Making a name for yourself in the business world is hard enough as is, but for a woman, it can be even harder. Even though we make up 50.8 percent of the population, 60 percent of students receiving undergraduate degrees, and 44 percent of students receiving master’s degrees in business and management, it isn’t reflected in those holding powerful positions.
While women hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, 4.6 percent of women hold Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the finance, healthcare and social assistance industries, they hold absolutely no CEO positions.
Obviously, there’s an issue. A giant one. Despite women holding more leadership positions than ever, the extreme imbalance still exists and we need to first acknowledge that before we can expect any kind of change to come.
The Center for Women’s Business Research has found that, for the last twenty years, women have been starting and growing businesses faster than their male counterparts. In fact, 20 percent of all businesses valued at over $1 million are owned and led by women today.
What it is that gives these women an edge to aid in their success? A few key characteristics.
Listen to Yourself. Your gut feelings rarely steer you in the wrong direction, so please ladies, don’t muffle your inner voice.
Establish Core Values. The business world is constantly evolving, and you’re expected to evolve with it. However, you need something to keep you tethered to the ground, and that’s where your core values come in. Examine what timeless values are important to you and your company in order to achieve success and implement them everyday.
Reach Higher. Always strive for more, there will always be something or someone better than your best. High goals usually yield high results. Don’t believe me? The Center for Women’s Business Research found that “the only statistically significant predictor of whether a woman business owner will obtain capital and expand her business is not length of time in business, size of business or industry – it is her goal for growth.”
Live Life. Don’t pack your schedule full of to-dos and meetings and reports, and leave time for life. Whether that’s enjoying a meal, taking a bike ride, or a simple unplanned moment of fun with family and friends. When you’re experiencing life in a way that makes you enjoy and appreciate things, it will undoubtedly fall over into your professional life as well.