Women Leadership In The 21st Century - Kaleidoskope

Women Leadership In The 21st Century

​In this age of disruptive transformation, women have come to claim agency over their o

​In this age of disruptive transformation, women have come to claim agency over their own power and means to fulfil their potential. Rapid technological innovations continue to level the playing field, opening up more opportunities for women to occupy leadership positions.

But this is not to say that the scales are now balanced and evenly distributed between men and women. And in a context where too few of the bases of power rests on women, it is not only a loss to the individual but to the organisation as a whole.

In our new video “Women In Leadership, Kaleidoskope delves into how women lead in a uniquely connective, integrative, and panoramic approach — and how teams and organisations stand to benefit from having more women managers and leaders.

To share her learnings and insights, we have invited Elaine Zhou, founder of the social impact project Global Youth Leadership Program. Elaine is a seasoned trainer, resource person, and facilitator on leadership development, women empowerment, and entrepreneurship.

Elaine discusses the challenges faced by women in leadership positions

  1. Unconscious Bias: Stereotypes and subconscious attitudes toward the capabilities of women
  2. Inadequate Support: Lack of sponsorship and mentorship on leadership development opportunities for women
  3. Home-Work Dichotomy: The fact remains that women are the major caregiver of children and the elderly

…and provides strategies on overcoming challenges faced by women leaders:

  1. Continue to advocate for and promote gender equality by hosting workshops and dialogues to uncover unconscious bias, as well as create platforms for women’s voices to be heard within organisations
  2. Provide equal access for female for resources, mentorship, and leadership development among women
  3. Tap on government support packages for women development, while including men in the process of affirming that household responsibilities are equally the domain of men and women as both are equal in worth and value

Gender equality in the workplace has long been acknowledged as integral to the success of any organisation. Time and time again, research and results show that companies and businesses perform better when they have more women in the workforce, as Elaine shares. Arguably, women are by nature caring and empathetic — traits that are critical in building relationships with both internal and external stakeholders in any organisation.

Genetic predispositions aside, however, the perspective of women leaders are crucial if a company hopes to make well-balanced and informed business decisions for their employees, consumers, and clients. Nonetheless, there are critical leadership qualities that women need to cultivate in order to fully claim their entitlement to empowerment:

  1. Continuous Self-growth: To lead well, a leader must grow and learn ceaselessly
  2. Compassion: A leader might not understand everyone and everything, but they should be willing to meet people where they are and put themselves in other people’s shoes
  3. Courage: A leader must be able to make difficult decisions and move forward amid uncertainty and the unknown

About the Trainer

Elaine Zhou was born in China and came to live in Singapore when she was 19 years old. She started her career with a corporate job as an HR assistant, and worked her way up to management level, in charge of the Asia-Pacific region workforce.

Years later, Elaine quit her corporate job to embark on an entrepreneurship journey. She started two businesses on her own, which had to be closed down. Amid the failures, Elaine found her true calling in leadership development, “which I truly believe was the start of my personal transformation.”

For the past 11 years, Ms Zhou has been running her own business, and successfully at that. She has been providing leadership development training and support for corporate leaders, directors and entrepreneurs, as well as women empowerment training and invaluable knowledge and tools that equip female working professionals and female entrepreneurs thrive and get ahead in their careers.

Through the years Leaine has found her voice and rightful place in the sun — conducting workshops, facilitating roundtable discussions, and speaking at conferences both locally and internationally on topics close to her heart, including leadership development, women empowerment, and entrepreneurship.

Six years ago, Elaine founded Global Youth Leadership Program, a non-profit social impact project with the mission of training young leaders, 16 to 35 years old, so that they too may find and embrace their true calling.

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