August 18, 2022
How do we cultivate successful leadership for women?
It begins with understanding the mindset women may have that can derail them from leadership positions. Research shows that women will stay in roles longer than their male counterparts. And they won’t speak up to ask for what they want. Additionally, sometimes women lack confidence and won’t apply to a position unless they meet 100% of the job requirements.
However, women shouldn’t be held accountable for a lack of leadership opportunities when society might bear greater responsibility.
According to the Pew Research Center: “About four in 10 [people] believe higher standards for women and lack of readiness by companies to hire women for top positions and by voters to elect women to higher office are major reasons that there aren’t more women in top leadership roles in business and politics.”
Of course, that’s not to say that women aren’t thriving in leadership positions.
Jasmina Muller is vice president, global channel sales, at ScienceLogic. Cassie Jeppson is director, North America channel programs, at Lenovo. These leaders have advocated for more women in leadership roles in the channel. They have navigated the industry and will share advice for women at this year’s MSP Summit. They’ll kick off the Women’s Leadership portion of the Channel Partners Leadership Summit with the keynote, “Secrets to Successful Leadership for Women.” It explores everything from mentorship to the advice they wished they had received early in their careers.
Keep up with all of the speakers, exhibitors and content at the MSP Summit. The event, Sept. 13-16, in Orlando, also features the all-new Channel Partners Leadership Summit.
ScienceLogic’s Jasmina Muller
“I can’t tell you how many times I questioned myself because I didn’t feel confident. Or when I read a job description and I would question, ‘Can I really do that?’ So many times, we question our capabilities,” Muller said.
Mueller and Jeppson agreed that finding a good mentor can help women overcome confidence issues.
“I would say mentors are necessary for everyone at different points in their career. Early in my career, I thought I could do it all on my own, but when I really widened my perspective and leaned into the mentor relationship, the results were tremendous,” Jeppson said. “Working with mentors has certainly made a huge difference in the speed at which I have been able to develop and grow … a mentor can make recommendations and give you great feedback, but it’s up to you to do something with it.”
Of course, there are those who sideline or discriminate against women. The speakers said the channel is becoming more vigilant in handling these situations. Muller said she uses these circumstances for introspection as well.
“For me, it’s not how I handled it; it’s how I approached it. Confidence is key,” she said. “Know your worth, know your audience, understand why the decision was made. Was there anything you could have done differently?”
Lenovo’s Cassie Jeppson
The channel has improved DE&I efforts, Jeppson said, and many people have come to the realization that leadership should reflect the population. It’s not only because it’s the appropriate thing to do, she said, but also because it helps the bottom line.
“I think a couple things have happened. The awareness in the community that having a leadership team that looks like your customers has put more focus on building a diverse leadership team,” Jeppson said. “There have also been very impactful studies done that prove diverse leadership provides benefits to companies around profitability, retention and accelerated growth. I think future growth will be centered around advocacy.”
Jeppson added: “It’s not about making sure we are checking a box or meeting a quota for a certain number of female leaders. It’s about cultivating the next generation of leadership that continues to represent the diverse customer base we have. It’s about looking at each person as an individual and recognizing the unique value they are bringing to the table.”
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