Throughout the years, women have proven to be impactful leaders. In the past year alone, they have become stronger and more powerful than ever imagined, standing up for their beliefs and breaking through stereotypes. (Think #MeToo.)
If you think back throughout history, strong impactful women can be found from the Roman Empire to the suffragette movement and beyond. Who do you think of when we say “Powerful Woman”? Would it be Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth, Michelle Obama? Or would it be your Mother, Friend, or Boss? Only you can choose who inspires you. But when it comes to powerful women, there is no rulebook!
Women are Diverse Leaders
While only 2.4% of CEOs in Fortune 500 Companies are women, these fearless leaders are representative of a diverse set to leadership styles and traits. They’re intelligent, ambitious, persistent, and organized. But each is also unique in her own right, with her own leadership style and personality. Here are some female leadership categories that we want to celebrate:
The Feminist: The true definition of “girl power”. Feminist leaders are pioneers in their own right with a no nonsense approach to communication, striving to make a difference in the male-dominated boys’ clubs. They believe in gender equality and are relentless in driving change for women both inside and outside the workplace. Thank you Gloria Steinem, Maya Angelou and the Notorious RBG!
The Integrator: These female leaders pull from life experience to coach and mentor teams through a motivational approach that provides skills and lessons which can be applied on the job or in members’ personal lives. They are driven from their own internal ambition for personal success with a focus on collaboration and accountability. A good example is Lindsay Pattison, CEO of Maxus Global.
The Inspirer: These women are driven by aspirational goals. Their focus tends to emphasize how those goals are achieved. In other words, they’re interested in transforming team members during the work process to even greater levels of motivation, inspiration, and individual development. Think of Malala Yousafzai, Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington.
Remember, Your Title Doesn’t Define You
There is no need for a fancy title or job position. Women lead change on multiple levels each and every day. Lean into your strengths, and don’t alter your behaviors based on predefined characteristics of what leadership looks like. Change happens at every level of an organization. Some of the biggest changes women are making today are around inclusion in the workplace, transparency of information, enhancing self-worth of others, energizing the workplace and building morale. No matter what anyone says, you are in control of the impact you make.
Everyday women are making a lasting impression. You don’t need to be a have a place in history books to be powerful, neither do you have to have tackle global or societal change. Leadership emerges in the most unexpected places, it starts small with those closest to you. There’s no right way to step out and make a difference, there’s no set of rules to follow. Remember, if she can do it, so can you!
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