For years women in the workplace pitched up in their power suits and buffed their briefcases, emulating their male counterparts to gain ground in what was traditionally a 'man's world.'
But we are entering a new era, a primarily digital era, and employers and employees alike are placing more value on meaningful connection.
As a result, 'soft skills' are now some of the most sought after skills in the business world.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are a grouping of interpersonal skills which relates to how an employee works. These skills can help contribute towards a harmonious and productive workplace environment.
Soft skills include but are not limited to communication skills, conflict resolution, the ability to multi-task, compassion and the ability to work under pressure.
Women are perfectly placed
Most of these soft skills come naturally to women, making them perfectly placed to flourish in leadership roles. Large corporations like Google are starting to recognise the importance of these skills.
The results of their Project Aristotle study, which set out to find 'what makes the perfect team', revealed employees are happiest and perform best in a 'psychologically safe' environment where they are able to be vulnerable with each other.
Good news for women who are natural communicators and will easily be able to foster meaningful connections with their teammates.
Don't suppress, impress
When competing in male–dominated environments, women may feel the need to suppress their inherent personality traits, to have a 'work persona' and a 'home persona'.
Still, it's time to realise qualities like empathy, inclusion and compassion are no longer considered weaknesses.
These soft skills, and so many others, add value in the workplace and should be embraced as strengths.
An employee's perspective as a woman and a mother on a pitch or in a meeting will bring something new to the table and shouldn't be suppressed.
Can I add soft skills to my CV?
With the demand for soft skills on the rise, they absolutely belong on a woman's CV. They should be showcased through examples instead of as a list which is difficult to quantify.
For example, instead of 'multi-tasking' as a line item, it was better for the candidate to explain how they were a part of multiple projects and their role in each.
From compassion to communication, women already possess most of the soft skills necessary to be good leaders and sought after employees or project workers.
It's time for women to embrace these natural strengths and abilities to give themselves an edge in the workplace.
Share your stories and questions with us via email at email@example.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
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