Today, being good at your job isn't the only requisite for getting ahead in your career.
Equally crucial is ensuring that influential figures within your organisation are aware of your capabilities. Building a strong professional network and enhancing your visibility can open doors to exciting opportunities for skill development and meaningful assignments. As the saying goes, “It’s not just what you know; it’s who you know”. This sentiment holds particularly true for women in leadership roles, who often face challenges in showcasing their leadership skills despite outperforming their male counterparts. This blog explores strategies for women in leadership, offering insights into how they can increase their visibility and maximise their career potential.
Who are better leaders, men or women?
Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review has revealed a noteworthy fact: women consistently score higher than men in various leadership skills. However, despite their competence, women often find themselves working harder to validate their leadership abilities and gain recognition. A shining example of female leadership’s effectiveness emerged a few years ago during the Covid-19 crisis, with countries like New Zealand, led by Jacinda Ardern, and Germany, under Angela Merkel’s guidance, demonstrating exceptional crisis management skills.
It is clear that women are more than able to be leaders. So, what further potential lies untapped within women’s leadership capabilities, and how can we harness it to drive positive change in the corporate world? The Power of Speaking Up and Sharing Results
For women in leadership positions, it’s essential not only to perform exceptionally but also to vocalise their achievements and contributions within their organisations. One participant in a recent workshop I ran on how to get more visibility at work shared a profound insight: “When I don’t speak up, I am denying the group the opportunity to learn from my unique experiences. I try to remember this when the ‘voices’ tell me I have no value to add to the conversation”.
So, what strategies for women in leadership can be used to increase our visibility in order to not miss out on interesting opportunities?
Strategies to Enhance Visibility
Some of my top strategies include:
1. Speak up and engage –
At meetings, cross-department events and conferences, make your presence felt. If public speaking makes you uneasy, start small like posing questions during online events. Gradually, build your confidence by participating in smaller group discussions before taking the stage at larger events.
2. Strengthen the relationship with your manager –
Don't wait for formal appraisals; instead, regularly discuss your work and find out about available opportunities to help you progress. Be proactive and volunteer for high-visibility projects that will give you exposure to other departments and senior leaders.
3. Think outside the box –
If your company doesn't readily offer you opportunities for increased visibility, consider creating your own! Establishing a special interest group, such as a women in leadership network or a career progression initiative, can serve as a platform to connect with colleagues from various parts of the business. Additionally, organising charity fundraising events can facilitate interactions and showcase your leadership qualities.
Women in leadership roles possess exceptional skills and talents, yet their advancement can be hindered without effective visibility strategies. By embracing these tailored approaches, women can amplify their presence, expand their networks, and seize opportunities for growth and success. In a world where “who you know” can be just as important as “what you know”, women in leadership must take charge of their visibility and prioritise their path to success through strategic planning and execution. The strategies for women in leadership are not just a means to an end; they are a roadmap for achieving true recognition and influence in the professional realm.
Author: Ivana Fertitta
Ivana Fertitta is a trained psychologist and focuses on wellbeing in the workplace. Contact us to learn more about resilience, stress management, etc.
MetaMind is a Training Consultancy in Singapore which is renowned for its Best Corporate Training . We consult on Authentic Leadership Training, Leadership Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion, Executive Coaching in Leadership, Culture Change, Harrison Assessments and Employee Engagement. We look at your systems and processes, as well as the skillset and mindset that you need to succeed.