Why Women make great CEOs

In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the world of business.

2022 has seen a new record of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies; an increase from 7 to 74 over the past 20 years to be exact! While this record should be something to celebrate, it only translates to about 15% of females being in top leadership positions globally. Locally, only 35 female CEOs form part of the 581 companies listed on the 24 African stock exchanges that have over R1.68bn in revenue. 

Many companies have yet to see the benefits a female leader can bring to their organisation. While some have been quick to dismiss this trend as a fad or attribution of luck, we believe there’s something deeper at play!

So, in honour of National Women’s Month in South Africa, here are 5 reasons women make great CEOs:

1. Women are great leaders


A recent
Harvard Business Review analysis found that women in business scored higher than men on most key leadership qualities. Time and again, scientific studies show that women tend to outperform men when it comes to attributes like humility, self-awareness, self-control, and social skills.

Women often display different leadership styles than men, generally leading with compassion, ethics, and respect; driving a more close-knit work culture. Need we say more?

2. Women are empathic


Perhaps the superpower that makes Females great CEOs, women tend to have more empathy than their male counterparts, which allows them to build and nurture lasting relationships with their employees.

What’s more, women understand what their employees need, valuing work-life balance. They know how to multitask and prioritise, and they encourage their teams to do the same.

3. Women have a wide variety of skills


Unsurprisingly, women have a more diverse skill set, often using their multidimensional talents to solve problems efficiently. Compared to men, women tend to use
both sides of their brains simultaneously, with more ease, which helps them to merge logical and creative thinking (did someone say multitasking?). Men, on the other hand, tend to use each hemisphere sequentially.

4. Women are great at collaboration


If there’s one thing we’ve learned building a female empowerment community it’s this: We don’t win doing everything by ourselves. In today’s business climate, collaboration isn’t beneficial, it’s
necessary!

A recent study by Korn Ferry found that female CEOs are far more likely to utilise the power of teamwork. In short, it comes down to a higher score in humility, which translates to an expressed appreciation for others, leveraging others to achieve desired results, as well as a tendency to share credit.

5. Women are great communicators


This should come as a no-brainer, but women are great communicators! Naturally, leadership and communication go hand-in-hand. What’s more, time and again studies have shown us that women are able to
express themselves more eloquently than men. Equally as important, women also rank higher in listening skills, an all-too-forgotten skill.

Well, there you have it! While there is much progress to be made in appointing more female leaders in CEO positions, it’s worth acknowledging just how far we’ve come! All signs point to women being natural-born leaders. Now, it’s time to go get ’em, ladies!

Happy National Women’s Month from Xena!

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