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from crisis to upswing: women leading the change

In times of recession, war, and the pandemic, women are increasingly placed in leadership roles - and they're proving to be more successful. Let's examine the transformative power of women in leadership.


Whether it's in companies, sports teams or entire nations, women are being trusted to lead during challenging times. What's more, they're managing crises more effectively compared to their male counterparts.


The proficiency of managers in dealing with exceptional situations was assessed in a study by Zenger/Folkman for Harvard Business Review magazine. The outcome? Women outperformed men in 13 out of 19 leadership competencies, and their leadership style was rated even more positively than before the crisis.


According to the study, skills typically considered "female" skills such as empathy, teamwork, and coaching are essential in providing the necessary stability to teams during times of uncertainty and strategically steering the company back on course.

"Authenticity and transparency are crucial for leading through a crisis. By communicating openly and planning ahead, we create a trustful atmosphere that allows us to tackle challenges together." - Tanja Sternbauer, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of the female factor

Furthermore, crisis offers an opportunity to rethink the concept of leadership as a whole. Rather than solely relying on hierarchical structures, we can learn from the experiences of female leaders and promote a cooperative style of leadership.


"During crisis, focusing on collaboration, empathy, and the courage to explore new paths were of paramount importance to me personally." - Alisa Kapic, Vice President Sales and Country Director Austria at IWG plc.


By focusing on transparency, participation, and diversity, companies can foster a corporate culture based on trust and collaboration.


Utilizing crisis as a springboard for women not only fosters their individual success but also transforms the entire leadership system.


"Especially in volatile times, transparency and increased communication are vital. By openly discussing business successes, challenges, and key figures, we create a trustful atmosphere that allows us to make informed decisions collectively and individually." - Rabea Thies, Head of People & Culture at Meister

It's time to usher in a new era of inclusive and innovative leadership, where women play a central role, and the shift from crisis to upswing is made possible. Join this movement here.


This article was originally published in Der Standard in June 2023.

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