What defines a great leader and what do women leaders bring that is unique?
I think great leaders need vision, integrity, self-awareness, and the ability to ensure everyone in a room has their voice heard within a constructive and safe space.
Good leadership is not gender-specific, but having a diverse leadership team brings different perspectives to the table. This, in turn, drives innovation and more effective solutions.
Why is it so important that women have leadership positions?
It is proven that companies with greater gender equality at a senior level perform better. However, the fact is that diversity in leadership roles allows for people to be seen and thereby be role models for others.
I think female leaders can be seen as powerful allies and champions by other women at all levels. To be the first or to be in the minority of anything can be difficult. Those first voices can always help ease the way for others, and areas that may have been difficult initially become less so.
How do you think women in leadership can drive important changes in the workplace?
Sometimes there are assumptions made about women in the workplace. It can be assumed that some, due to circumstances, may not have a willingness to take on challenging assignments or travel. As a parent to two young children, I embrace the opportunity to demonstrate that a flexible company approach allows me to be open to any opportunities that may be presented.
Which woman has inspired you the most and why?
That is easy, my own mother. She is a lady who will do what needs to be done to achieve an end goal. She sees the world through a lens of honesty, integrity, and empathy, who always knows both how and when to empower people in order to give them the confidence to achieve their goals.
How have you developed your confidence as a leader?
Once I have realised that very few people are 100% confident and that some are just better at hiding it, that made it easier! Everyone second guesses themselves at some stage, it’s human nature.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Just go for it, and remember there is never a perfect time for anyone. Although I do recognise that there may be times that are less perfect than others!
Also, never underestimate how valuable it is to ask or offer other people advice or support. I have been lucky in this regard, and hope that I can repay that for anyone who may want it.