The Most Common Skills Among Women Leaders (And How to Learn Them)

March 6, 2018

See the industries women leaders are flocking to, as well as the skills they are mastering.

On March 8th, we’ll celebrate International Women’s Day. And while it’s a day to honor women across the world, it’s also serves as a stark reminder of the gender divide that still persists in today’s workplace.

Yes, there’s been some progress over the past 40 years, but not as much was what’s required. In the past 10 years, the percentage of female leaders has increased by just 2 percent, according to LinkedIn data. And the World Economic Forum found that, if the same pace of progress continues, true gender equality in the workplace won’t exist for 217 years.

The vision at LinkedIn is to create economy opportunity for every member of the global workforce, women included. And that means giving women a path to leadership positions disproportionately held by men.

To help drive progress, we identified five industries where women have seen the largest increase in female leadership over the past eight years. We also identified the top skills held by women leaders in those roles – and linked to LinkedIn Learning courses that teach them.

The biggest takeaway from the list? Soft skills like leadership and management are present among nearly every group of female leaders, highlighting their importance to building a successful career.

They are:

1. Software and IT Services (+27% change in female leadership hires)

2. Manufacturing (+26% change in female leadership hires)

3. Entertainment (+24% change in female leadership hires)

4. Hardware and Networking (+23% change in female leadership hires)

5. Public Safety (+21% change in female leadership hires)

Additionally, we have dozens of leadership courses taught by women. They include:

Has there been a woman who has helped you in your career? This week, thank them on LinkedIn with the hashtag, #PressForProgress.