Home > Inclusion and Diversity > Women Make Exceptional Leaders – During and Post COVID-19

Women Make Exceptional Leaders – During and Post COVID-19

We are heartened and strongly agree with CNN Business’ publication by author Michelle P. King, the Director of Inclusion at Netflix – “Responding to Women are Better Leaders. The Pandemic Proves It.” Ellig Group is the leader in identifying, recruiting and onboarding more diverse and female executive talent for senior-level appointments in the C-suite and boardroom, ensuring long-term success for our corporate and nonprofit clients as well as the candidates whose careers we champion. We believe companies and Governments need more women at the decision-making table. To highlight WHY we agree that women are exceptional leaders, and how research proves it, we reference an article by HBR, “Research: Women Score Higher than Men in Most Leadership Skills” on which female leadership stands out. Here we have distilled the top 6 leadership skills where women excel over men:

  1. Calm and courageous under pressure: We all took notice of the women that acted first at the start of COVID-19—taking the bold and unpopular stand to shut down life in the face of this invisible enemy, committing to the right course of action because it is the right thing to do. As previously mentioned, women are forging new paths as we adjust to this new reality. The pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the community, accessibility of technology (especially around education), and further issues around health discrepancies. Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel, London Breed, all female leaders that took immediate action in response to the pandemic, forging fast. A recent researcher, Dr. Abbie Griffith Oliver, articulates “Women have learned they have to be both agentic and competent but also warm and throw the baby shower at work.”
  2. Women aim for stretch goals: What is a stretch goal? As women are driven for superior outcomes, a stretch goal is a goal that surpasses the actual target. Stretch goals, set by women leaders, go beyond an anticipated goal, to further push for superior results because a high aim and exceeding your own version of success is highly motivating and a quality we often see in women.
  3. Women are natural connectors: As referenced in Michelle King’s article – “What people need now are leaders with empathy, compassion and an ability to show support — skills that women leaders tend to exhibit more than men.” In this relational style, women build relationship bridges, collaborating, building trust, and cultivating strong diverse and inclusive teams in order to make better decisions. As natural as nurturing comes for women, we easily turn to a woman when there is a human need, a need for support, or to be embraced. When you fall and skin your knee, you go looking for your Mom.
  4. Inspiration drives, while motivation pulls: I feel completely inspired and motivated when listening to how female leaders are handling COVID-19, both in corporate America and in public service. Profound leadership qualities are emerging in response to this global pandemic, as women have this innate need to protect and see opportunity in how we better serve going forward. Developing and nurturing their people with great enthusiasm beyond what is believed possible for them to grow and take on more responsibilities. Strength begets strength. And for many women, when we see strength in our female role models, we become stronger too.
  5. Demonstrates humility: Practices self-improvement and will admit to a wrong decision, righting her wrongs, seeking input, and listening. Women understand the best ideas do not come on their own, input is key. Alexa Von Tobel, Founder & CEO of LearnVest famously said “Here’s my bad idea; make it better.” One must hear from others and act on their ideas garnering support and transformation. Listen first, think on it, listen again, act on it and then listen again. The best ideas are a collaborative effort that start with humility.
  6. Empathetic communicator: Engaging people to listen to their point of view before making decisions and communicates with empathy. We have learned that women are more “people-oriented” spending more of their time developing, communicating, and coaching other leaders in their organization.

Without the physical presence of emotional interaction – we need an empathetic and compassionate leadership tone. Women are strong, flexible, and recognize we have all become humanized in order to give as much comfort, communication, and ideation, imparting we are all in this together. Having a diverse repertoire of “traditional male qualities” as well as “traditional female qualities” has served women well in addressing, responding and leading through this current crisis.
Search is the foundation of our business and frequently marks the beginning of our relationship with our clients. Our cutting-edge technology, robust database, and vast network provide a strong launching point and unparalleled experience for clients seeking diversity throughout all levels of their organization.  If you would like to have a more comprehensive conversation on how we can serve you, please contact us at inquiries@elliggroup.com.

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Janice Reals Ellig

Chief Executive Officer

As the head of the Ellig Group, Janice is dedicated to increasing the placement of women and diverse candidates on corporate boards and in C-suites by 2025. Janice joined the legacy firm in 2000 and became Co-Chief Executive Officer in its transition to Chadick Ellig in 2007; she assumed sole ownership of the company as the Ellig Group in 2017 with a new focus on Reimagining Search. Prior to her career in executive search, Janice spent 20 years in corporate America at Pfizer, Citi and Ambac Financial Group, an IPO from Citibank, where she was responsible for Marketing, Human Resources, and Administration.

Heralded by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of “The World’s Most Influential Headhunters,” Janice is often consulted for her expertise and her commitment to gender parity, inclusion, and diversity. She frequently appears at speaking engagements and as a media guest, and she has penned multiple articles for outlets such as Directors & Boards, Directorship, Corporate Director, The Huffington Post, and Forbes.com. Janice also co-authored two books: Driving The Career Highway and What Every Successful Woman Knows, acknowledged by Bloomberg Businessweek as “the best of its genre.”

A tirelessly active member of the industry and champion of her causes, Janice is Founder of the Women’s Forum of New York’s Corporate Board Initiative and its signature event, Breakfast of Corporate Champions. Since 2011, Janice continues to spearhead this event to honor companies committed to board diversity and to encourage CEOs to sponsor board-ready women for the Women’s Forum database. (LINK: www.womensforumny.org).

Janice is personally committed to several NFP organizations: Board Director of the National YMCA and Past Chair of the YMCA Board of Greater New York; Trustee of the Actors Fund and Committee For Economic Development (CED); Incoming Chair, University of Iowa Foundation; Women’s Forum of New York Past President and Chair of the Corporate Board Initiative; member of the Steering Committee, US 30% Club and The Economic Club of New York.

In recognition for her many philanthropic activities, Janice received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) Eleanor Raynolds Award for Volunteerism in 2008. Named one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews, she was also a recipient of the Channel 21 Award In Excellence for her contribution to “Excellence in the Economic Development for Women.”

“Listening to our clients’ needs, learning their business and understanding their culture is how we present the best talent and provide  a competitive advantage. We place candidates with the character, competencies, commitment, (intellectual) curiosity and courage to make a difference. Our goal is always to go beyond the expected and deliver valuable advice, measurable results and great talent!”

– Janice Reals Ellig

  • Champion of gender parity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Industry expert, speaker, and author
  • Founder of the Women’s Forum of New York’s Corporate Board Initiative
  • Committed board and committee member and philanthropist

T: (212) 688-8671 ext. 226
E: Janice@ElligGroup.com