Women and the Paradox of Power
Women in business face a potent cocktail of cultural, organizational and personal obstacles to senior executive positions. POWER is a main ingredient in that cocktail, according to over 220 women who participated in Braithwaite Germane’s research.
Too many of these senior women misunderstand:
- What power is
- How and why they need to increase their power, and
- How to use it to break through glass ceilings and change the culture of business
For many women in business, their relationship with power holds them back, be it lack of confidence, cultural conditioning or not understanding power in all its depth and positive possibility. Women who comprehend and use both personal and positional power, are faced with covert and overt power dynamics of legacy cultures, negative stereotypes, and power paradigms that don’t fit them or the diverse world of the 21st century.
The Paradox of Power
To increase their numbers and influence in top leadership roles, women must learn to recognize, grow, and take advantage of their own power, move up to positions of power and redefine how power is practiced. To lead this transformation, women must gain power in a system at odds with the way they are. Braithwaite Germane has named this the paradox of power.
Five Transformational Actions for Women
Braithwaite Germane’s report identified five actions for women to address the paradox of power.
- Show up. Stand Up. Voice Up
- Ditch Cinderella and adopt your inner Dorothy
- Forge strategic connections
- Change your thinking about power
- Be knowledgeable about the game of power.
Three Transformational Actions for Corporate Leaders
Closing the gender gap requires corporate executives to lead the charge. Braithwaite Germane offers leaders three actions to advance more women to leadership roles, utilize their talents, and win the associated increase in corporate returns.*
- Make gender balance real
- Redefine leadership and the game of power
- Walk the talk. Sponsor and develop women leaders
*Research (included in this report) demonstrates that companies with more women
in leadership roles (and on the board) achieve over 33% better financial outcomes.
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Read the research results to understand what they mean and learn more about the 8 Transformational Practices.