Interview with Authors

How Women Lead combines the authors’ personal insights, research-based knowledge, and real-life lessons in a thought-provoking guide that will benefit (all) women.”
—Maria Coyne, Executive Vice President, KeyBank.

What inspired you to write this book?

We wrote this book because we believe every woman should dream big dreams and have the knowledge and tools to make her dreams a reality.  We wanted to make the journey easier for all women by giving them the benefit of experiences and insights from women business leaders who have achieved high levels of success.  Most of all, we wanted to give every woman the affirmation that her woman’s leadership style is a successful style.

What distinguishes highly successful women?

They combine their feminine leadership strengths with business acumen.  How Women Lead gives women the knowledge to lead like a woman and to:

  • Build a career based on their own terms, values, and passions.
  • Gain the critical business skills needed to advance in business.
  • Advocate successfully for themselves.

Why did you write the book now?

For a time, it seemed women had established an unstoppable momentum and were moving up the corporate ranks swiftly.  But in the last few years, progress has slowed.

  • 51% of managerial and professional positions are held by women.
  • Women account for only about 16% of officer positions.
  • Growth in the number of women moving into senior executive positions has remained flat over the last few years.

Are companies working on accelerating the movement of women into senior positions?

Corporations are starting to take action.  But systemic changes take time.  Rather than waiting for the system to fix itself, most of the women we know want to take action to create opportunities for themselves, and, ultimately, for other women.

What difference would it make if women were to close the gap between them and men in advancing to senior leadership?

Corporations would be more profitable if this gap was closed and the GDP of nations would increase.

  • Corporations with more women in leadership are up to 69% more profitable than those with fewer women in these positions.
  • Corporations with women on their boards outperform those with all-male boards.

Having women in leadership not only increases financial performance, it also results in better-run companies that attract and retain top level performers. Around the world, economies would be healthier.

  • GDP in the US would be up 9%.
  • GDP in Europe would increase by 13%.

How did you identify the 8 Success Strategies?

We combed through the research and reflected on our personal leadership experiences.  We reached  out to 14 highly accomplished women who spoke exclusively for our book about their experiences, lessons learned, and advice.

The actions successful women leaders take and the advice they give can be logically grouped into eight success strategies.   These unique strategies present specific and practical steps all women can take to achieve their goals.

Are women’s leadership styles effective?

Women’s leadership styles are effective.  A number of studies have shown that corporations with a greater number of women n leadership rank higher on almost every measurement of organizational success.

  • Peers, bosses, and direct reports rate women as better overall leaders than their male counterparts… and the higher the level, the wider the gap in favor of women.
  • Research shows the most creative and productive groups include women.

How do women lead?

Women’s leadership styles are:

  • Holistic
  • Collaborative
  • Consultative
  • Inclusive

When women consider a situation, they add organizational and personnel considerations to the facts.   As a result, they are likely to identify opportunities, risks, and gaps that men may not see.

Do women lead better than men?

Women and men lead differently.  Both approaches have great strengths.  Effectively integrating women’s and men’s leadership styles results in a stronger, more nimble  organization — an organization that employees consider a good place to work.

Read key facts: Woman’s Leadership:  Proven, Positive Impact on Organizational Performance.