The rudest question one can ask a woman, according to Tina Fey (2011) in her autobiography, is “How do you juggle it all?” (p. 255). She rebukes against asking this guilt-inducing question, which makes females feel criticized and judged. Fey responds to this question by saying, “I have the same struggles as any working parent” (p. 255), in order to highlight the fact that men share this dilemma but are rarely asked about it. Being a working mom is a difficult task, but work-life balance is not at all impossible.
As a female manager, I totally agree with Tina Fey on whether there are unique challenges that come when you lead in a male-dominated industry, but it’s not impossible to excel.
Female leaders might face a lack of gender diversity in the most powerful positions, unconscious gender bias, stereotyping, and negative preconceptions at the workplace. However, with the right mindset and strategies, women can recognize such potential barriers and excel in their careers.
In this article, I’ll share the top 8 tips and strategies for female managers to excel that also helped me overcome gender stereotypes and succeed in the workplace. I’m hoping you’ll experience the same outcomes. So without further ado, let’s begin:
Table of Contents
- Top leadership strategies for women to Excel in tech
- Tips to help women to excel in the workplace
- Final words
Top leadership strategies for women to Excel in tech
Top leadership strategies for women in tech are the methods that female leaders can use to effectively lead teams in the tech industry. These strategies include building a strong network, being assertive and confident, fostering collaboration, and much more. By implementing these strategies, female leaders in tech can overcome barriers and biases, inspire and motivate their teams, and drive success and growth for their organizations. Let’s take a look at these strategies:
1. Do a self SWOT analysis
“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know.” “That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely
I believe that leaders are created rather than born. They must understand their strengths and, perhaps more importantly, their weaknesses. It gives female leaders a fresh look at what they do well, what are the challenges, and which opportunities to pursue.
So, the main question, “How to do a self SWOT analysis?”
To do this, first “set a goal.” Evaluate why you are doing this analysis; for personal growth in your career or to better your communication skills and more. Afterwards, start doing SWOT analysis by asking yourself some questions, then concentrate on building an actionable plan to work on your qualities.
Remember: Be honest when you answer yourself.
- Make a table with four equal sections and name the boxes: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths.
- First, list all your strengths, skills, and expertise at work. Don’t limit yourself while explaining your strengths, so you must write down even a small strength you use at your workplace.
- Same as mentioning your weakness and threats, evaluate at what points you are lacking and what things about you in future can go against you in your career growth. Lastly, don’t forget to think about what opportunities you are getting or are going to get to better your job.
A personal SWOT analysis needs actual introspection. Take some time to ruminate, then think about it and come back with a better you the next day.
Also, if you want to know what leadership style represents your strengths best, you must take a look.
2. Communicate effectively
“If you notice that you’re not getting credit for your ideas or you’re getting interrupted, adapt your style to be more direct. Get on the agenda, let the facilitator know in advance you’d like to speak, ask an ally to support your idea and acknowledge you by name.” – Susan Fee
According to me, women must collaborate well with their peers as well as coworkers & be concise while scheduling the priorities, setting the accountabilities, representing an idea, and spotting the bottlenecks in the work or in the organization.
The ability to guide others and to possess strong communication skills are essential qualities for any leader or aspirant leader.
However, in the fast-paced tech world, without coordinated and innovative new approaches, women may continue to lag behind in the workplace and miss out on new prospects in the age of automation.
Today, the best solution for this is the use of communication tools in the business. Project management tools like ProofHub provide an extensive room to better communicate with all the company’s employees using features like chat and discussion threads.
This way you can keep all your team members in a loop can create a discussion topic on any project anytime, mention someone for instant contact, arrange one-to-one chat, and also send essential documents or notes you want.
This way you can be more clear and every time on the loop to collaborate with your team.
3. Build a strong personal brand
In one of the Forbes articles on women and branding, PR expert Susan Finco said, “Women need to strategically and intentionally develop their brands and decide who they are, what they stand for and where they are headed.”
Developing a powerful personal brand can make you stand out and get you noticed for your achievements. Showcase your abilities and knowledge by utilizing social media and business networking.
A strong personal brand can assist women in staying focused on their long-term objectives. This is because, in order to build a strong personal brand, one must first do the difficult work of clearly defining and aligning one’s personal goals and values. This authenticity of self enables leaders, both men and women, to keep their objectives front and center and make decisions that may be unpopular at times.
4. Seek feedback
“Even if women are well represented as middle managers, their numbers drop off when making the jump to VP-level executives. Why aren’t more women reaching executive positions? The feedback men and women receive along the way is one reason.” – Shelley Correll and Caroline Simard
Women who receive feedback can improve and grow as leaders. Seek and use feedback from colleagues, superiors, and mentors to improve your skills. Feedback allows them to recognize their strengths while also identifying potential blind spots that could stymie their career growth.
Also, know about what constructive feedback is and how it can be helpful for you.
5. Build strong relationships
“Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader.” – Indra Nooyi
Building strong relationships with colleagues and superiors can help you gain support and respect in the workplace. Not only this, but such relationships also strengthen your trust amongst your colleagues and team, which helps you better lead your team and role. If you seek what you should do, you can try the following tips:
- Always ready to work, let your peers know that you are serious about improving and growing at work.
- Help others in their work, keep the competitive nature aside, and work in a team.
- Look for opportunities to celebrate team members’ accomplishments.
- Always speak positively about the people you work with.
- Support other people’s work, and also encourage other women to work with you.
- Ask your team members to get involved in your projects or activities.
- Spend one-on-one time with colleagues.
- Communicate clear goals and expectations to your employees.
6. Be assertive
It might be difficult for women leaders in tech to speak up and express themselves in male-dominated environments. But for a leader to succeed, assertiveness is crucial. Don’t be hesitant to speak your mind and defend your teammates and yourself.
To be assertive, you must have confidence and credibility in yourself. Always look for opportunities to seize.
It’s simple: if you don’t take advantage of this opportunity, someone else will. Always begin a conversation with the end goal in mind, whether with your clients, boss, or peers.
7. Embrace failure
“Whether it’s failure or success, what’s more essential is that you analyze and pick up from there and move on. For me, it’s not the end of the game.” – Ruchika Batra
Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things, even if they don’t always work out. Recover, pick yourself up, and try again.
- Encourage a collaborative atmosphere where mistakes present worthwhile learning opportunities.
- Take advantage of these chances to talk about how things could or should be done differently.
- Conduct in-person discussions with staff members and management to go through the information on things like innovation, relationships, and growing and learning.
8. Mentor others
“As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all.” – Michelle Obama
Be a good leader; support and mentor others at the workplace. Take time to share your thoughts and learnings with others, especially women at work.
- Be a role model. As a female leader, you can set an example for others by being a good role model. Show your mentees how to lead with integrity, authenticity, and confidence.
- Provide guidance and advice. Share your experience, knowledge, and wisdom with your mentees. Help them navigate the challenges they may face as a leader and provide them with feedback and constructive criticism.
- Build a supportive network. Encourage your mentees to connect with other female leaders and create a supportive network. Help them build relationships, collaborate, and share their knowledge and resources. Know how you can be an inspirational, agile leader.
Tips to help women to excel in the workplace
The workplace can present unique challenges for women, including bias, or unequal opportunities, making it essential to have tips to navigate these obstacles effectively. The tips, like managing work-life balance, overcoming gender stereotypes, embracing diversity, and more, can help women managers excel at their workplaces. Let’s take a look at these:
1. Balance work and home life
“You can have it all, just not all at once” – Oprah Winfrey
Achieving work-life balance is a crucial aspect of maintaining physical and mental well-being, and it can be particularly challenging for women who have additional responsibilities such as caregiving and household duties.
Women manage work-life balance by setting clear boundaries between work and personal life. This may involve establishing a routine, prioritizing tasks, and learning to say “no” to extra work or commitments that could interfere with personal time.
Another approach is to use technology, which has advanced dramatically in the last decade and is now a tool for assisting women with work-life balance. Women can use this to stay organized, to be in two places at once via teleconferencing or online project management, and better balance their life and work.
2. Set goals
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Mary Kay Ash
Female leaders should set goals and stay focused by being clear about their vision, setting realistic deadlines, and holding themselves accountable. They can set and work on their SMART goals using a good task management tool like ProofHub.
With ProofHub, you can create a project and break it down into smaller tasks with specific deadlines. The software’s Gantt chart and calendar view can provide a visual representation of project progress, enabling leaders to see the big picture and make any necessary adjustments. ProofHub can be an excellent tool for female leaders to set and achieve their goals while keeping their teams aligned and motivated.
3. Prioritize self-care
Self-care is not a luxury. It’s a necessity for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Self-care is essential for everyone, including women. As women, we often put the needs of others before our own and forget to prioritize our own well-being. It is crucial for women to prioritize self-care as a means of achieving a healthy and fulfilling life.
Not only this, but engaging in self-care activities also helps to reduce stress, improve mood, increase productivity, and promote work performance. So, don’t think twice next time before giving yourself time for self-care.
4. Be a Problem-Solver
Women leaders can be great problem solvers at the workplace due to their unique abilities to empathize, communicate, and collaborate effectively.
Women are known for being great listeners and team players, and they often create a more inclusive and diverse work environment, which can lead to better problem-solving outcomes. We often bring a fresh perspective and different approaches to problem-solving, which can lead to more innovative solutions. Additionally, we are often better at navigating difficult conversations and resolving conflicts, which is essential in any workplace. So, work on it, let yourself open to bring ideas to the workplace.
Read more to explore Top Client Communication Skills That Will Make You A Star Communicator
5. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion
“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers
Women leaders who prioritize inclusion are not only inviting diverse perspectives to the table but actively seeking them out and making sure they are heard and valued.
This leads to better decision-making and problem-solving, and ultimately, a more successful organization. In addition, promoting inclusion can help to increase employee engagement, retention, and morale, as well as improve the organization’s reputation and brand.
6. Develop Your Skills
“A woman is full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” – Diane Mariechild.
Make sure you are learning continuously to develop and improve your skills. Attend training programs, conferences, and workshops, read books and articles and seek mentorship or coaching from experienced leaders to learn new approaches and working skills.
As women develop their skills, they become more valuable to employers, which can lead to more job opportunities and career advancement. Not only this, as women develop their skills, they become more confident in their abilities, which can lead to greater success in their careers.
Read more to Know what skills can make you a good leader at work.
7. Negotiate for what you want
“It is not always easy to advocate for yourself, but it is always worth it.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Women leaders should negotiate for what they want because negotiation skills are crucial for success in any leadership role.
Negotiating helps women leaders to advocate for themselves and their team, to secure the resources needed to achieve their goals, and to establish themselves as effective and confident leaders.
Additionally, negotiation allows women to overcome gender biases and to challenge the gender stereotypes that may hinder their advancement in their careers.
8. Bring internal motivation
“Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Women leaders can motivate themselves to work better by setting clear goals, cultivating a growth mindset, seeking out support and inspiration from others, and taking care of their physical and emotional well-being.
Think about what you can do, don’t let your soul sleep just because you don’t get an opportunity once. Fight, learn and stand up for yourself.
Also, if you want to inspire yourself and your team with some great motivation tips, here they are. Look at 41 Of The Most Noteworthy Teamwork Quotes To Promote Effective Collaboration.
As a female manager, I strongly believe that the workplace has evolved significantly over the years, and women have come a long way in breaking through the glass ceiling. However, it is still a fact that women face certain challenges that their male counterparts may not experience.
I am confident that by implementing these “tips and strategies for female managers to excel,” women can surely better maintain their work-life balance, create a gender-neutral environment, and be successful in their careers.
It is my hope that women will continue to strive for excellence in the workplace and that organizations will create inclusive environments where women can thrive and reach their full potential
“Are you a woman leader looking to excel in your work? Try using ProofHub, a powerful project management tool that can help you stay organized, collaborate with your team, and meet your deadlines with ease. Sign up for free and take advantage of its features to take your leadership skills to the next level!”
How can a woman be a better manager?
To be a better manager, a woman can focus on developing strong communication and interpersonal skills, setting clear goals, building a supportive team, and prioritizing self-care and work-life balance.
What are main challenges for female leaders?
The main challenges for female leaders include overcoming gender bias and stereotypes, managing work-life balance, and breaking through the glass ceiling to reach top leadership positions.
What are some effective strategies for female leaders?
Effective strategies for female leaders include: building a supportive network, developing strong communication skills, being authentic and confident, seeking out mentors, and advocating for gender equity.
What are the traits of a woman manager?
Traits of a woman manager include strong communication skills, empathy, adaptability, and the ability to collaborate effectively. They often prioritize building relationships and promoting a positive work culture.