roles
As of 2017, the rate of female CEO’s leading Fortune 500 companies reached an all-time high of 6.4%, with a total of 32 women leading these major firms. The rate of female board members of Fortune 500 companies has doubled from 9.6% in 2015 to 22.2% in 2017.
While at least there has been positive growth, it’s still hard for women to break into these high-power roles. Forbes posted an article earlier this year outlining the top 15 biggest challenges women leaders face.
Some of these are external factors, such as discrimination for having children and starting families, and some are internal such as not having enough confidence in their skills to pursue their dreams of leadership.
Why Are More Women Business Leaders So Important?
The biggest reason more women are needed in organizational leadership roles is because the world needs diversity. Without diversity in leadership, companies may not be as successful because as here may not be an influx of new, original ideas and perspectives. Just as there are differences between people, there are also gender differences.
The value women can bring to leadership roles is an inherently different approach to problem-solving and conflict-resolution. Their increasing success leading major organizations proves to be a trend which cannot be denied and is sure to continue.
How to Get More Strong Women Leaders
It’s great to acknowledge that we need more strong women in leadership roles, but how do we make that a reality?
• Support other women. The truth is, women already have it hard enough with trying to climb corporate ladders and breaking the glass ceiling, so it’s important to band together and support other women who are trying to succeed.
• Team up. Similar to the previous point, look for opportunities to join groups of women who want to make a difference. By banding together and sharing stories, it can help lead change. Additionally, when a bunch of influential women leaders gets together, new career opportunities can arise, and it can be a great opportunity to make those connections.
• Get educated. In order to serve as a strong leader of any company, education is of the utmost importance. There are a variety of degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and these are critical building blocks for a career as a leader.
While experience and education are important to most employers, some may be particular about your educational credentials when hiring, and having the right degree can help you stand out from the pack and move into a leadership role.
Ready for the next steps?
At Central Christian College of Kansas, participating in the organizational leadership degree program could be a great start to your future as a leader.
This Bachelor of Science program is 100% online which will give you the flexibility to focus on your studies when it’s convenient for you, while also leaving you time to focus on other aspects of your life while you’re on the path to become a strong leader. This way you will have plenty of time to work or network, and still focus on advancing your career with this degree.