Organizations need to offer leadership development opportunities that feel like real solutions for women.
As organizations work to remove barriers and facilitate paths for women in positions of leadership and influence, building a robust and evidence-based leadership development program is a must. In a previous post we spoke about the confidence gap and the oft-cited experiences wherein women’s voices are minimized or quieted in the workplace. In this post we’re tackling the leadership the challenges they face when it comes to building presence and their personal brand—what they are, why they’re important, and how leadership development programs might tackle them.
Research by the Center for Talent Innovation reveals that positions of formal leadership might often elude women and women of color because of a perceived lack of “executive presence,” or because women might underestimate its importance. Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, has also suggested that women have a smaller window of acceptability than men when it comes to their leadership presence, making the challenge of presence and brand increasingly complex and time consuming for women to manage.
These challenges leave many women navigating the tension between leading from a place of authenticity and conformity. The question that organizations need to answer is how leadership development practices can respect that tension and offer development opportunities that feel like real solutions for women rather than requests to conform to rules that do not fit them.
Many women, for a number of historical, complex, and varied reasons, struggle with the notion of highlighting their value and contributions and finding ways of doing so that feel comfortable and authentic. It’s difficult for them to remove any worry about how their actions might be perceived by others and understand the professional development value in having a plan to act.
A women’s leadership development program that does not support women in understanding the whys and hows of enhancing their personal brand, and the steps to increasing their authentic executive presence, will be remiss.
To learn more about how leadership development programs can help women build their presence and personal brand in the workplace, join us on August 28 for our webinar, “Tackling Women’s Unique Needs in Leadership Development- Presence/Personal Brand.” It will address:
- How women’s voices are minimized or silenced.
- What personal branding or presence is and how it relates to women’s leadership and influence.
- Potential methods for leveraging leadership development programs to build female leaders’ personal brand and presence.