Why Women In Leadership?


“It’s not what I read, it’s what I know!”

I am a mother of a daughter, I am a  daughter, a sister, a niece. 

I don’t have brothers, I have three times as many aunts than uncles and I grew up with a whole host of female cousins. I have always had strong friendships with other girls (growing up) and women (today). 

I entered into social work to support teen mothers in foster care . I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Trinity Washington University, a women’s liberal arts college where I have worked as a professor for five years.  I have spent over 20 years in human services primarily supporting women and girls.   

Sisterhood really is self-care in my world.

I know from my own personal experiences and the experiences of my family, friends, students, and colleagues that the ‘juggle struggle’ is really real.  Women are trying to balance leading authentically at home, at work, at school, and in their communities while meeting their own needs and simultaneously shedding restrictive stereotypes and labels.

Does any of the following sound familiar to you?

  • Be bold, but not too bold.
  • Speak up, but not too loudly.
  • Take good care of your kids but don’t neglect yourself.
  • Take care of yourself but always put your kids’ needs first.
  • Ask for what you want but don’t get too greedy.
  • Be an amazing partner but don’t lose yourself in your mate.
  • Be independent but not too independent. 
  • Be grateful for all that you have but keep striving for more.
  • You need a degree to be taken seriously in this industry.
  • Keep it real but not too real.
  • You need to save for your kids college education while saving for your retirement.
  • Women are too emotional to be effective leaders.
  • You have a partner so you don’t really need to earn that high salary.
  • Always look fly but don’t draw too much attention to yourself.

Why women in leadership?

Gender bias still shows up in the workplace. Lack of mentorship still impacts career advancement. Women are still underrepresented and underpaid and then go home to complete their second shifts as primary caregivers for children and aging parents. 

According to the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Nichols College:

  • In the U.S., women represent 47% of the workforce and in 40% of families, women are the primary or sole breadwinner.
  • In full-time workers; women earn 79% for every dollar a man earns, on average.
  • Even among new college graduates, men out-earn women by 18%. Adjusted for the disparity as a result of different fields, the gap remains at 6%.
  • Globally, women hold just 24% of senior leadership positions. The U.S. lags behind the global average at 21%, compared to China where women hold 51% of senior leadership slots.
  • Women represent 45% of the S&P 500 workforce, but only 4% of the CEOs.

We need us and I am here for us!!

Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a Leadership and Career Strategist who helps mid and senior level women leaders develop the confidence, competence, and credibility to lead with authenticity and boldness. She has an extensive background in leading multi-disciplinary teams, developing and managing programs, and forming public-private partnerships. She is a college professor with a passion for teaching and mentoring the next generation of leaders. Nicki is an accomplished supervisor, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and over 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business. Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting assists companies in expanding their influence and impact by enhancing employee recruitment, increasing employee morale and performance, and decreasing employee turnover.  Nicki is a travel and cupcake lover who also enjoys reading, listening to music, and serving her community.

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