Women in the Boardroom – How to Gain Boardroom Confidence
According to recent findings, the number of women holding the most senior jobs in the boardrooms of Britain’s biggest companies has fallen with there now being just 30 women in full-time executive roles at FTSE 250 firms, down from 38 in 2017. This accounts for 6.4% of the total number of executives.
This is a shockingly low number, and highlights the work that needs to be done to increase gender parity at a senior level. With such a low number of women in the boardroom, it can be understandably difficult for a woman to feel confident in such an environment.
We’ve put together a number of ways women can increase confidence in the boardroom:
Define your goals
Once you understand what it is you want to achieve from your position, it makes it a lot easier to achieve it. Identifying and working towards your personal objectives will not only lead to potential growth for the company, but also an improvement in your own self-belief and confidence.
A sense of achievement can be addictive, because of the dopamine released in your brain after attaining a reward – continuing to see your objectives progress can help you build momentum that is vital when entering an environment such as the boardroom.
Be confident (even if you don’t yet feel it)
Various studies suggest that your body language affects your assertiveness, confidence, and the way you actually view your own skills. By simply projecting confidence, you are taking steps to positively alter your mind-set.
There are number of ways to project confidence in the boardroom:
- Maintain eye-contact
- Mirror the body language of others
- Be assertive
- Consider power poses
- Be decisive
- Realise that no one’s watching you
Once you master the ability to project confidence to others, you’ll soon find yourself feeling more confident, not only in the boardroom, but in life in general. For example, when we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories or think of something positive in general.
Be your own role-model
The lack of historical inclusion for women in the boardroom has left us with a small pool of potential role models from which to draw confidence as well as improve leadership styles. Whilst leaders such as Mary Barra, Ginni Rometty and Indra Nooyi can prove to be a source of inspiration, women’s choices are currently restricted in comparison to men.
One method of solving this problem is to identify the values and ideals that you would wish to see from a role-model, and to act accordingly. As we’ve mentioned, having a sense of direction, following a previously trodden path, will make things easier for you as you work towards your objectives. But, stepping in to the unknown will inspire confidence and help inspire future generations of women in full-time executive positions.
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