Women in the Boardroom
WFL Founder Mizinga Melu and the team were honoured to host the first of its kind When Females Lead Women in the boardroom workshop at the Quorum! The event was very well attended and we uncovered what it takes to earn a seat at the table and thrive while at. Astonishingly to this day, women are still under represented in the boardroom, and only 29% of women hold senior management positions globally.
• The progress in changing remains gradual and women are still confronted with barriers that prevent far too many from holding leadership positions across business sectors.
• Despite the low numbers of female executive representation, women have a powerful ability to achieve greatness, both personally and professionally.
• They also have the innate potential to inspire and empower others to do the same.
5 Quick tips
1. Use your Voice! You are at the table because you deserve it. Your voice matters, you cannot afford not to speak up.
2. How you show up matters – It is particularly important that you dress professionally, it matters and may depend on line of field. Dress for power and respect. You want the people to focus on your mind and your message.
3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – It is better to be over prepared than under prepared. Read the minutes and the subject before hand. It matters to think of the value you bring, be inquisitive, you are not a token. Listen Attentively.
4. Build your resilience, they will try to shut you down – don’t be like a man, be authentic. Resilience is an important attribute in and out of the boardroom. If you can hold on to your optimism and hope in these challenging times, you will likely find that you have great power within yourself. You are there because of your skills and capabilities, the diversity of thought.
5. Lead By Example. If you are the only woman in an all male arena or in the minority in any situation, then you have achieved something significant. Take the time to reflect and appreciate the significant role you now play. You do have a responsibility to others and they will expect you to lead by example.
The panellists summarised it as the 5 Ps plus courage.
PROBITY – INTEGRITY
Other topics covered included:
Be clear on the value you bring to the table. Don’t just go into the boardroom and keep quiet!
On Personal branding: WHAT EVER YOUR BRAND IS – BE CLEAR. Make sure people know about it
– COME OUT PUBLICLY WITH YOUR BRAND
– KNOW THE SPACE
– SHARE IT
– DO IT WITH FLARE***
CONFIDENCE IS OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR COMPETENCE, AIM FOR COMPETENCE
Men are allies in the boardroom. Once we view them as such, we will be more supported. Parenting plays a huge role. Do not wait to be invited.
– Keep learning.
– Be prepared for your next position. Dress up and show up like it.
– Package yourself in a way you want the world to know you for. Don’t be apologetic about your achievements
– Be authentic.
– Have Impact.