Women in leadership


In the evolving landscape of leadership, women are increasingly taking on influential roles, breaking the glass ceiling, and inspiring others along the way. While progress has been made, there’s still work to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities to lead. A crucial part of this journey involves honing leadership skills. This article explores the essential leadership skills for women and how they can pave the way to success.

What is Leadership Skills

Leadership skills refer to the abilities and qualities that individuals possess to effectively guide, motivate, and influence others to achieve common goals and objectives. These skills encompass a broad range of attributes, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, empathy, adaptability, and the capacity to inspire and empower team members.

Leadership skills are not limited to those in formal leadership positions; they can be developed and utilized by anyone interested in making a positive impact on a group, organization, or community. Effective leadership skills for women are essential for driving progress, fostering teamwork, and achieving success in various aspects of life, including business, education, politics, and social causes.

Leadership Skills For Women

Leadership skills for women encompass a set of qualities, abilities, and behaviors that enable women to excel in leadership roles. These skills include effective communication, emotional intelligence, resilience, adaptability, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. Leadership skills for women also involve navigating gender biases and stereotypes while asserting authority and influence in various professional settings. These skills are essential for women to thrive and positively impact as leaders in diverse fields and industries.

  • Communication Skills

Effective communication is at the core of successful leadership. It involves conveying ideas, building relationships, and inspiring action. Women can enhance their communication skills by honing public speaking abilities and assertiveness.

Public speaking, often regarded as a daunting task, is a skill that can be developed. Joining public speaking clubs, seeking mentorship, and practicing regularly can boost confidence and eloquence. Assertiveness is also vital, as it ensures that one’s voice is heard in meetings and discussions.

Women leaders like Oprah Winfrey and Malala Yousafzai have mastered the art of communication, using their words to inspire millions and drive positive change.

  • Empowering Others

Empowering others is another leadership skill for Women that deals with equipping and enabling individuals to take ownership of their actions, decisions, and personal growth. It involves providing them with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities needed to make meaningful contributions and take on increased responsibilities.

Empowering others also entails fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel confident, motivated, and encouraged to reach their full potential. This not only benefits individuals but also enhances team dynamics and overall organizational success.

  • Self-Confidence

Confidence is one of the key leadership for women. Becoming a female leader necessitates having the confidence to surmount obstacles and setbacks. 

Rather than succumbing to circumstances or relying on others to identify and eliminate barriers, self-assured women proactively take the lead, motivating and empowering those around them to do likewise.

Therefore, female leaders should believe in their abilities, knowledge, and expertise. This self-confidence not only helps in decision-making but also inspires others to follow. Practice self-affirmation, and remember that your voice and perspective are valuable.

  • Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, plays a pivotal role in leadership. It encompasses self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to manage emotions. Understanding the emotions and motivations of yourself and others allows for better collaboration, conflict resolution, and team building. 

Women possessing emotional intelligence exhibit a sense of inner tranquility that allows them to lead without succumbing to ego-driven impulses. They adeptly navigate their emotions, ensuring they don’t interfere with their capacity to make sound decisions and maintaining assertiveness rather than reactivity.

Resilient women in leadership positions possess a deep sense of empathy towards those under their guidance, placing others’ needs on par with their own. Their focus extends beyond personal advancement, demonstrating an ability to gracefully disregard unsound advice without causing offense to the advisers.

Cultivate your emotional intelligence by actively practicing empathy and active listening.

  • Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

Leaders are faced with countless decisions and challenges. Effective decision-making and problem-solving are crucial skills for navigating the complex terrain of leadership.

Women may encounter unique challenges in decision-making roles, such as being second-guessed or facing biases. To excel in this area, it’s essential to have a systematic approach to decision-making, considering facts, risks, and long-term consequences.

  • Resilience and Adaptability

Leadership is not without its trials. Resilience—the ability to bounce back from setbacks—and adaptability—the capacity to thrive in changing environments—are vital attributes.

Resilience is cultivated through facing adversity with a positive mindset, seeking solutions, and learning from failures. Adaptability involves staying open to change, embracing innovation, and adjusting to new circumstances.

  • Leading by Example

Leading by example is a fundamental aspect of leadership where leaders inspire and guide their teams through their own actions and behaviors. It means living out the values, ethics, and principles you expect from your team. When leaders walk the talk, they not only gain trust and respect but also motivate others to follow suit.

This approach fosters a culture of integrity, responsibility, and excellence within the team or organization. Leading by example is a powerful leadership tool, as it shows that actions carry weight in leadership, often speaking louder than words.

As more women ascend to leadership positions, the landscape of leadership is diversifying, enriching organizations and societies. Leadership skills are not confined to gender; they are about capabilities, determination, and the drive to make a positive impact. Women who possess these leadership skills for women are paving the way to success, inspiring generations to come and proving that leadership knows no gender boundaries.

When I talk about women and leadership, I refer to the Ellen Johnsons of yesterday, today and
tomorrow. I refer to Sahle –Work Zewde, I refer to Ilhan Omar, I refer to Michelle Obama and
last but not least! So close to home! Kenyan first female major General Fatuma Ahmed
Gaiti.This women have broken glass ceilings that most thought were impossible goals for
women to achieve.

They didn’t do it overnight that’s for sure but the courage, the perseverance, the name calling
and shaming they must have endured during their rise to success must have been alot.Some of
them are still in the game and some are out of it but not completely out of it.This brings me to
my main reason of putting it down in writing. My main question is, have women been fully
accepted as worthy opponents for their male counterparts in different professional fields? I
don’t want to come out sounding like us women are crying over our seat at the table. At this
point and time, we are not crying or being nice to get what we deserve and have earned but we
are asking for our seat at the table, that which we have worked for.

I know that last sentence in that last paragraph might follow up with sneers from some people
but hey, it’s time people, not only women but also men stood up for what they believe they
have rightfully achieved. Recently when I was having a bit of a discussion with my colleagues on
women in power and their journey to where they are right now, made me realize that men are
still not ready for women in power. Saying it as it is. I can’t blame one of my colleagues for his
ignorance because the society that we are brought up in and that which we are living in right
now, has portrayed the girl child mostly as someone who seeks favors from men because of
their gender.

The perception that people have when a woman is in power is different from that which they
have when a man is in the same position. Quoting Rita Kavashe, Isuzu East Africa MD,who says
she was being mistaken at first for being the MD’s secretary and not the MD during her first
days as Isuzu MD, goes a long way to clearly bring out the fact that people still don’t consider
women as ‘worthy’ of some positions as they do men. The only thing that some people can
think of when they see women making it professionally is that they got there through shrewd
means .This not only disrespects those women who have earned their place at the table
through their own sweat, but it also demoralizes our women!

Its’s time we start bringing up the young generation with better values and ideologies. It’s time
we strengthened both sexes for them to know that claiming what they have worked so hard for
is not a crime neither is it a favor. Women should not cower in fear of people’s perception of
their limits. Be limitless; strive to concur what you set your heart in. As Oprah puts it, ‘Be the
one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only
people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment, own

About Dorothy

She is currently a front desk agent/cashier at Acacia Premier Hotel Kisumu .Passionate about writing articles that has direct impact on women. She is 24 years old,determined to empower fellow women and just shed light on different relevant issues.You can contact her via her  email address ; odhiamboodorothy1@gmail.com.