Lucy Franklin, VP of Sovos Accordance, gives her top tips on how to succeed as a woman in business and in a male-dominated industry, while resetting the scales for other women.
When you make it into the senior leadership structure of an organization as a woman, you tend to find yourself in a distinct minority. Depending on the sector, this experience will be more or less acute. In my industry – finance and professional services– support functions heavily represent women; but women find their numbers reduced significantly in the higher ranks.
This means that as a woman in a position of power, there are additional challenges to face. While at the same time there are responsibilities to help others succeed after you. It is no longer controversial to say we need the scales to be reset. There is a moral case for greater representation of women in business – and there is also a business case. Growing research suggests that including and promoting staff across all spectrums, genders, generations, ethnicities, sexualities and disabilities will see revenues increase. Not only this, but recent research from PwC found that 85% state that an employer’s policy on diversity, equality, and inclusion was important when considering whether or not to work for them.
Below are my top tips for women in leadership positions in the business world; detailing both how to excel, and make a positive change for other women in your sector and organisation.
Develop an effective talent strategy that banishes self-doubt
The reasons that prevent women from reaching senior positions are complex and multifaceted; many sit outside of the control of individual business leaders. But self-doubt is undoubtedly part of the puzzle and is something that can be addressed in the workplace. In my various roles as Managing Director, CEO and VP – I’ve seen countless dedicated, capable, hardworking women held back. Held back from reaching their full potential by self-doubt. If we don’t believe in what we can achieve and don’t put ourselves forward for senior roles that we could excel in we are held back from where we could and should be. As a leader you have the potential to develop an effective talent strategy. One which addresses self-doubt and implements an internal framework for coaching and supporting people into the right roles.