Updated: Sep 15
In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ERIC HOFFER
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Lockdowns have affected around 80% of the world's workforce, says the International Labor Organization (ILO). Social patterns and supply chains alike have been disrupted. Some businesses have lost revenue and face insolvency, while others struggle to keep up with an unexpected surge in demand.
To effectively navigate the unpredictable new normal, leaders need vision and resilience, compassion and adaptability. While hard-hit by the pandemic, “women will be the backbone of recovery” according to a UN policy brief. Below are 5 trends empowering women in business to thrive within this COVID-19 crisis.
1 - Women Leadership
There is overwhelming evidence that female representation and higher gender diversity in top management positions leads to increased organizational effectiveness and better financial results, because the leadership behaviors of women help to improve companies’ organizational performance.
According to McKinsey, companies with more than 30% women executives outperform companies with fewer women executives. Having women in key leadership positions improves business results because organizational performance is driven by a diversity of leadership styles.
In a survey of behaviors considered crucial for corporate performance, 3 of the 4 behaviors are more often used by female leaders in corporations, namely: intellectual stimulation, inspiration, participative decision making, and setting expectations and rewards.
It is your time to prepare and equip yourself to step into these leadership roles when the opportunity arises because businesses have a strong economic incentive to elevate women with entrepreneurial mindsets and behavior into strategic leadership positions.
2 - Unprecedented Access & Influence
Everyone has a sphere of influence. Within your organization and beyond, it's never been easier to establish yourself as a recognized industry expert, build a following and extend your influence.
If leadership is influence then in today's world you can expand your reach further than ever before.
In addition, with travel restrictions in operation in numerous countries across the globe, many established leaders and organizations are now operating solely online, making them easier and more accessible to connect with and learn from.
Many authors, researchers and experts who may have previously been too busy to connect, are now available literally at your fingertips. During this pandemic period, use this opportunity to expand your network and skills to position yourself for the future.
3 - The Agile Management Advantage
Increasingly, the work of a business leader doesn't simply involve performing or delegating a set of specific tasks. Therefore, the 4 pillars of the agile mindset - delighting customers, descaling work, enterprise-wide agility and nurturing culture - are crucial to create workplaces that harness the human spirit through creating meaning, nurturing ability and expressing talent to have a thriving, engaged, productive and profitable workforce.
Develop your leadership resonance using the V.I.B.E. framework which I will reveal in my upcoming Destiny Diamond masterclass, because current and future generations of Millennial and Gen Z employees want more than a paycheck - they’re looking to throw themselves into work that matters and to follow leaders who resonate with them.
When you foster a culture where employees feel they can bring their whole selves to work, you can create an organizational advantage of resilience and recovery from the current crisis by maximizing your access to talent, diverse skills, leadership styles, and perspectives.
4 - Digital Adoption of Technology Solutions
The pandemic has caused many
businesses to accelerate the process of digitalization faster than ever for survival, success and profitability. During the pandemic, businesses have had to move online with remote working, customer support, online sales and data analytics. If nothing else, one thing is certain - the future is digital.
Many organizations and institutions are adopting measures, some specifically targeted at women, to increase opportunities for upskilling and enhancing information technology skills, and access to funding for women entrepreneurs, including eliminating biases in selection.
If you've ever considered starting your own business, or being more intrapreneurial within your organization, there has never been a better time. Women in business can now benefit from more flexible, location-independent work options, especially in services that can be delivered digitally or in sales and marketing.
5 - Economic Inclusion of Women
As we look to the future, narrowing the gender gap for women at work could be one of the largest boosters to growth. Given that with full economic participation women could add up to $28 trillion to global GDP, a lack of progress on gender equality is economically costly.
McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has established a strong link between gender equality in society and gender equality in work using a Gender Parity Score (GPS) calculated across 15 gender-equality indicators within four categories (equality in work, essential services and enablers of economic opportunity, legal protection and political voice, and physical security and autonomy).
In developing a roadmap for organizational change, business leaders need to act now. The faster leaders "lean in" towards greater gender equality, the bigger the benefits for both gender equality and economic growth at organization and societal levels.
In the wake of the pandemic, there is a confluence of mega trends that are creating unprecedented opportunities for women in the business world to succeed and thrive amidst these uncertain times.
The future is yours, for every female leader willing to step up and embrace the possibilities of this brave new frontier. The key skills for the future of work include creativity, communication and collaboration.
Combined with empathy and emotional intelligence, embrace diversity and bridge differences in order to traverse the challenges of the future through successful collaborative efforts and teamwork in the "next normal".
As you position yourself to take advantage of these trends and master them, it will enable you as a woman leader to unlock tremendous economic advantages even within the COVID-19 crisis. Join the upcoming session on empowering women in business to find out more about these mega trends and how to leverage them for success in your life and career.
Learn more by joining us on our Free Event on Women Empowerment: Thrive within the COVID-19 Crisis on 21st September at 2:30 - 4:00 PM, SGT and 30th September at 10:00 - 11:30 AM, SGT. Register Today!
About the Author & Speaker:
Laura Kuimba Yu
Elevated into organisation-wide leadership roles at an early age ranging from enterprise, NGO's and movements, Laura has been unveiled as a prodigy in motivating people to greater heights, accomplishing goals from both a corporate and personal perspective.
Building a multi-national million dollar company in the tech sector servicing clients like McDonalds, Fujitsu and Groupon, Zurich Insurance and other billion-dollar organizations by the age of 30, Laura is passionate about the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship
Laura was 1 of 50 entrepreneurs around the world selected from 1012 entries for the prestigious Sovereign Academy 2019 in Lithuania, Europe