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3 Top Tips for Inspiring Women Leaders | Recommitting to the Advancement of Women Leaders

March 18, 2021 Katharine Panessidi

In 2021, the importance of women leaders has never been more apparent. The benefits of women in leadership positions are advantageous to any and every organization. Research shows that when women are well represented at the top, companies are 50% more likely to outperform their peers. And the impact is felt throughout the organization through increased effectiveness and employee retention.

In order to reap these benefits, it’s time to put the focus on advancing women leaders. Changing the current landscape and working toward productive change requires rethinking the way many organizations approach the topic of leadership.

As a starting point, here are three tips for inspiring women leaders:

1. Invest in Women’s Leadership Training

As more and more women report that they may choose to opt out of the workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations must creatively work to retain women leaders.

Women’s leadership training plays a large role in meaningfully engaging and inspiring women leaders.

In a recent poll of the alumnae from Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™ (WIL), a 4-day immersive learning program focused on the individual development of women, participants reported huge gains since attending in the areas most important for their advancement—including increased self-confidence and understanding their strengths. Plus, after attending WIL, women were more engaged, derived more personal satisfaction from their work, and were more likely to stay with their company.

Those are the exact type of results that organizations need as they strive to mitigate the professional impact of an unprecedented health crisis.

2. Develop from Within by Unlocking the Power of Mentorship and Sponsorship

Hiring experienced female leaders is a great solution for some, but it’s also just as beneficial to develop strong women leaders from within your organization. Through mentorship and sponsorship for existing employees, change comes in the form of a familiar face. Today’s leaders have a large role in developing the next generation of women leaders, so creating formal and informal programs within the organization can make a big impact.

Inspiring leaders from within encourages team members to work toward leadership positions within the company, instead of looking elsewhere for their opportunities.

Linkage partners with a number of leading organizations to develop women into higher positions of leadership through leadership training, assessments, coaching and other programing. In fact, many of these organizations use the Women in Leadership Institute as the kickoff for their women’s advancement program—or as the capstone.

3. Provide Necessary Resources at the Right Time

Providing specific resources can help leaders maximize their skillsets by relieving the added stress of outside factors like larger workloads, fewer helpful tools, and changing priorities.

This is especially important right now, when many women are facing the “double shift,” external biases and higher performance standards.

“Necessary resources” vary from company to company and take some work to pinpoint. For some, these resources are physical, such as adjusting department budgets, hiring staff or offering mindfulness meditation breaks, like we have done internally at Linkage.

Other key resources aren’t physical but are just as important. These resources can include coaching and leadership development, or they could be changes to organizational processes or systems, such as increased flexibility or non-traditional work schedules, which are especially vital for working mothers balancing new home responsibilities during the pandemic, including homeschooling and elder care.

And sometimes, simply sharing advice, encouragement or company-wide recognition for a job well done can be a crucial tool that inspires women leaders.

THE BIG TAKEAWAY

As organizations work to mitigate the professional impact of COVID-19 on women and underrepresented groups, they must meaningfully engage, develop and promote women leaders. These recommended investments in women’s leadership are priceless—for the organization itself, which receives the benefit of a fully engaged and retained workforce, but also for the committed, individual women leaders who receive the support they deserve. The time is now to recommit to our women leaders.

Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute returns in 2021! Join us in person in Orlando, Florida, or attend virtually and experience a life-changing, transformational experience designed to empower women leaders to scale the high hurdles to advancement in the workplace.

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