Leadership Coaching for Women and Why Your Business Needs It Now
Although the number of women in leadership roles has grown exponentially in the past two decades, women still face an uphill battle in assuming these positions. According to statistics, women occupy 35% of senior leadership positions and 10% of leadership positions in companies on the S&P 1500, despite women accounting for nearly 52% of the workforce.
Due to a variety of conscious and subconscious biases and a number of other outdated views, women still struggle to find their foothold at the top of companies, yet adding female leaders has been proven to do a plethora of benefits for organizations.
If your company struggles to fill leadership positions with women, you’ll certainly need to discuss and filter out any biases. But furthermore, the answer just might lie in leadership coaching for women. With the right coaching, mentoring, and instruction, women can add a valuable dimension and insight to your company that men simply can’t. Read on to learn more about the benefits of leadership coaching for women and what you can do to create a more inclusive and diverse leadership and management team.
What Is Leadership Coaching for Women and How Does It Differ From Men?
Leadership coaching is a methodology that assesses a person’s ability to lead, build upon their strengths, improve their weaknesses, and enhance the overall viability and quality of their leadership in general. It offers some insight into the principles and leadership skills that create an effective leader and provides an objective look at leadership styles and self-awareness, as well as leadership development and mentoring.
A company could take a blanket approach to leadership coaching, but understanding that women face different scenarios and obstacles that men don’t is of the utmost importance. Women’s leadership coaching requires specific instruction toward gender bias, possible imposter syndrome, and comprehension of the systemic inequities and barriers that have been ingrained in modern society for over a century. Moreover, female employees are far more likely to be passed over for management or executive positions due to an underestimate of their potential — something that leadership coaching for women aims to address.
Although some of the course matter and basic features of leadership coaching for women remain the same as men, taking a step toward the recognition of obstacles and building leadership skills that pertain to women can make a drastic difference. Through a separate and defined program, women can make the best use of their coaching sessions, which can lead to career advancement in management and executive leadership roles. It can also empower women to encourage fellow workers to break down the barrier and dismantle the systems of unconscious bias that have been created over time.
Obstacles Faced by Women in the Workplace
We’ve touched on the biases that women face in the workplace, but a more objective look is warranted if your organization is interested in implementing leadership coaching for women. Unfortunately, many of these unconscious biases and falsified “truths” have been part of the workplace for decades, if not longer. Thus, it makes them difficult to eradicate.
By identifying the hurdles women face in your own organization, you can create a holistic plan of support, learn the importance of executive and leadership coaching for women, and create a diverse workplace of potential women leaders that provide valuable insight and skills.
In a Yale study from 2021, researchers found that — all things the same — women were 14% more likely than men to be passed over for a promotion. The top reason cited for this discrepancy was that managers consistently judged women as lacking the core competencies and abilities to become leaders. However, the study found no particular reason for this bias, showing factual evidence that assessments of female leadership are decidedly flawed.
Interestingly, the same study showed that women were 7.3% more likely to have a better performance review than men. This has led to higher rates of burnout among women while also limiting beliefs that they can reach their full potential in senior management.
The “Family-Oriented” Fallacy
Another common misconception about professional women is that they have a ceiling in their potential due in part to being family-oriented. Drastically outdated, this fallacy presents the idea that women are more likely to fulfill their motherly duties than spend extra time in the office.
This unique challenge poses a question to managers of work-life balance in favor of the latter, which is something that many women can’t shake, regardless of their abilities or management potential in the workplace.
Hand-in-hand with personal life choices and motherhood are chauvinistic and misogynistic biases. Though these are expressed in different ways, the basic idea is that women are “too hormonal” or “too moody” to handle the tough decisions and workload that accompany leadership and management.
Yet according to a University of Michigan study, researchers found no difference between mood swings in men and women due to hormones. Nevertheless, it’s an unfounded obstacle that women face on the course of reaching their career goals or becoming female executives.
The wage gap between men and women has shrunk over time, but it’s still far more in favor of male workers and employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women earn 83.7 cents on the dollar compared to men for the same work.
Wage gaps can lead to burnout and lower morale for women, but they can also increase conflict at work, whether the conflict is outward or internalized.
Why Women Are Integral To Success in Leadership Roles
With so many obstacles launched in their way, the lack of executive presence from women shouldn’t come as a shock. But that doesn’t mean that your organization can’t make a change for the better.
Leadership coaching for women addresses how women can deal with these issues, but more importantly, it can provide men insight into why women are a vital asset within the managerial hierarchy.
Gender diversity initiatives and leadership coaching for women can provide the following benefits to your company:
- Better decision making as a result of diverse and unique perspectives
- Improved reputation among consumers and other businesses
- Lower employee turnover
- The ability to attract top female talent and talent overall
- Better diversity, inclusion, and equality
- The ability to wear many hats and multitask, as studies have shown that women are better at multitasking in certain cases
- The chance to put women in positions of power that can lead to them becoming role models and mentors for entry-level employees
- Breaking down biases, particularly in industries where women are marginalized
- Narrowing the wage gap
- Changing policies to become more inclusive of everyone — not just women
- Improved emotional intelligence, as women tend to be better listeners than men
These ideas alone should serve as motivation to implement leadership coaching for women in your workplace. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. And with women feeling like they have a valid and vital role in your organization, you may find that your performance and bottom line increase as a result.
Why Leadership Coaching for Women Is Integral to Your Business
Leadership coaching for women doesn’t just empower women — it helps management assess the situations of women in the workplace through context and reflection, as well as enhance the morale of women, unlock potential, and provide a platform for success.
While a broader approach to leadership coaching is advisable, you should have a plan to create a peer group program for female leaders to address some of the challenges they face. By doing so, women can feel like they’re in a safe space and free to discuss some concepts and scenarios that may make them feel uncomfortable in front of male colleagues.
In an open forum and the option of an experienced leadership coach, women in your business can feel supported to tackle these inequities head-on without any other interference. The result is an empowering, eye-opening experience that can lead to women reaching their full potential — whether they’re advancing to mid-management or working their way up to the C-Suite board.
Choosing the Right Leadership Coaching Program for Women
Thanks to a strong women’s empowerment movement, more and more companies are being led by women — and that’s a smart idea by any stretch. However, the sheer number of executive coaches and leadership coaches can create an issue on its own — choosing the right one.
Through a transformational curriculum, individual or group coaching, and fully customized plans, Unicorn Labs has a leadership coaching regimen that’s been proven to work. With a bit of instruction from us, a touch of inspiration on your part, and an initiative to put women on an even playing field in the workplace, you can give female contributors the support and respect they deserve.