In recent years, we have seen an upward trend in the number of women reaching senior leadership positions, and yet female executives remain seriously underrepresented across the corporate landscape in the United States and worldwide. In fact, only 7.4% of Fortune 500 companies currently boast female chief executives. At Women’s Executive Board we are keenly aware of the challenges facing women executives and business owners.
We know it can get lonely at the top. Finding a community of peers is especially important for women executives who might be one of only a handful of women in senior leadership in their company or sector. Responding to this need, we have created a virtual peer advisory group for women executives to share expertise and solicit constructive feedback from one another in a confidential and judgment-free environment.
Our Boards pair together ten to twelve women business executives from non-competing businesses across the globe, ensuring a diverse mix of backgrounds and experiences. While companies can differ from one another in many regards, the women running them often face similar needs in terms of professional and personal development. Our peer advisory groups facilitate mutual support through half-a-day long, monthly meetings in which women can confidently discuss, strategize and gain new perspectives on their most pressing issues.
The exchange of ideas and experiences is central to any peer advisory group. Through open and honest sharing and constructive feedback on what is or isn’t working, members can learn from one another’s past successes or mistakes, gain perspective on their own problems and help crowdsource solutions while respecting trade secrets.
Collectively, the women in each virtual Board possess an impressive range of professional skills and training and deep well of knowledge and experience. On a personal level, they often face similar challenges in finding ways to strike the right work-life balance and cope with the demands of high-stress positions. Friends and family can’t always understand or relate to the unique challenges facing women leaders. This often leads to a feeling of closeness amongst peer group members, whose shared identity as women executives can lead to the formation of a unique bond.
This trusted group of like-minded peers can also foster greater personal accountability from members who check-in with one another monthly and are invested in each other’s success. Through collaborative learning, women members challenge and encourage each other in ways that build confidence in their ability to problem-solve and develop into top leaders.
The personal benefits of having a dedicated group of peers who listen and provide support and advice cannot be overstated. These benefits can also extend to your company’s bottom line through increased revenue from access to a new, wider circle of contacts courtesy of your fellow members. The return on investment is high for companies whose women executives invest in themselves.
Women leaders face many challenges including unconscious bias in the workplace and the proverbial glass ceiling. But when women support one another through membership in a peer advisory group there are no limits to what they can achieve.
The Women’s Executive Board recently announced the launch of virtual boards, including a board for female entrepreneurs. If you are interested in learning more visit https://executiveboard.online and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to schedule your interview. We look forward to meeting you!