Ladies: Are You the Next Presidential Candidate?

More than three million people attended women’s marches around the world on Saturday January 22, 2017. Various causes were attached to the march, but at its core, the demonstration was in support of women’s rights and civil rights.

It’s a battle that women are still fighting. Although improvements have been made over the years, 43% of respondents to a Pew Research Center study said that women are held to higher standards.

The gender gap still exists. But the number of female leaders is certainly growing and 44% said that as more women move into management, it’s only a matter of time before women hold as many top positions as men.

woman_presidentIf you want to see change, you must take initiative, take risks and get out of your comfort zone. And if your organization doesn’t recognize the need to support, develop and invest in its female leaders, you should advocate for yourself.

  • Create a culture of empowerment and inclusion among your female counterparts to speak up and challenge current processes. Eventually, you’ll look at career opportunities as a way to embark on a new adventure and obtain new skills.
  • Talk to executives about implementing policies and options to encourage women to step up, such as flexible work schedules, mentoring programs, maternity benefits and access to networking groups.
  • Already in a leadership role? Mentor employees down the chain who show potential. With encouragement, support and inspiration, there’s a greater chance they’ll become emerging leaders.
  • Look into training and coaching experiences you can attend and offer your fellow co-workers, covering topics such as assertiveness, personal branding, leadership development and stress management.

When you put your best foot forward, you will see positive change within not only yourself, but within your organization. You are just as—if not more—capable than your male counterparts. It’s time to stop being held to a double standard and fight for that managerial position, corner office or boardroom seat.