Being a female leader or an aspiring female leader comes with its own unique rewards and challenges. How to tackle these challenges and empower women in leadership roles within the realms of diversity and inclusion were at the heart of Venture Cafe Rotterdam’s second session in the Female Leadership Sequence.
Inspired by guest speakers, Leonie van Mierlo, writer of the brilliant book Gelijkspel wint and Arjen Slim, Inclusion and Diversity lead at Accenture, our diverse group of female leaders engaged with the topic, posed searching questions and offered solutions to real-life experiences. Moments like these are why Venture Cafe Rotterdam created the Sequence: to offer a safe space to learn and grow together. A moment to share experiences and help each other in taking the next step in our paths.
Woman of all backgrounds, branches and age should join because it gives you the opportunity to talk about real life situations with a like-minded group of people. Sharing, learning and connecting together.
Ikram Mataich Co-Founder Ziri
Empathy at the Heart of Leadership
As Arjen mentioned, research has shown that diverse teams out-perform homogenous ones. But how and why? Perhaps the answer to this question is empathy – one of the leadership competencies Leonie suggests are key for today’s successful female (and indeed male) leaders.
If we all, metaphorically, walked a mile in another team member’s shoes this would truly be diversity in action. And Sequence moderator Jannelike Aalstein reminded us, we don’t need to wait for an invite to do so!
Key Takeaways for Female Leaders and Diversity and Inclusion Ambassadors
So what are the key take aways from our second session and how can female leaders play a positive role in creating a diverse and inclusive environment?
- Ask for your company’s Diversity and Inclusion policy and ask yourself what actions can you take to contribute to it
- Identify your strength. What is your feminine power that YOU can bring to the table?
- Be your true self
- Know your value
- Understand that men can also be insecure
- We all have an unconscious bias and tend to mirror ourselves. To avoid this, continuously evaluate your choices and decisions as objectively as you can
- Engage and help other women on their journey
Motivational, inspiring and empowering advice!