10 Characteristics of Successful Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership

Women have encountered a glass ceiling in a lot of aspects of their lives throughout history and even in the modern world today, especially regarding their careers. Although progress is being made, we still see that women in leadership are outnumbered by men as we make our way up the corporate ladder. Awareness is being spread around the modern world as people realize the importance and necessity of more successful women in leadership. If you aspire to be a good leader, then the best way to become one is to adopt the traits and characteristics of women in leadership.

A leader is an important part of a team. One might even say that just like a leader cannot function without a good team, a team cannot function without a good leader. Leadership is a skill that one should continuously try to improve. Gaining new skills and traits that benefit your leadership capabilities will allow you to become a better leader.

A good leader is constantly trying to become a better leader, so she seeks out ways to improve herself. Developing traits that other good leaders possess is an excellent way of becoming a better leader. We can look towards the successful female leaders and decipher what type of personality traits and characteristics they possess so that you may develop the same characteristics and personality traits to become a successful leader.

Qualities of Successful Women

Given below are ten characteristics of successful women leaders that you can develop in yourself.


Resilient leaders are perceptive, and they know how to handle themselves in both good and bad situations. Looking at the successful women in leadership, we see that they tend to be resilient. Being resilient allows them to bounce back fast from any setbacks. Resilient leaders can retain their energy level when they are under strain or are experiencing disruptive change around them. Resilience is a crucial quality to have to overcome the severe challenges experienced throughout life. Resilient leaders are able to bounce back up from adversities. So, resilience is a very important quality to have for a good leader.


Good leaders know that self-awareness is an important quality to have as it allows you to have a better understanding of who you are. Self-awareness allows a person to see herself as a unique and separate individual. All great leaders are self-aware individuals. Empowered women in leadership are self-aware as they understand what their values, needs, habits, personality, and emotions are and how these things affect their actions. A leader who is self-aware is more capable of making better decisions and succeeding.


Empathy is the quality of a leader to understand the needs, feelings, and thinking of others. Eminent women in leadership are empathetic. They are perceptive and are aware of the feelings and thinking of their team members. It should be understood that being compassionate does not necessarily mean agreeing with others' views, but it points to appreciating and understanding their views. Being empathetic shows your interest in the lives of your team members.


Individuals who are humble tend to make the best leaders. Many of us do not think of humility when we think about good characteristics found in leaders, but it should be understood that humility is one of the most important attributes of great leaders. Humility is a common characteristic found in successful women leaders. Humble leaders help their companies grow. They understand that leadership is about working for the greater good. They think about the big picture. Humble leaders know their strengths and their weaknesses. They are in constant pursuit of learning and contributing. Learn more about how women can emerge as strong leaders in our article 5 Ways Women Can Emerge as Strong Leaders.


Successful women leaders are confident because they know their competence and leadership qualities. They believe that they can make a difference, and they work towards this goal. Self-confidence is an important quality of a leader as it encourages them to take risks, achieve goals, and innovate. Leaders need to take charge and believe in themselves so that they can make decisions and solve problems. Confident leaders have a healthy amount of confidence in themselves and their team, and having this confidence helps them overcome difficulties and succeed.

Strong Communicators

Good leaders have excellent communication skills. These communication skills are a must for successful women in leadership. With excellent communication skills, women leaders are able to get their message across effectively. They are never harsh and speak with the words and tone required by the situation. Alongside being good at communicating their message, they are also good listeners. They listen with attention and sincerity, and doing so promotes trust between them and the speaker.


Decisiveness is an essential tool of a good leader. Empowered women in leadership are decisive, and they know that their decisions have the power to make or break businesses, so they put a lot of thought into every decision they make. They try to make decisions that are right and are suitable for everyone, and they don't let hard decisions perplex them. They take into consideration every piece of relevant information before making a decision, allowing them to make more knowledgeable and correct decisions.

Problem-Solving Skills

Trailblazing women leaders possess good problem-solving skills allowing them to deal with any obstacle they face. They remain calm and in control when faced with a problem, allowing them to make an excellent decision to solve the problem. They analyze, use data, and communicate in order to figure out the best possible solution for any issues they face. Every leader needs good problem-solving skills to succeed.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify, manage, evaluate, and understand your emotions and the emotions of others. High-achieving women leaders are emotionally intelligent as they understand their emotions in great depth and have a good understanding of the emotions and feelings of others. Having this trait allows them to remain in control and build connections and relationships. Good leaders don't let their emotions get out of control, are self-aware, have good social skills, and can understand others' perspectives. Emotionally intelligent leaders have a better understanding of their own emotions and the emotions of others, which allows them to be more successful.


High-achieving women leaders are supportive of their team members and act as more of a guide than as a boss. They understand that leadership is not about bossing around, but it is about leading, guiding, and mentoring. They are reasonable when delegating tasks and are always there to support their team with knowledge and experience. Being supportive is a crucial part of leadership, and good leaders understand and acknowledge this fact.

In conclusion, these ten characteristics represent only a subset of the many attributes that successful women in leadership possess. By developing these traits, women in leadership can stand out and make a significant impact in today's world. Our leadership coaching program is designed to help you cultivate these qualities, ensuring you become a successful and impactful leader.

Tina Persson, PhD, Career & Leadership Coach

Global ICF Coach | Coaching and training high-performing professionals to unlock and maximize their potential for guaranteed business success

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1. What are the key characteristics of women in leadership?

Key characteristics of women in leadership include resilience, self-awareness, empathy, humility, self-confidence, strong communication skills, decisiveness, problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, and being supportive. These qualities help women leaders navigate challenges and lead their teams effectively.

2. How can I develop the qualities of a successful woman leader?

Developing the qualities of a successful woman leader involves continuous self-improvement and learning. You can start by identifying the key characteristics of successful leaders and working on them through self-reflection, seeking feedback, taking leadership courses, and engaging in leadership coaching programs.

3. Why is emotional intelligence important for women leaders?

Emotional intelligence is crucial for women leaders because it enables them to understand and manage their own emotions and those of others. This skill helps in building strong relationships, making informed decisions, and handling stress and conflict effectively.

4. How can leadership coaching help me become a successful leader?

Leadership coaching can provide personalized guidance, support, and feedback to help you develop your leadership skills. A good leadership coaching program, like our leadership coaching program, can help you identify your strengths and areas for improvement, set actionable goals, and navigate challenges in your leadership journey.

5. What are some common challenges women face in leadership roles?

Women in leadership roles often face challenges such as gender bias, work-life balance issues, lack of mentorship, and limited access to networking opportunities. Overcoming these challenges requires resilience, confidence, and the support of allies and mentors.

6. How can I improve my communication skills as a leader?

Improving communication skills involves active listening, clear and concise messaging, adapting your communication style to your audience, and providing constructive feedback. Practice and seeking feedback from peers and mentors can also help enhance your communication abilities.

7. Why is self-awareness important for women leaders?

Self-awareness allows women leaders to understand their values, strengths, weaknesses, and emotional triggers. This understanding helps them make informed decisions, build authentic relationships, and lead with integrity and empathy.

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