There are now more women in boardrooms across all industries, and while we should always celebrate progress, there is still a long way to go in achieving parity with their male counterparts. One of the important forces behind this continuing cultural shift is the widespread availability of education. The rise of online degrees and distance learning has enabled many new mothers to either continue their studies or to pursue new ones. With women able to pursue opportunities today, which were unthinkable just half a century ago, there has never been a better time to dream big and to pursue a career all the way up to management level.
Clearly, there is no denying that, sadly, women still have a harder time rising through the ranks in many businesses. Some studies suggest that women are even held back when they are their own boss. New start-ups that are exclusively female often have a harder time securing funding. Some female entrepreneurs argue that the adversity has made them stronger and encouraged them to sharpen their skills. Whether you consider this to be the case or not, as a woman, you are going to have a fight on your hands to reach the top.
The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to make yourself simply too valuable for any business to pass on your skills and expertise. Here are just some of the ways that you can increase your value to potential clients.
Show your clients, managers, and co-workers that you mean business! Managers aren’t going to want to promote workers who are going to need babysitting. They want strong and independent individuals who are capable of thinking fast and making decisions. Being decisive and demonstrating that you understand when it is appropriate to use your own initiative will give others more confidence in you.
Show You’re Listening
Using initiative is definitely a valuable skill, but it’s also important that you understand when it’s more appropriate to follow instructions and seek clarification. In meetings, try to ask questions that show you are thinking ahead and carefully planning your approach to problems.
Learn New Skills
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that online degrees have allowed working women and new mothers to pursue a degree in their spare time. Northeastern University is just one of the many renowned national colleges who have an online wing. The Northeastern University Online department is known as Northeastern Online and they offer a diverse range of business-related courses.
Demonstrate Understanding Leadership
Some people think that in order to effectively demonstrate leadership, they need to completely dominate and show nothing but decisiveness. The real sign of a leader is that other people want to follow them, rather than being told to. Asserting leadership doesn’t need to be a demeaning experience for your co-workers. Work with them, and then show them that you empathize with them and value them. As long as they don’t feel that you are asserting yourself as being better than them, they will soon follow.
It is important to demonstrate your value to your employer if you hope to climb the corporate ladder. Women already have a hard time reaching the top, anything you can do to even the playing field is worth pursuing.