The role of women as leaders in companies all over the world is growing by leaps and bounds. Corporations and countries, it seems, are beginning to recognize the value that women in leadership positions can have.
The Economist has even proposed that increasing the number of women in the workforce can boost a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by as much as 25 percent. Today, there is a greater understanding of the value women can play in driving creative, thought-proving solutions that can yield success for all organizations.
Women pioneers are pushing through cultural boundaries to pave the way for future generations. Individuals like Sheryl Sanberg, Angie Hicks, and Arianna Huffington have become personal inspirations for myself, my daughters, and other women.
Despite growing cracks in the glass ceiling, women still face challenges related to cultural norms and values in the workplace. Look no further than Uber’s recent turmoil, which showed the persistent and systemic issues that plague companies.
These challenges are not bound to the United States. Across the globe, women face discrimination in various forms. Whether it be harassment in the workplace or fighting for equal pay and maternity leave rights, the struggle is constant.
Working for a Japanese international enterprise, I have seen how both corporate and regional cultures can impact the ability for a woman to gain equal recognition for equal contribution when compared to male colleagues.
Overcoming these barriers has fueled my determination to share my experience and improve the involvement of female leaders everywhere. In the 15 years I’ve spent leading start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, I have identified numerous tips that can be universally applied when defining a leadership role in any organization.
1. Be versatile.
The ability to offer extensive knowledge and cadre of sought-after skills is essential in establishing yourself as an asset to the team. I strive to share my knowledge across the organization in the areas that I am uniquely poised to provide.
To continuously provide valuable information, I continually seek ways to improve my technical knowledge, awareness of trends and technological development, as well as ongoing issues and challenges faced by various industries.
Each day, I spend at least two hours reading newsletters, articles, business news, and listening to first-hand accounts of the changing industry landscapes. Knowledge prioritization encourages regular requests for advice and recommendations for the organization.
Knowledge, coupled with a willingness to adapt within the organization, will lead to a defined role as a trusted team player.