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September 2019

5 Strategies To Becoming A Woman CEO

5 Strategies To Becoming A Woman CEO

The percentage of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 companies has reached 5% for the first time – meaning only 27 women are leaders in these companies. To become a female CEO and balance out the gendered disparity a this level within a company, these strategies are a must:

Identify Opportunities that focus on building skill

To effectively lead a company, you must begin by gaining all the skills you will need to run it effectively. As an HR executive search firm, we know that a leader of this caliber must have the right decision-making, communication, organizational, and leadership capabilities. There is no class that details step by step how to better foster these skills, but you can build these skills out over time (even beginning in high school) by:

  • Becoming a volunteer for a non-profit agency or charity
  • Joining a young entrepreneurs club and participate in the activities
  • Participating in student governance

Get a Degree

Education will take you places. Now, the minimum that many employers require of its candidates is a bachelor’s degree. Without a degree, it is almost impossible to rise in rank to become a CEO unless you are working for yourself. Most job placement agencies also will ask you to get a degree if you hope to build a lasting career. Some good degree choices would be getting a bachelor’s in strategic human resource, strategic management, and engineering, among others. Receiving an education in this field provides you with a solid framework by which you learn what does in to leading a company.

Invest in graduate studies

If you already have an associate's or a bachelor's degree, investing in higher education is a good next step. As HR executive search firms will tell you, many CEOs hold MBAs or advanced degrees. As a woman who wants to compete fairly, you must invest in the same. However, it is advisable to gain some work experience after obtaining your bachelors then enroll for an advanced degree or an MBA while still working. This gives you a hands-on experience where you apply the theory into practice. Consider the following before making the final decision:

  • Ensure the program you undertake has practical training in leadership and organizational behavior. According to HR executive search firms, this is an important requirement for anyone that wants a leadership position in an organization.
  • Is the Alumni network extensive? A CEO keeps great networks. You must learn how to build working relationships with other leaders in other organizations.

Build experience

Whatever position you find yourself starting at, give it your best and get all the experience you can. As you keep building your experience, aim for management roles that give you an opportunity to head business units like the head of marketing or strategy. Make sure you have your resume looked over by leading HR consultants to match you with available opportunities.

Increase your expertise

A CEO has a broad knowledge of various parts of the company and how they interact to make the company thrive. Try to take short-term courses that will enable you to become familiar with different segments of the company. For instance, if you hope to be a CEO in a production company, familiarize yourself with the production process. It's vital that a top CEO has adopted a learning mentality.

Some top executive recruiting firms also advise that CEOs gain international business skills. Ask any HR executive search firms and they will tell you that most companies want to employ CEOs that can run their business globally or can expand it to international levels.

Becoming a CEO is a journey that women are beginning to achieve. When you're ready to take the next step in your career, rely on the help of Frederickson Partners to get you there.