“Companies are grooming more women for the corner office.”
So says the Wall Street Journal in a recent article about the success and the future of women CEOs here in the US. That’s great news for women in leadership roles today or young women aspiring to lead a company of any size on the road to success. Women in leadership and executive positions are on the rise like never before. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if my granddaughter decides that her career goal is to be CEO of a Fortune 100 company. The great news is that goal is achievable, whether she wants to start her own company or rise to a senior leadership role in a larger, established business.
I remember when I got my first “real job” as a software engineer during my senior year of college. About 30 or so years ago, I was an intern in the software engineering department of a major defense contracting firm. I learned to write microcode for chips that controlled signal processing in a seriously complicated radar system. Back then, both the technical and business aspects of the company were very much a man’s world. That is not the case anymore.
There are a number of role models out there for women who want to reach their full potential as a leader in today’s business environment. The article points out that nearly 73% of Fortune 500 companies now have at least one female executive officer and the pipeline of female candidates for executive officer roles is promising. The knowledge, experience and strategies of these successful women executives are something every woman needs to take a look at and consider integrating into her own leadership skills.
As Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont Co. points out, “The next wave of women who will command major U.S. corporations likely are senior managers today.” She goes on to point out that “some phenomenally well-qualified women” hold top operational jobs. Perhaps one of them is or will be you or your daughter. Let’s make sure that the current and future generations of women business leaders have the tools and techniques to get the job done.
Consider signing up for Learning Tree’s new course, Transformational Leadership for Women. This roundtable-style event empowers women to contribute their unique qualities to meet the challenges in today’s evolving work environment. The course targets experienced women managers who have been or expect to be promoted to the executive level. I think this course is a great jump-start to help you acquire the characteristics of exceptional women leaders and tap into your full potential as a leader in your workplace.
Many years ago, Barbara Bush, our former First Lady, made an interesting statement in her speech to the graduating class at Wellesley College. “Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President’s spouse. I wish him well!” For today’s women leaders, anything is possible!