This month the Progressive Women’s Leadership Book Club read “She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership” by Jemma Roedel. The book serves as an amazing jumping off point for new leaders and quick refresher for leaders progressing in their careers. It takes a uniquely female perspective, touching on how women leaders differ from their male colleagues, from common traits that set us apart to differences in communication styles. The female-focus helps to give a clear picture of the challenges women taking on leadership roles face in the workplace.
So, what exactly sets us apart according to Roedel’s research?
Women have unique strengths when it comes to professional leadership. For example, women have a tendency to be more empathetic and collaborative than male colleagues. 43% of women leaders foster a more inclusive and safe working environment compared to only 5% of their male counterparts. Women are also almost 25% more likely to guide and mentor new employees into effective future leaders. Further, women also tend to be more detail-oriented, better at creative problem solving, and more trusting of their intuition. These strengths give professional women distinctive advantages and creates lasting impact. Women led business even tend to experience more rapid and lasting growth over time.
However, women also face many unique disadvantages in the workplace that make it more difficult to achieve growth and success in their careers. For example, a lack of confidence and fear of not being accepted continue to be significant roadblocks for professional women. This is despite the fact that there are currently more educated and experienced women, than men, entering the workforce today. 75% of female leaders report experiencing “imposter syndrome” during their careers. Women at the beginning of their career are 10% less likely than their male counterparts to believe they will advance to senior management, with that statistic only increasing the longer they’ve been in the workforce.
Because of these unique challenges, women feel they must, and are often expected to, work twice as hard as men to get ahead. Roedel not only acknowledges these roadblocks through her research but is able to lay out a comprehensive plan of how to overcome and succeed. She clearly explains what sets successful women apart from struggling women in the workplace, and maps out how to utilize your unique strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. In her book, Roedel touches on many areas where women struggle with entire chapters dedicated to subjects such as negotiation, overcoming common fears, cultivating an efficient team, or owning your authentic leadership style. Her writing is clear and very easily digestible. The book, “She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership” is a valuable guide, and especially a great starter guide for any woman taking that leap into leadership.