Nearly 73 percent of emerging women leaders in the social sector believe that continued mentorship and networking support would boost their leadership ambitions, revealed a recent survey.
Critically, 84.1 percent of respondents believed that a tailored capacity-building program would enhance their leadership journey. A [key want] is the knowledge of leadership frameworks that specifically speak to their journeys, as mid-to-senior career women professionals in the Indian social impact space, and guidance on adapting it to their career path. Similarly, there is a desire for building crucial cross-functional/management skills, including negotiation, conflict management, and effective communication. There is also a desire to build a personal leadership style; 75.6 percent of respondents cite the desire to build their own leadership style based on the attributes of empathy, collaboration, and inclusion.
Other takeaways include the importance of having access to a peer community network; 76 percent of respondents believe their leadership journey would benefit from having access to a network of like-minded women impact leaders, who can freely share their experiences & collectively strategize on how to navigate, and succeed in, the social impact space. Further, there is a clear [statement] that mentorship is a crucial element to amplify one’s leadership path; as the report states, respondents feel men have clearer access to cross-sectoral networks & mentorship opportunities with senior leaders.
Finally, the report considers what structural changes need to occur in the development sector to systematically support women’s leadership journeys. By building an ecosystem of support, ranging from working with organization leaders to build inclusive leadership pipelines, to platforming women leaders across the sector, to embedding flexible working policies to support women with familial & childcare responsibilities, the sector can become a model for gender-balanced senior leadership.