5 Qualities More Important To Female CEOs Than Being a Woman

By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

Presently, there are only a small number of female CEOs who are leading some of the biggest companies in the world. However, we are seeing an increase, as more and more women are being encouraged to step up into leadership roles.

What's common amongst many women who have smashed the 'glass ceiling' and then lead some of the biggest corporations on the planet, is that they do not see their gender as a reason not to progress in their career. Here are five quotes from women who have become CEOs of some of the biggest corporations in the world. They teach us about personal qualities that are far more important than gender - when it comes to becoming a leader...

1. How You Define Yourself

"I've never primarily defined myself by gender. I don't think of myself as a woman in business, I think of myself as a business person."

- Emma Walmsley (incoming CEO of GlaxoSmithKline)

2. Your Creativity & Ideas

"I never approached any assignment that, ‘Oh, I’m a woman.’ My gender doesn’t really factor into my thinking as I come into the room."

- Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors)

3. Your Passion

"If you can find something that you're really passionate about, whether you're a man or a woman comes a lot less into play. Passion is a gender-neutralizing force." 

- Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo)

4. Your Resourcefulness

"The most important factor in determining whether you will succeed isn't your gender, it's you. Be open to opportunity and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment that you can find, and then take control." 

- Angela Braly (Former CEO of WellPoint, Director of Exxon Mobil and Proctor & Gamble)

5. Your Role & Responsibilities

"I wanted my tenure to be defined as being the CEO of IBM, not about being the woman CEO of IBM."

- Ginni Rometty (CEO of IBM)

The great news is that regardless of our gender, ethnicity, background and circumstances, these are human qualities that we can all nurture and develop in ourselves... and then we can realise our personal vision of becoming an accomplished leader. If you are an aspiring CEO, then you may be inspired to read the story as to why Emma Walmsley was appointed as the new CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.

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