Introducing The She-Suite™ Club

The Exclusive Empowerment Community for Leading Women

When Women win, we all win.
Join the movement today.

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Have you hit the “glass ceiling” so many times, it feels as if the top of your head is flat? Has your journey through the executive ranks seem to have stalled out? Are your dedication and hard work going unrewarded? Are you feeling underappreciated or misunderstood in the workplace? If so…welcome to The Club!

“This is THE place, where like-minded, executive-minded, forward-thinking women come to communicate—collaborate—and celebrate everything that it means to be a career-focused woman in a male-dominated work environment. This isn’t about ‘us vs. them.’ This is about us making a name for ourselves—taking a seat, and truly owning that seat, at the executive table—and doing so not as ‘clones’ of men, but as authentic, self-confident, self-empowered women.”

Amanda Blesing

2 x Author; Women’s C-Suite Mentor & Executive Coach; Founder: The She-Suite™ Club

Where empowered women empower other women. Because when women win, everyone wins.

Lead Like a Leading Woman, Not Like a Man

“You throw/fight/run like a girl!

How often have you heard that?

And it’s not said as a compliment despite what the advert may claim.

Unfortunately, it’s only a short step in logic from “fighting like a girl” to “leading like a girl”. Which is somehow seen as a lesser version of leadership.

To avoid the perceived pitfalls of “leading like a girl”, some female leaders reduce their femininity in favour of emulating the traditional male role model. Think of the female power bosses of the 80s and 90s – big hair, big shoulder pads, and a ‘go hard or go home’ mentality.

To make matters more complicated, this behaviour has historically been rewarded with pay rises, promotions and recognition when everything goes your way. But as a society we are quick to chastise those same women for these very same things if and when things go wrong or from those resisting change.

Masculine leadership traits dominate our corporate world because they’re seen as “good leadership”. Meanwhile, anything feminine is labelled as ‘soft’ or ‘weak’, and therefore is seen as more suited to the playground than the board room.

According to one study of leadership in the NHS, many women in leadership roles downplay their feminine traits (compassion, empathy and emotional intelligence) while managing others in favour of more traditional masculine traits (assertiveness bordering on aggression, confidence just shy of being cocky and a no holds barred attitude). The alarming part of this study is that for many women, this is subconscious. When asked if they felt gender impacted their role, most women responded with a solid ‘no’ – but their actions as managers said otherwise.

This contradiction reveals a startling trend in how leaders and business owners view women in leadership. Women imagine that by landing a seat at the leadership table, the playing field is now even. Even worse, businesses think that by simply hiring female leaders, their work is now done. But when women are downplaying their own unique qualities in favour of typically masculine traits, just so they can fit in, or to keep said seat, the field is anything but level.

As NZ PM Jacinda Ardern so popularly expressed:

“One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”

Let me reiterate – I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.

Instead of leading like a man, it’s time for female leaders to lead like themselves.

Instead of being shamed, blamed and belittled for their differentness, women should be acknowledged and rewarded for using their innate strengths and differences to their advantage.

Women themselves should accept the challenge to embrace leading with empathy, compassion and emotional intelligence if that’s what works for them – all of which makes for stronger leadership.

As study after study reminds us, organizations with gender equity at the leadership table typically make better decisions, have better risk management, increased profitability and productivity, higher staff and customer engagement, and increased innovation and creativity.

Women do it differently, and that’s the point.

In practice, this calls for a change to outdated protocols and exclusive cultures, and a purposeful decision to make workplaces diverse, inclusive and open to new ways of operating.

Even today leaders with non-traditional leadership styles are criticized, punished, chastised or even miss out on opportunities and recognition by the pale and stale brigade who refuse to see beyond their blind spots. In fact, just this week The Australia Club voted to reject a motion that women should be allowed to join. As if men are more Australian than the other 50% of the population.

It’s 2021 people! This veto is out dated, out of touch and outrageous as it represents an attitude more suited to the mid 1900s yet the people who voted this way are often touted as gender equity experts. In fact, it’s a Boomer power play to keep things as they are, rather than letting newer generations of leaders in.

When women lead with authenticity, workplaces evolve

Businesses need to find ways to reward, acknowledge and promote different styled leaders. Instead of encouraging women to act like men (and then chastising them or feeling intimidated when they do so), women must be encouraged to champion their unique strengths.

When women are empowered, encouraged and rewarded in the same ways as men, for leading more authentically, business and government will witness person-centred management, collaborative change and transformation that sticks, true innovation from within rather than acquired, which will lead to solving both old and new problems in new ways.

In fact, I’m sure that many men will be far happier if they too can ditch narrow stereotypically masculine leadership expectations as well.

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #ICreateSheroes

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What My Incredible Clients Have to Say…

Thank you so much Amanda. You have brought out the best of me and put it on a page.

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11 Point Executive Career
Toolkit Checklist

To ensure you are never caught out, and are perfectly positioned to put your best foot forward in your career, every time.

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