Women In Leadership

Women in Leadership – The History, The Emergence, The Benefits

The history of women in leadership in business is a relatively recent one. While women have been involved in business throughout history, they were generally confined to traditional roles such as running small shops or working in the home. It wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that women began to enter the workforce in large numbers, and it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that women began to break into leadership positions in business.

One of the first women to achieve significant success in business was Madam C.J. Walker, an African American entrepreneur who built a successful hair care empire in the early 20th century. Despite facing significant barriers due to her race and gender, Walker was able to build a successful business and become one of the first African American female millionaires in the United States.

The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 was a law passed by the Conservative government in the United Kingdom, which granted equal voting rights to men and women over the age of 21. The law was passed on 2 July 1928, and it came into effect on 2nd of September of the same year.

This law was the culmination of decades of campaigning by the women’s suffrage movement, which had been pushing for the right to vote for women since the late 19th century. The suffragettes had used various tactics, including peaceful protests and civil disobedience, to draw attention to their cause.

The suffrage movement was divided into two groups, the suffragists, who campaigned for the vote through peaceful means, and the suffragettes, who campaigned for the vote through militant means. Both groups had worked tirelessly to achieve the vote for women and the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 was a significant victory for them.

The law brought a number of changes to the political landscape in the UK. For the first time, women could participate fully in the democratic process and have an equal say in the governance of their country. This law also increased the number of eligible voters by around five million, which had a significant impact on the political makeup of the country.

The act also helped to empower women and give them a greater sense of agency and autonomy in their lives. It also helped to break down some of the traditional gender roles and stereotypes that had previously existed.

However, it must be noted that the law did not grant the vote to all women, as certain groups of women such as the domestic servant, remained disenfranchised. Additionally, the law did not grant the vote to all men, as certain groups of men such as those who were incarcerated remained disenfranchised.

The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 was a landmark law that granted equal voting rights to men and women over the age of 21 in the United Kingdom. It was the result of decades of tireless campaigning by the women’s suffrage movement and it brought about significant changes in the political landscape, empowering women and giving them a greater say in the governance of their country.

During World War II, many women were recruited into the workforce to replace men who had been sent to fight. This was a significant step forward for women in the workforce, as it helped to break down some of the traditional gender barriers that had previously existed. However, women were expected to return to their traditional roles once the war was over and the men returned home.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the feminist movement brought attention to the lack of women in leadership positions and began to push for greater equality in the workplace. This led to changes in legislation and policies, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the USA, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex. Despite these changes, women continued to face significant barriers in the workplace, including discrimination, bias, and lack of opportunities.

In the 1980s and 1990s, more and more women began to break through the glass ceiling and enter into leadership positions in business. This was due in part to the increasing number of women who were graduating from college and entering the workforce, as well as to the growing recognition of the business benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of having women in leadership positions, not only from a social and ethical perspective, but also from a business perspective. Studies have shown that companies with more women in leadership positions tend to have better financial performance and more sustainable business models. Additionally, in the 21st century, more women are starting their own businesses and leading technology companies, which is a great sign of progress.

However, there is still a significant gap in the number of women in leadership positions compared to men, and there is ongoing work to be done to promote greater equality in the workplace. Despite the progress that has been made, women still face barriers such as discrimination, bias, and lack of opportunities, and organisations are still working to promote more diversity and inclusion in leadership roles.

5 Examples of How Women in Leadership helps organisations succeed:

  1. Increased diversity of perspectives and ideas: Women in leadership bring a unique perspective and set of experiences that can lead to more innovative and effective solutions for the organisation. Studies have shown that companies with higher levels of gender diversity in leadership tend to have better financial performance.
  2. Improved communication and collaboration: Women in leadership tend to have strong communication skills, which can help to foster a culture of collaboration and cooperation within the organisation. This can lead to improved teamwork and increased productivity.
  3. Greater empathy and emotional intelligence: Research has shown that women tend to have higher levels of emotional intelligence, which can help to create a more positive and inclusive work environment. This can lead to improved employee engagement and retention.
  4. Better decision-making: Studies have shown that diverse leadership teams tend to make better decisions than homogeneous teams. This can be attributed to the fact that different perspectives and experiences can lead to more thorough analysis and consideration of options.
  5. Positive impact on society: Companies with diverse leadership teams tend to have a positive impact on society, as they are more likely to consider the needs and perspectives of diverse stakeholders. This can lead to a more socially responsible and sustainable business model, which can benefit both the organisation and society as a whole.

Why Are More Organisations Promoting Women into Leadership Roles?

There are several reasons why more organisations are promoting women into leadership roles.

  1. Legal requirements: Many countries have laws and regulations that promote gender equality in the workplace. Organisations that fail to promote women into leadership roles may be in violation of these laws and face legal consequences.
  2. Business benefits: Research has shown that companies with more women in leadership positions tend to have better financial performance. This is because diverse teams tend to be more innovative, make better decisions, and have a more positive impact on society.
  3. Talent retention: As more women enter the workforce and achieve higher levels of education, organisations are recognising the need to retain talented women by providing them with career advancement opportunities.
  4. Social pressure: There is increasing pressure from society and stakeholders for organisations to promote women into leadership roles. This pressure can come from customers, shareholders, and employees who want to see more diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  5. Sustainability and social responsibility: Companies are becoming more aware of the need for sustainable and socially responsible business practices. Promoting women into leadership roles can be seen as an important step in this direction, as it can lead to greater diversity, inclusion and better decision making, which can contribute to a more sustainable and responsible business model.

Overall, there are a variety of reasons why more organisations are promoting women into leadership roles. From legal requirements and business benefits to social pressure and sustainability, the benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace are becoming increasingly clear.

Sarah Jones Leadership Coaching and Women in Leadership

As a former member of the women in leadership fraternity  I have personally overcome many challenges women face as they progress their careers on the path to becoming women in leadership. With over 25 years working in leadership positions within global organisations, I am ideally placed to coach and prepare women for leadership roles.

If you are a woman, who is an aspiring leader of the future, an experienced woman in leadership, or an organisation looking to prepare your female employees for roles in leadership, then please contact me and I will help you achieve your goals.

How have I helped female leaders before?

Whether in their current, new, or first leadership role, I’ve helped women to find their voice & influence at a senior level, build confidence & resilience, embrace assertiveness as an asset to their role, and build alliances, overcoming any organisational & structural barriers.

Using proven tools & techniques, we will understand & analyse your behaviours at work, and define areas that we can improve upon. I have access to data that outlines the key global leadership traits that count today if you want to be successful and we will develop a plan to build key skills & techniques.

As a woman in leadership, whether new or experienced, you may realise that you need to adapt your mindset and style. Here are just some of the areas I cover – It’s called the ABC’s of women in leadership – Assertiveness, Boldness, Confidence: Owning your leadership journey & embracing your style, and what you offer.

  • Assertiveness training & skills
  • Boldness training & skills
  • Confidence training & skills
  • Finding your voice, and speaking up
  • A dive into ‘alpha female’ & related concerns
  • Building alliances & influence across the organisation
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Analysis of your leadership traits according to global benchmarks
  • Conflict resolution
  • Finding balance & dealing with competing emotions
  • Image, voice, words & body language

Many women have often told me that they find balancing competing emotions around wanting a career & balancing that with family life & parenting, emotionally & practically challenging – don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Together, we will create & work through a personalised action plan to achieve both your personal & professional goals. 

My most popular executive training programme costs £5,995.00, but I have a special offer available throughout the first quarter of 2023, where this programme is reduced in cost to £3,225.00. In order to recommend a personalised coaching programme and provide a proposal, we would first need to talk thorough the challenges you are facing, identify where I can help you and how long this is likely to take.

The first step in this process is by booking a free, no obligation call with me.

Book Your Call & Get A Quotation

Your first call is obligation free, confidential and completely free of charge

The next step in your development journey is getting a professional assessment on the what practical steps you can take to develop and improve your skill set, mindset and your prospects. 

Executive development coaching

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Branding oneself as a leader, sarah jones leadership coaching, Assertive Communication