August 2017

When you type ‘Why do women __’ into Google Search, the first term that comes up is ‘wear makeup’. The second is ‘need men’, the third ‘pull away’. There is even one that says ‘play hard to get’. Clearly, some Googlers have issues …

Interesting is how these terms resonate with other misperceptions about women floating around. In general, the worst stereotypes about powerful female bosses are that they’re icy, touchy, emotional, single and lonely ‒ yet for many of the women who reach the top, the reality is very different.

Glenn Llopis wrote an article on Forbes.com about women leaders in which he says it’s impossible to respect, value and admire great leadership if you can’t identify what makes a leader great. While this is changing and more women are being elevated to leadership roles, there is still much work to do. As women continue along their upward curve in the business world, they have yet to be fully appreciated for the unique qualities and abilities they bring to the workplace.

If you’re a successful leader today (male or female), it’s very likely that when you grew up you were influenced by a strong-willed, hardworking and purpose-driven woman. Through her leadership the traditions, values and legacy of your family were upheld. We have all been surrounded by strong women leaders in some way or another – which proves that women’s instincts and emotional intelligence are unparalleled. They can manage crisis and change like experts and sense signs of danger before it even crosses their path.

It is as Llopis says – women are well organised, full of love, spiritually aligned and well balanced. It doesn’t mean they are perfect, but women embrace traditions as they adapt to change.

Llopis further says it can be difficult for a man to understand how women think, act and innovate unless he has been closely influenced by the women in his life. He has learned that women may process things differently and in their own terms. The best women leaders he knows have circular vision, which enables them to be well-rounded people. For example, they have their finger on the pulse of the culture and can talk to you about the latest pop-culture news – but then easily switch gears to give you their perspective on what is taking place on the stock markets.

Women leaders seeking a chance to be significant see the world through a lens of opportunity; they are especially in search of those opportunities previously unseen. Llopis’ experiences have taught him that great women make it a priority to teach men about women.

This month we celebrate great women and great leaders. We profile seven incredible ladies that are all leaders in their own right and who are striving to help our country become a better place in their own authentic way. Not all of them were born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths – some even had to deal with the tragic death of their parents. But they dreamed big, believed in themselves and yes – they’ve made it happen. And now they are leading and inspiring others.

To all the great women in our lives – thank you for your inspiration and leadership. May we all learn more from the amazing women in our lives – whether at home or at work.

Gerinda Engelbrecht

EDITOR

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