What are some traits you think great leaders possess? And what do women leaders bring that is unique?
Being a great leader is about leading with integrity to deliver a vision that everyone can understand and play a part in. This vision has to be clearly communicated and delegated whilst showing empathy, courage, and respect.
I believe anyone can develop the traits needed to be a great leader. However, I think some are more prevalent in women. These include empathy, humility, and resilience. Apparently, we are also really good at multi-tasking.
Why is it so important that women have leadership positions?
Female leaders can be amazing role models for women at all levels. They show others that success can be possible and how it can be achieved. Most importantly they show what difference a woman can make in a leadership position and that there are no barriers that cannot be overcome.
Women from different backgrounds bring different perspectives and can add multiple dimensions to the thought process and decision-making.
Which woman has inspired you the most and why?
As a Mancunian, I think of Emmeline Pankhurst and what she did for women in such a fearless and brave manner, which reflected how passionately she felt about the right to vote and fighting for women’s rights.
More recently I have been inspired by Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. She is a great example of success because of how she has handled the responsibilities of her role, the pandemic, and being a new mother all whilst being true to who she is – not an easy job to do in this scenario!
How have you developed your confidence as a leader?
I once believed that I needed to know everything about everything to do my job well.
I learnt that I don’t need to know everything I just need to know who to ask and what questions to ask! I believe that was a turning point not only for my confidence as a leader but also in my style of leadership.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Decide for you what makes a great leader and what doesn’t. It will help you grow your own style.
Understand the difference between managing and leading.
Be brave to take the next steps and remember – it’s ok to make mistakes along the journey – just make new ones each time.