Monday, April 30, 2012

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The Female Leaders USP

In sales the hot buzzword is USP or Unique Selling Point.  A USP is basically the thing about your business or service that sets you apart from your competition, and the critical item that businesses should cultivate and maximize in both marketing and business development.

As women in leadership roles we also need to understand and make the most of our femininity; specifically how our gender is an asset to both our careers and the organizations we work for.  Femininity in itself is defined as the characteristic of being female and that alone separates us from the majority of the modern workforce.  In case you were unaware women still make up a staggeringly small portion of the executive leadership in Corporate America.   However, women make up the lions share of the consumer market which is likely in some way the target market of your industry.  Therefore women and their unique characteristics and traits can offer an irreplaceable perspective in modern business and should be capitalized.

So what are the benefits of being She? 

I think it’s pretty easy for both males and females to quickly list the stereotypes that have plagued women leaders over the years.  However, although these stereotypes have stood in the way of womens progress; today women that manage to break through the “glass ceiling” are generally perceived as more competent than males for this achievement.  By overcoming the vast difficulties that women face in the workplace they are seen as stronger and more capable than males that reach the same level of leadership.

In recent years the topic of emotional intelligence has gained credibility and in some circles is now valued as important as IQ.  The ability to understand and manage emotions is esteemed in business and women are generally more gifted in this area than their male counterparts.  Women that have mastered this ability can quickly gain credibility as solid negotiators within the workplace and subsequently accelerate and solidify their careers.

Let’s not underestimate the relational aspect of femininity in business.  Studies have shown that employees prefer to work for women because of their ability to communicate and empathize.  Developing the female talent of relationship building not only enhances networking personally and professionally but also maximizes human relations within an organization.   Employee retention, longevity in business relationships and teambuilding are all characteristics that companies strive for to expand profitability in their industries.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of female advantages in the workplace I hope this will inspire you to start thinking about your own USP and how you can begin to marque yourself as a female leader and celebrate your own feminine characteristics.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this topic - feel free to share any other female characteristics you deem as advantages in the workplace.

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