Wikihow has a 14-step guide on how to be a successful woman; this should make it easy for 3.8 billion women in the world to be successful right? Not quite! Success is complex and sometimes inherently easy.
For centuries, women were not allowed to work but today, every second post on LinkedIn is of a women being applauded for being CEO, CFO, COO and similar. So what has changed? Or what is it that women are exuding now that the workforce finds attractive? Let's delve into this.
On an interview with Tim Modise (South African journalist), Vusi Thembekwayo (venture capitalist and global business speaker) said that black South Africans are not previously disadvantaged – but that they are disadvantaged because those systems still exits. The same can be said about women. Systems such as patriarchy, gender pay gap, unconscious biases and caring responsibilities are still in place, making it harder for them to advance in the workplace.
Be that as it may. There is a breed of women who are defying these systems. Women like Shirley Machaba, Gail Kelly, Priscillah Mabelane, Maria Ramos and Phuthi Mahanyele. Not only are they exceptional leaders but they are setting standards and inspiring generations. This is what they all have in common if you want to follow in their footsteps:
- They are not afraid to take risks
As Sheryl Sandberg would say; affecting change in your career and beyond requires the ability to stop playing it safe every once in a while. Successful women don't make reckless decisions, but they do know how to take a calculated risk.
- They have a worldview
Open-mindedness is the single most important characteristic we have as human beings and most women in this league have that. An open mind comes with a worldview. To have a worldview - you must read, travel, engage with people in different cultures from around the world.
- They take responsibility
As the old saying goes: the captain goes down with the ship. Taking responsibility is the highest mark of great leaders and these women epitomise that. If you want to emulate them you have to cultivate a mind-set that is not afraid of taking responsibility.
- They endorse education
There is no question that education plays a pivotal role in the success of most women in the corporate world. You could be learning online, from a mentor or taking practical classes bottom line - you have to stay learning and improving on your education.
There are many other traits that they endorse and embody. Follow them on their social media platforms and read their biographies to get more insights into being a powerhouse of a woman!
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