HR Seminar London: Women in Leadership

5 Minutes

On the 3rd of July Elliott Scott HR UK held a ‘Women in Leadership’ seminar in partnership w...

By Kirstin Hunt

Managing Director, UK and Europe

On the 3rd of July Elliott Scott HR UK held a ‘Women in Leadership’ seminar in partnership with Arcadia Consulting.

A selection of senior HR leaders joined us for a lively discussion on the topic led by Jane Smart, Principal Consultant at Arcadia Consulting.

The session kicked off with the participants sharing the issues they encounter in their leadership roles, including:

Speaking up;
there is the fear of coming across as a bossy woman rather than a respected leader


Building relationships with advocates;

finding and aligning with supportive and likeminded men and women
The need for the removal of bias in order to be treated equally in the workplace, particularly prominent in more traditional environments and male heavy industries such as technology


Getting a seat at the table;
one attendee who works in investment banking mentioned that the majority of leadership roles are still filled by men


Perfectionist qualities and the tendency for women to focus on their flaws rather than their strengths – the group discussed the value of strength based coaching over focusing on fixing weaknesses ('trait F' – developed by Zenger Folkman)

There was also a call for women in leadership roles to help and empower other women. An attendee highlighted how far women have come in just a generation and another raised the importance of women getting into senior roles so they can pave the way for future generations and bring about the needed changes. Almost 4 in 10 businesses in G7 countries have no women in senior management positions and there are only 7 current female CEO’s of FTSE 100 companies.

Jane then shared some key points on building and developing your leadership style and presence.

Know the key differences between male and female leaders:


Communication Styles:

Men are more task-oriented and directive, while women are more democratic. That’s often the starkest leadership difference between male and female bosses: men provide direction for their employees, while women encourage employees to find their own direction.


Reward Systems:

Women often motivate their employees by helping them find self-worth and satisfaction in their work, which serves as its own reward. Men are more likely to use the transactional leadership approach of providing incentives for succeeding and penalties for failing. Both genders can learn to succeed in either of these leadership styles.


Self-Branding:

Men tend to be good at branding themselves and will let others know about their successes and strengths. Women are more likely to be modest or silent about their own accomplishments.


Build your personal brand:

Ensure that you’re portraying a consistent brand image by supporting your messaging with the right behaviours – make a good first impression, maintain eye contact, adapt the right posture and be aware of the volume, pitch and pace in your vocal delivery.


Have confidence in your abilities:

Do not fall victim to ‘imposter syndrome’ and build up some resilience so that, as a professional in your field, you have confidence in your ability to succeed.

Develop the four traits that authentic leaders are shown to have:

Self-awareness: continually commit to your own learning

No ego: empower and develop others

Be human: influence and inspire others by being open and transparent

Deliver: prove yourself by producing great outcomes over longer periods showing that you are reliable Trust is built on credibility, reliability and intimacy but undermined by self-interest.

Become an authentic leader:

  • Demonstrate consistent behaviours which enable you to be trusted at all times
  • Take ownership when you have made a mistake and be willing to share responsibility for your teams’ mistakes
  • Show the necessary courage to push further up the leadership chain, to question the current status quo or defend your people or processes


After an empowering seminar, the participants shared their takeaways on; the need to self-promote and bring about a shift in their own and others mind-sets and also the importance of mentorship and finding and being role-models.

We then had the chance to network and share more common ground on this subject over some drinks and canapes.

Due to the huge interest we received on this session, we are going to be running a ‘Women in Leadership’ forum on a regular basis. Our next session will be in September, if you would be interested in taking part please reach out to Kirstin Hunt at kh@elliottscotthr.com.

If you would be interested in attending any of our other future events, follow us on LinkedIn and keep an eye on our events page.​