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 in regards to their careers. Although progress is being made, we still see that women 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 the 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 good leaders.

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.

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 in order 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. Successful 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 succeed.  


Empathy is the quality of a leader to understand the needs, feelings, and thinking of others. Successful women in leadership are empathetic. They are preceptive and are aware of the feeling and thinking of their team members. It should be understood that being compassionate does not necessarily mean agreeing with other's views, but it points to appreciate and understand 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.


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 leadership. With excellent communication skills, successful 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. Successful 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

Successful 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. Successful 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 other's perspectives. Emotionally intelligent leaders have a better understanding of their own emotions and the emotions of others which allows them to be more successful.


Successful 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.

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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