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Eight Powerful Examples Of Women Leadership (And What We Can All Learn From Them)


As a woman and as a CEO, I witness on a daily basis the way women are making powerful strides in the business world at large, but also in the everyday operation of their companies, leading and inspiring others with deep knowledge, experience and a quiet confidence that makes them truly authentic role models.

Though our numbers are small—a mere 8% of the total number of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2021—women leaders are taking big steps to show that we’re here and we mean business. As the leader of the Forbes Business Council Women Executives group, I wanted to highlight some of the many powerful examples of women leadership in business today by asking a few of my fellow female executives to share their thoughts and the lessons they believe we can all learn.

1. When Women Express Their Vulnerability And Empathy

A powerful example of women leadership is when we can show our vulnerability and empathy and not have to suit up in armor to lead. Once, I was told I had to grow fins and teeth to be a leader, but I don’t agree with this. As women leaders, we can be strong through truth and authenticity, and we don’t need to be hard and tough and condescending to lead a team. – Beth Jannery, Titan Strategic Communication

2. When Women Support Other Women

Women leadership includes empowering other women, whether it’s through social media marketing, virtual presentations or writing about peers on a blog. Statistics show that women are less likely to become board members or venture-backed companies, or earn annual revenues of or at $1 million. Women who support other women’s work are making an effort to eliminate those gender disparities. – Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss

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3. When Women Lead Through A Crisis

The most powerful example of women leadership for me has been that women-led nations have been role models for handling the pandemic from the beginning. That vividly speaks to the fact that a different type of leadership is in demand and breeds better results—decisiveness combined with empathy and weighted rational thinking, including during high-stress and high-stakes situations. – Nionila Ivanova, IT Creative Labs

4. When Women Act As Role Models For Their Teams

Being a role model for your team when experiencing difficult situations is a powerful example of women leadership. Professionals look to their leaders to set the culture on how to react to hard times, unhappy customers and internal misalignment. Coaching by showing while acknowledging the challenge directly is a skill that is practiced and critical in today’s turbulent economy. – Emilia D’Anzica, Growth Molecules

5. When Women Show Assertive Compassion

Leaders should show assertive compassion, which means making firm decisions that will take your business to the next level and understanding that the pandemic may have brought on unprecedented stress for your team, especially those who are women. Empower and trust your team, knowing that they will be the best they can be and have your back. Take your foot off the pedal when required. Showing compassion isn’t a sign of weakness. – Natalie Lowe, The Orangeblowfish


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6. When Women Balance Their Emotional Strength

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I admire and value emotional strength in women leaders. To be successful, you must manage stress well, not take things personally and have the courage and confidence to make hard decisions. At the same time, you must be empathetic, vulnerable and manage your emotions. This can be a balancing act, and the very best leaders develop emotional strength to take their leadership to the next level. – Kerry Siggins, StoneAge

7. When Women Encourage And Include Others

Leading a team with the mentality of allowing others to wholeheartedly become part of the idea, project, mission or task at hand is notable. A woman who communicates her vision well means that she gains and connects with people who are proud to support her mission. It’s then important to honor and give credit to each person, whether it’s through words of affirmation or through social media. – Lisa Caprelli, Unicorn Jazz

8. When Women Model A Human-Centered Leadership Style

Human-centered leadership is a powerful way to create all the conditions necessary for your team to succeed while having collaborative, inclusive environments where personal autonomy, psychological safety and transparency are strong. Leaders must also focus a lot of effort on employee well-being. This progressive leadership style brings more happiness to employees, while fueling business growth. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5



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