It’s a sad but unavoidable fact that the gender equality gap is very real and prevalent in many organizations – particularly at leadership levels. Leadership development programs focused on women like the ones we offer here at Integral Leadership Design are crucial to creating women-positive workplaces that honour diversity and inclusion.
Why Do We Need Women-Only Leadership Programs?
The world needs more women who are empowered to lead as women. Many women leaders feel hampered by a gap between the exemplary competence they possess and the confidence they lack. Often it’s that gap that is preventing them from achieving the leadership success they deserve. We as women lead best by honouring ourselves in activating our unique purpose, values, skills, strengths, and talents, and by taking care of the things that are standing in our way. Coming from this inspirational core and leading from where you are—you can naturally make a profound difference with impact. Our programs help you craft the story of who you are as a leader through the power of storytelling. We focus on helping women to ‘get it right on the inside’ by developing their self-leadership. Building your brand in this way will enhance your leadership presence and drive your career path. We do that with our Purpose, Passion and Presence for Women Rising leadership program for women.
Addressing the Leadership Gender Gap
Leadership gender gaps are evidence that your leadership development programs are missing something. Most leadership programs are designed to address the skill gaps of men (as identified over years of research). They are not designed to help women become authentic, powerful, and feminine leaders. Leadership expert and fellow Forbes contributor Sally Helgesen comments that “the continuing paucity of women at very senior levels and the disparities in how women are still often paid has the potential to be toxic.” Many organizations continue to hire primarily male senior staff and to have mostly male board members, which is disheartening and frustrating for capable, qualified women.
In order to eliminate this leadership gender gap, it is vital that women be in supportive, empathetic, and dynamic women – only leadership development programs as part of their development. The particular challenges that women face from male-stereotyped environments, means that there is a need for women to better understand from each other how their own socialized expectations and the stereotyped expectations of them may have an influence on their behaviour and career advancement at work.
Study after study indicates that these issues can negatively influence women’s confidence in their abilities, their perception of their own potential, and their ability to articulate and express their needs and ambitions.
Our women-only leadership programs focus on boosting women’s leadership confidence and presence, so that women can lead themselves and others with their best selves.
Addressing Gender-Specific Career Derailers
Gender-specific career derailers aren’t addressed in most leadership programs. These are skill sets in which most men don’t need development, e.g. assertiveness and self-promotion. These, plus others, are essential to women’s career advancement and turn into derailers and career stallers if they aren’t addressed.
Creating Comfortable Learning Modes for Women
When it comes to this kind of development, women tend to be more comfortable being in a learning mode with other women as it is often an environment that enables women to open up about the realities of their experiences. In a recent survey of women viewed as high potential, 93% said that they think that women-only leadership programs are important to their development. That’s why many of my Leadership Development Programs for Women are group sessions that attract a supportive community of like-minded women. By collaborating with like-minded women who are passionate about becoming their best selves you can grow your tribe with women who provide support, expertise, feedback, validation and energy.
If you are considering taking part in a leadership coaching program program like those provided by Integral Leadership Design, then we highly recommend putting your doubts aside and make room for the positive change that a program like this will provide.