Five things that differentiate women leadersSurabhi Dewra
In my journey to entrepreneurship, I had read about many women who are natural leaders and was always fascinated by their stories and accomplishments. Among their several accolades in life, they are independent women. Even after investing themselves in 15-20 hour days, they remain young at heart. They earn well enough to fulfil their dreams and not need anyone to sponsor their expenses. They are emotionally strong and can handle any difficult situation on their own. Apart from all this, I would also consider them as having an IQ that enables them to intellectually discuss any topic ranging from technology to finance.
When I founded my company CareerGuide.com, I was quite scared of whether I would be able to run it or not. I talked to many women leaders who had worked hard to achieve their passions. To my surprise, I found that there are many similar women in our country who are breaking a sweat, working hard enough to live their passion, and simultaneously enjoying their life. From the experience that I share with other women entrepreneurs, I believe that there are certain qualities that differentiate an entrepreneurial woman from others, and I am sure that all women who are living their passion would agree with me on the following points.
- Joy of saving every penny – From my familiarity with several entrepreneurial women, I am quite certain that they could have easily gotten a job with a company and earned plenty of money. Earning and saving money would have never been a problem for them, but they chose a hard life over a simple and settled one. They enjoy saving pennies and living life like it’s a challenge and they work hard at it. I would say that they ‘make’ money rather than just earning it.
- Aspire to be more rather than having more – One thing that differentiates them is that even if they are materialistic, they put their responsibilities to others ahead of their own wishes. They might spend a lot of money on buying a new home but, even before that, they would have helped many others to find shelter. I have a friend who started sponsoring a child when she was only 19 years old and today, at the age of 24, she is working hard to achieve her dreams through her own company. I am sure, at the age when most girls think of getting new clothes, she was thinking of changing the life of at least one child.
- Inherent leadership – All these women have inherent leadership. From my experience, they start showing it from an early age. I am immensely impressed by a girl named Malala. She is a born leader and has shown it early in life. At age 18, she is an activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. In her native home in Pakistan, she had fought against the local Taliban who were trying to prevent education for girls. She is not the only one. There are many girls who are independent of societal pressures and lead the world and show it a better way to live.
- Drive to live for passion – I have observed that these women are independent of any thoughts that keep them away from living their passions. They can work hard, day and night, for something they are passionate about. I had read a story of Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer. I felt proud to read her story and how she is inspiring many more to take the sport as a career. She chose passion over the difficulties involved for Indian women to take up a sport like surfing.
- Compassion – Whatever field they go into, they never cease to give back to the society that has given them the opportunity to grow. These women are compassionate enough to feel for their country and fellow citizens, and give their maximum contribution. There are several examples of women in positions of leadership who contributed to society. For instance, Priya Nair, Executive Director of Hindustan Unilever Limited, partnered with the British Council to offer soft skills to consumers and Anita Dongre, a leading designer, has helped countless artisans and craftsmen through her acclaimed fashion house and philanthropic initiatives.
The journey to leadership is not an easy ride for all, and I feel proud to be living in a time when many women are living their dreams and fulfilling their ambitions. Definitely, it takes a lot of courage for a woman to forgo a stable life and take up the road less travelled. Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, was right when she said,
In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)