The Top Skills of Women Leaders (And How to Learn Them)
March 6, 2017
On March 8th, we’ll be celebrating International Women’s Day. An important day at LinkedIn given our vision of connecting all of the world’s professionals to opportunity.
Despite incremental progress, data shows that women still face disadvantages in the workplace. While our research evidences improvement over the past eight years, men are still hired at a higher rate than women, especially when it comes to leadership roles. This is particularly concerning to me because it’s crucial for young women to have access to female leaders and role models in the workplace. The strong women leaders I’ve been surrounded by throughout my career have been invaluable in shaping me into the professional I am today.
While I could create a long list of women leaders who have played a pivotal role in my life there is one, in particular, who has had an enduring impact: Janet Venn Jackson, owner of a competitive dance school and my dance teacher from age six to twelve. Despite my having pursued work in an entirely different industry, Janet taught me foundational lessons about what it is to build a business – by developing a vision and executing with precision. She also modeled how to lead with emotional intelligence, knowing when to push harder and when to pull back. I have endeavored to learn and fine tune these skills throughout my career as I saw first-hand how they helped her to achieve greatness as a leader.
At LinkedIn we are uniquely positioned to help women across the globe similarly identify the types of skills necessary for landing the leadership roles they aspire to. To start, we looked at leadership positions that are increasingly being held by women, then pinpointed the key skills required to hold them. Here are four jobs seeing some of the strongest growth in women hires, coupled with full Learning Paths that teach the skillsets required to land them:
User Experience Designer (67% increase in women hired for this role since 2008)
Web Developer (40% increase in women hired for this role since 2008)
Systems Administrator (31% increase in women hired for this role since 2008)
Project Manager (24% increase in women hired for this role since 2008)
To help aspiring female leaders across industries more broadly, we’ve also honed in on the most common skills shared by some of today’s top female leaders:
- Strategic planning
- Customer service
- Public speaking
- Project management
- Social media
- Event planning
I have been fortunate to work with and learn from strong women leaders throughout my career. Now, as a leader and manager myself, I aim to empower employees to take ownership and control of their professional destinies. Identifying the skills and expertise needed to advance their careers is just one step in helping women to do just that by enabling them to pave their own paths to leadership opportunities.
Share your story and recognize the women who have inspired you throughout your career on LinkedIn with the hashtag #IWD2017.