Women don’t need to act like men to succeed in the Boardroom

In the race to reach the Boardroom, many women may see the latest revelations by the Corporate Gender Gap report as a sign that they need to mirror the behaviour and traits of their male counterparts if they want to stand any chance of succeeding.

However, this isn’t necessarily the best course of action, says career accelerator Judith Germain, who believes that some of the more feminine traits such as collaboration rather than competition will be what is needed in 21st Century business.

Germain, business consultant and Vice President, claims that there is no need to hide being feminine to succeed, they just need to focus on harnessing their unique skills and talent so that it is properly recognised within the organisation.

Leading women meeting with Gordon Brown to discuss workplace equality

“Traditional ‘Baby Boomer’ male-orientated leadership styles tend to be centred very much on command and control. As a result, these leaders tend to be very cut throat and people are seen as competition that need to be thwarted rather than as potential collaborative partners that could be utilised to fuel tangible growth. The business world is changing rapidly and as we move to a more collaborative society, these traditional leaders will rapidly become dinosaurs, leaving the path wide open for the new leaders with a better suited skillset and mentality to take over,” says Germain.

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Germain also warns that whilst many businesses do need to improve the training and personal development provision for female staff, they must ensure they are not just giving promotion preference to senior female employees purely in response to the media hype and to hit government targets.

“Such tactics will have a detrimental effect on how the female leader is viewed by her peers and will essentially ‘set her up for a fall’ when they fail to see her as credible. They will think that ‘she is only there to boost statistics’ and isn’t really a good or effective leader. The real secret to increasing the number of female leaders is about investing in the talent pool as a whole, so that the right candidates (male and female) remain loyal to the organisation and are primed to take increasing positions of authority and responsibility,” says Germain.

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