If you haven’t noticed, women are taking the business world by storm. Over 51% of the corporate professional working population are female, a five-fold increase from just four decades ago. Among the many evolutions in American society that have accounted for this rise, a rapid increase in the availability and emphasis on higher education has enabled countless 21st century women the ability to advance their careers and build amazing businesses.
We’re thriving in our success. We’re creating start ups, small businesses, and solopreneur companies by the millions on an annual basis. Slowly, we are beginning to reach higher-level and CEO positions in businesses around the world.
We are the future of business: and we have a lot of potential waiting to show itself.
However, understanding the “how” is crucial to achieving change within business. Why are women so successful at startups and in management positions? What is our secret to being the best possible employee or leader?
Every woman is different, and every position calls upon a different expertise of the worker. However, there are some honest generalizations we can make about women, and this is one of them. We have been conditioned – both through society and upbringing – to be emotional caregivers for our families and loved ones. This carries into our daily lives and often gives us an increased sense of empathy and understanding.
One of our strongest assets for why we are such excellent business leaders is our strong emotional intelligence: the combination of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. It helps us create relationships, build connections, empathize, and so much more. Our EQ (emotional quotient) makes us stand out from the other gender, and will help us revolutionize the modern business.
The myth that women talk too much has been disproven multiple times, but enhanced emotional intelligence does give people the advantage to be excellent communicators. For women, we have an advantage when we pursue the growth and fostering of our EQ.
Emotional intelligence shines especially bright in situations that elicit emotional responses. In business, this might be rare, but stress and anxiety run rampant in our modern offices. Being able to keep a cool and level head during meetings or one-on-one’s with our employees gives us an advantage.
Plus, with heightened EQ, we can properly analyze situations to navigate through the emotions of others and manage our emotions internally. Keeping our emotions bottled up is not healthy, but we understand when the right time to unleash them may be, and when we should think critically about a situation. We can use our words to help others understand, be less stressed, and feel more confident in their work.
As one tech entrepreneur, Colleen Smith, stated in her article on women in the technology industry: “Utilizing these natural communication skills provides women with the edge needed to excel in the tech industry. After all, communication is critically important for managers, who have to connect with both employees and executives to explain business goals and how they can be achieved. Women who can perform technical work like coding and also intelligently talk about the impact of that work are perfectly positioned for leadership roles.”
Empathy and Employee Happiness
Through emotional intelligence, we can not only communicate our expectations, but our feelings on the matter in a professional fashion. In addition, we can evaluate and understand the emotions of others.
If an employee under our care is going through a hard time (whether in the office or at home), we can take a step back, analyze their emotions and the situations, think of an empathetic response, and communicate on an emotional level with that employee.
This level of empathy will not only make the conversation end on a more positive note, but will also help the employee feel more trusting of us, and feel more connected with the job. In our day and age when employee motivation is commonly lacking and hurting businesses; focusing management tactics on employee engagement can impact profits and employee retention.
Our experiences as women also give us a unique advantage from that of the typical male worker. Our upbringing, social conditioning, and experiences allow us to see the world in a different light that can often challenge or expand on the ideas of others. This is especially handy in marketing and brainstorming; where diversity is not only needed but a key to innovative thinking.
Female leaders in business are rare among the Fortune 500 companies, but it is a growing trend that is showing to be especially powerful. Women bring their unique perspective to the boardroom table, and can provide a counter to the typical business perspective. Our perspective helps businesses take more educated risks, allows us to utilize employee’s most powerful traits, and breaks the mold of thought that has always haunted business; leading to greater chances of innovation within the industry.
This also helps in a marketing sense, where we can create an emotional connection through shared experiences and create a more loyal fanbase. Bringing in non-traditional viewpoints allows businesses to broaden their horizons and expand their market into new areas. Since women make up just over half of the population, bringing in female perspectives allows businesses to impact more lives through their marketing.
Women have a unique perspective they can bring to business, and a unique skill that is shaped by our experiences. Emotional intelligence plays into many aspects in business, but communication and empathy is where it shines especially bright in the careers of women.
We can harness our heightened emotional intelligence to not only bring positive change to our business, but to advance and better our own careers. Our conditioned hearts can be turned around as a benefit to ourselves and many others, and understanding just how impactful that can be is the key to bringing it into our lives. Use your emotional intelligence to your advantage, and excel just as you are: as a woman!
Katie McBeth is a freelance writer out of Boise, ID, with experience in marketing for small businesses and management. She spends her free time being the mother of three cats and a dog named Toby. You can follow her animal and writing adventures on Instagram orTwitter: @ktmcbeth.