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Top Five Leadership Skills For Women

There are five leadership skills we believe women can develop to reach their full potential as leaders. These include strong leadership skills, power and influence, negotiating, overcoming resistance and networking skills. Collectively these skills will help you reach your full potential and help you develop your career in C-suite positions.

In the corporate sector, women are still not reaching their full potential or being promoted into C-suite positions.

In 2020 only 19.3% of executives and 7.9% of CEOs were women in corporate companies within the European Union. However multiple studies have found that both men and women don’t differ much in effective leadership styles, if anything women have been found to be slightly more talented in this area.

The real problem clearly is not that women don’t have the proper skills to become strong leaders but that there are more obstacles for women than men.

Ultimately women do not need to change to become great leaders, but in a world where men dominate the C-Suite corporate sector, things need to change for women to take a well-deserved seat at the table.

We have put together the top five leadership skills for women, that you can develop to guarantee you get ahead of your male counterparts and reach your potential as a women leader.

What skills can women develop to reach their potential as leaders?

1. Leadership Skills

One of the most obvious skills that women can develop is leadership skills.

Leadership comes with a whole host of skills beneath it, that collectively create strong organisational leaders. These include skills like emotional intelligence, communication proficiency, decisiveness, motivation and effective delegation to name only a few.

Many of these skills come very naturally to women but it’s always worth upskilling and developing these further in a professional way. You can do this by attending an ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) course.

2. Power and Influence

Power and influence go hand in hand to achieve organisational goals and objectives.

Women who use their power effectively can influence others behaviour, this, in turn, is what prompts employees into action.

Some employees may try to resist efforts to make them perform, but by gaining respect and trust through your hardworking mentality, emotional intelligence and motivational mindset, strong women leaders will be able to overcome this confrontation.

Always remember to have confidence in your own abilities as a leader and then power and influence will naturally occur.

3. Negotiating

Negotiating is a crucial skill to have if you are wanting to progress in your career.

Research has found that women are less likely to negotiate for better positions or higher pay due to gender bias. This is because women who do negotiate are told they are ‘too bossy’ or ‘intimidating’, however, you are twice as likely to get a pay rise if you were to negotiate.

Firstly, make sure you do your research, ask your male and female peers who have asked for pay rises on what to expect. Next practice your pitch, remember to say why you deserve that job promotion/pay rise. Talk about your achievements and visions for the future.

Lastly, make sure you are asking for a specific amount. Men are more likely to ask for more than women in the same positions, so never undersell yourself. If anything, oversell yourself so you are in a better negotiating position and more likely to get the amount you want and deserve.

4. Overcoming Resistance to Change

Change is inevitable in any organisation and those that change for the better thrive in the modern world. However, overcoming resistance to change can be somewhat difficult with multiple employees, some of which will have been in the company for many years.

The best way you can overcome this as a women leader is through great communication and employee engagement.

There should be a constant flow of communication throughout the time of change, so employees are always informed.

The next thing you must do is engage with the employees, listen to what their thoughts are on the change. Ask them questions about whether the change is working and what they think would make things better. This paired with both formal and informal communication will develop trust among your employees, making it a smoother process.

5. Networking

So many women dismiss networking as they find it insincere and sometimes manipulative. But networking can be extremely beneficial.

Women need a strong network of trusted partners that can help them get results and influence other people. For you to be a successful women leader you need a network of mentors, sponsors, coaches and leaders in your sector. These new connections can help you develop, earn promotions and gain new opportunities.

These five tips are just a starting point for women who want to progress themselves as leaders. There’s still so much bias towards women in C-suite positions and developing these five skills can help combat that in a male dominant sector.

Take the next step

Here at Salford Professional Development, we offer leadership courses so you can develop these skills and more, helping you reach your full potential. The Women in Leadership Course develops all of these skills you’ve just read about – with access to our exclusive networking support group.

Top five skills for women leaders
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Top 5 leadership skills and why they are so important for all organisations

Leadership skills can either be learned or naturally occur in individuals with certain personality traits. In this blog post, we will look at the top five leadership skills you need to become a successful manager or director within your organisation.

Why are leadership skills important for organisations?

Having strong leadership skills within an organisation are so important in creating productive, successful teams. Many organisations believe that the best leaders are those who are very good workers, who know the organisation’s products, goals and procedures.

However, this does not prove that someone possesses the necessary leadership skills to mentor, motivate and direct colleagues in an effective way.

The most effective way in which all leaders can become successful is through training.

87% of employers said that ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) training programmes positively impacted their business.

Top 5 Leadership Skills

There are multiple leadership skills individuals need to be successful leaders in the workplace. We’ve chosen the top five to create a great foundation for your first steps in becoming a strong leader.

1 – Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is not only about being self-aware but about having empathy too.

To be self-aware you must identify that your emotions affect those around you. You also need to recognise that your ego can sometimes stunt your progress as a leader. So, you will need to let this go in order to be aware of both your strengths and weaknesses.

Empathy on the other hand is how you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This will inevitably help you deliver constructive criticism fairly and wisely, whilst also being approachable and a good listener when your team needs help in difficult situations.

Having these skills will make you more emotionally intelligent and in turn, you will gain trust and respect among your colleagues and teams.

2- Decisiveness

Decisiveness ultimately is the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently.

Having great research, problem-solving and planning skills, where you can use your own experiences to confidently make decisions, for the best results, can really help you improve business efficiency.

It’s also good to recognise that having knowledge of each department and how the department operates can really strengthen your decisiveness skills, giving you that background knowledge to proficiently lead.

Leadership courses are the best way to improve this background knowledge.

3 – Communication

Communication skills not only mean effectively speaking clearly to a team but also writing, listening and presenting in a clear and concise manner.  

This is such an important leadership skill to have when there are so many different communication forms. This could include team meetings, one-on-ones and companywide presentations.

All the while communicating through different workplace platforms such as phone, email, video meetings, chat, and social media. Plus, these conversations need to be constant with the employees and leaders in order to create a trustworthy open-door ethos within the organisation.

4 – Motivation

To be a successful leader you need to inspire employees.

You can do this through motivation. You need to learn how and what motivates each individual so that you can encourage them to be more productive and passionate about their work.

An effective way to motivate is to provide them with recognition, this improves their self-esteem allowing them to confidently undergo more work tasks. Or you could give employees more responsibilities to increase their overall personal asset to the company.

5 – Delegation

Taking on too many tasks is the downfall of many leaders. That’s why it is so important to delegate tasks around the team so that your time and skills are better utilised.

Leaders need to evaluate what their employee’s strengths and weaknesses are to match the right task to the right employee. Leaders must also trust their employees, to create a strong team environment.

In having this trust, you will gain mutual respect from your employees.

How can you develop these 5 leadership skills?

Mastering all five of these leadership skills; emotional intelligence, decisiveness, communication, motivation and delegation all help towards developing your own personal development and career. Evidently, you will need to practice this over time and understand your own leadership style to fully excel as a successful leader. Great ways in doing this are to learn from already strong leaders, gain a mentor or improve your skills with a leadership course.

Take a look at our leadership skills courses and begin your development today.

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How to reach your business’s goals with a digital marketing strategy

An online digital marketing strategy is crucial for reaching your business’s goals in an ever-growing digital world.

It is predicted that by 2030 everything will be online. So it’s imperative to successfully implement an online marketing strategy to really reap the benefits.

This article will help marketing professionals plan and successfully use a digital marketing strategy. You can use this as a tool to identify and reach achievable online marketing goals.

We will outline the steps we teach in our Digital Marketing Strategy course. So we can help present a thorough strategic plan to increase revenue and conversion rates across all suitable digital platforms for you.   

What is an Online Digital Marketing Strategy, and Why Are They Important in Reaching Business Goals?

An online digital marketing strategy is a marketing strategy for a business’s online digital platforms. So, a business’s digital marketing strategy refers to an overall digital plan for reaching business goals. These goals can be big or small. Ideally, they will lead to reaching potential leads that could then be turned into customers.

Very much like a general marketing strategy an online digital marketing strategy involves an organisation’s value proposition, branding, buyer personas, and the digital marketing platforms used. These include:

  • Website Marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Digital Advertising
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Downloadable Content

A strategy is perfect in that it creates a template for your marketing goals, allowing you to clearly see results from each campaign without having to completely start again. It’s the base of all your online digital marketing campaigns where you can clearly measure and see what is and isn’t working and change it accordingly.

Creating a digital marketing strategy is important because it will help you identify what your business’s unique selling points are and how to get content out to your targeted audience through each suitable digital platform.

Online digital marketing strategies, when done properly are very detailed and because of this are great for discovering new opportunities and increasing your online reach.

One example is creating an in-depth buyer persona for your target audience, this allows you to understand your audience more acutely – helping you deliver a more effective digital strategy in reaching your marketing goals.

How to create an online digital marketing strategy to reach your businesses marketing goals

Here are five steps to consider when creating a Digital Marketing Plan for your online strategy, helping you reach your business marketing goals.

These steps are a less in-depth version of the DMI accredited Digital Marketing Strategy programme. Take a look here at the programme dates.

Digital Marketing Strategy for your online plan:

  1. Target Audience
  2. Goals and Objectives
  3. Competitor Analysis
  4. Digital Marketing Channels
  5. Analysis and Strategy Performance

Target Audience

The first step in creating a Digital Marketing Strategy is to know your target audience. This is the most important step in the plan. It helps you make vital decisions such as branding and understand what online digital marking platforms to use to promote your services or products.

You will need to create Buyer Personas for each of your target audiences. Buyer Personas are fictional characters that represent your customer.  

These customers can be put into different segments such as demographic, psychographic, behavioural and firmographic depending on what industry you are in and whether you are a B2B or B2C business.

It is also important to map whether each of the buyer personas is an existing, prospective, or desired customer.

Goals and Objectives

Having strong goals and objectives is extremely important for your digital marketing strategy and for your business as a whole. The digital marketing goals and objectives need to be very focused to fully plan and executive your online digital strategy. These could be, for example, focusing on increasing email open rates or increasing your social media reach.  

The best business goals for a digital marketing strategy are ones that are ambitious and force you to put in the work, but you need them to be achievable at the same time. There is nothing more demotivating than working towards a goal that you and your team know is impossible to reach.

An effective way to organise and plan your online digital goals is by using the SMART marketing goals technique.

  • Specific – what are you trying to achieve? What is your end goal?
  • Measurable – how will you measure and track your marketing goal over a certain amount of time?
  • Achievable – is what you are trying to achieve doable?
  • Relevant – is the goal aligned with your business overall goals? Is the digital marketing goal relevant at that specific time?
  • Time-bound – when’s the deadline? When can I expect to see progress towards the end goal?

Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis allows you to identify your competitor’s weaknesses and any opportunities in your organisation’s sector. It’s the process in which you research your competitors, looking at any threats they may display and analysing their digital marketing strategy.

Completing a competitor analysis enables you to gain a clear understanding of the marketplace within your organisation’s sector and what is and isn’t working well in that particular marketplace.

It’s really good practice to analyse your competitors on a regular basis tracking metrics such as social media followers, email newsletters sent (you can do this by subscribing to their email list) and website updates. Use a spreadsheet and date it to keep on top of things.

The RACE marketing technique covers all the research you need in order to create a clear understanding of your competitors. We suggest researching your top three competitors but continue to review these as more may come into the marketplace.

  • Reach – what digital platforms are your competitors drawing in traffic from?
  • Act- how do your competitors force their customers to interact with their brand? E.g. blogs, social media, tone of voice.
  • Convert – what are the barriers to your competitor’s sale conversations?
  • Engage – what digital marketing methods do your competitors use to engage with their customers?

Make sure to also spy on your competitors to keep up with what they are doing – follow them on social media, sign up for their email subscription and read their blogs.

There are also lots of online tools to use to track their data such as Similarwed for website traffic and Mention for social snooping.

Digital Marketing Channels

The next part of your strategy is to think about what digital marketing tools are suitable to use for your organization. You will also need to think about what sort of content creation you will need to use to effectively engage with new, current and old customers.

Online digital marketing channels to think about:

  • Devices such as phones and desktops.
  • Digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Digital media such as email, search engines and online advertising.

After considering these tools and using what you’ve found from your research you should have a good idea of what content you need to create for your target audience.

  • Social media – Social media marketing is the use of websites and applications of social media platforms to connect with your target audience through photos, messages, videos etc. to boost brand awareness and drive revenue.
  • Email – Email marketing is a form of communication that can be used to send discounts/sales, news, blogs and follow up emails.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization is where you optimize your website content to increase targeted traffic to your website.
  • Paid Advertising – Paid advertising uses the Pays Per Click (PPC) method through digital channels and methods such as Search, Social Media, Native Advertising, Display and Remarketing.
  • Content Marketing – Content marketing involves creating and presenting content that consumers find meaningful and helpful. This content is usually educational or informative – ideally content that helps the consumer in some way. Examples of different sorts of digital content creation include:
    – Blogs
    – Videos
    – Podcasts
    – Infographics

Each of the digital marketing channels needs to be reviewed on a business-to-business basis. Not all of these will be appropriate to reach your business’s digital marketing goals, so use the most appropriate ones for your target audience.

Analysis and Strategy Performance

The last and final step to your Digital Marketing Strategy is the analysis of your digital marketing performance and results.

Gathering data from digital marketing channels is much easier than gathering data from traditional marketing methods. Most channels have in-depth data letting you see exactly how many people have viewed your digital content, clicked it and visited the website etc.

Gather your clearest data by tracking your business’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Allowing you to effectively see what’s working and if it’s in line with your marketing budget. Choosing which KPIs to measure is really important, you will need to choose the right one that aligns with your business’s goals.

Five KPIs to consider:

  1. Lead generation – Measure the cost-effectiveness of your lead generation by calculating how many have been converted into sales.
  2. Website traffic – There are a number of ways to measure this such as monthly website traffic, conversion rate, click-through rate, pages per visit, average time on page, visits per marketing channel, returning vs new customers and conversion rate of the call-to-action.
  3. SEO optimization – Measure SEO metrics through google analytics focusing on organic traffic through keywords and inbound links.
  4. Paid advertising – Evaluate your ROI (return on investment) profitability. Save resources and improve your adverts by monitoring leads and conversions, cost per acquisition (CPA) and cost per conversion, click-through rate (CTR).
  5. Social media tracking – social media should build an engaged audience and turn them into customers. Track your traffic from social media to the website, conversions, engagement rate and mentions.


Having a well-planned digital marketing strategy creates so many opportunities no matter how big or small your business is. If you effectively plan and put the research and work in, you can really create a successful strategy to reach your marketing goals. 

Creating a digital marketing strategy can be quite daunting if you don’t know the steps, that’s why so many businesses hire digital marketing strategists to reach their goals. Hopefully, this blog will be the start of your plan and strategy.

If you wanted to create a really in-depth strategy that is guaranteed to get you results, then we run a Digital Marketing Strategy programme. It is also accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) so you can confidently come away from the programme with great knowledge and key insights for your organisation.

Certified by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) the Digital Marketing Strategy programme will develop you into a more strategic marketer while embracing the newest technological trends. Take a look here at how it can help you and your organisation.

Infographic for five steps digital marketing strategy
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Have you Seen Mr Smith?

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Three Technology Trends that will Redefine Marketing in 2019

Today, consumers and business buyers alike expect convenient, relevant, and responsive engagement across every interaction. In the age of the connected customer, marketers — with their deep understanding of customer needs and behavior — are well positioned to take a lead on these broader customer experience initiatives.

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One day working week is all we need to get mental health benefits of work

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World leading housing research facility to be built in Salford

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Raising and Educating Deaf Children: Language Deprivation and Behavioral Challenges

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Harnessing university resources to strengthen commercial growth

University of Salford recognised for outstanding collaboration in new national report.

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Offsite Construction – What is the alternative?

Written by Bob Mears – CEO BMPR Offsite Consultancy

2nd May saw a Modular Buildings Conference held by the Salford Professional Development team at the University of Salford where I had been asked to speak on behalf of the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA).

Reflecting on the day and thinking about how the Offsite Industry has progressed over the past 10 years gave me pause for thought.

Modular Building Conference
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