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Elevating Women in Leadership with the Aid of a Virtual Coaching

Palmer Barefield Nov 30, 2023 11:40:47 AM

Let’s be honest, women have come a long way in the working world. Flashback to the 1950s when the share of women in the labor force was a measly 30 percent. Today the number of working women is projected to reach 92 million by 2050—on the basis of an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent, according to a study conducted by the US Labor Force. But it wasn’t just puppies and rainbows that got us where we are today, and despite significant strides in recent years, gender disparities persist in leadership roles across industries. 


Overcoming these adversities is nothing short of an uphill battle, but it’s nothing we haven’t dealt with before. Luckily, tools such as virtual coaching address these imbalances, providing tailored support and guidance to women navigating the complexities of leadership. With the unique challenges women encounter, we’re here to explain how virtual coaching, particularly through Valor, is shaping a more equitable future.


Understanding the Gender Gap in Leadership:


Glass ceiling, implicit biases, and a lack of mentorship opportunities: all of these fall under the unique category of common gender disparities in leadership roles. According to recent studies, women remain significantly underrepresented in executive positions. The reasons behind this gap are multifaceted, ranging from societal expectations to workplace biases. 


Recognizing these barriers is crucial and the key to effectively addressing and dismantling them. Virtual coaching emerges as a dynamic solution to bridge this gap, offering the personalized guidance necessary to navigate these challenges. 


Coaching and Women in Leadership:


If you haven’t heard of leadership coaching, here’s the gist; it’s a modern approach to professional development, involving one-on-one sessions conducted online. This method transcends geographical barriers and provides flexible, personalized support to individuals seeking to enhance their leadership skills.


A notable success story within Valor's virtual coaching realm is that of Sarah Milby. Her journey, from overcoming professional hurdles to becoming a trailblazer in her field, serves as a testament to the transformative power of coaching. Learn more about success stories and insights into Valor's commitment to supporting women in leadership, checkout our blog on empowerment in leadership.


Overcoming Gender-Specific Challenges:


From imposter syndrome to the balancing act between professional and personal life, women in leadership often face several gender-specific challenges that can hinder their career growth. Some of these challenges include:


Gender Bias and Stereotypes:

  • Societal Expectations: Traditional gender roles and societal expectations can influence perceptions of leadership. Women might face biases that suggest they're less suited for leadership positions or are expected to exhibit certain traits, often labeled as "bossy" when showing assertiveness, while the same traits might be praised in men.
  • Double Standards: Women might be held to different standards than men, needing to prove themselves more to be seen as equally competent or facing criticism for behavior that would be accepted in male counterparts.

Lack of Representation:

  • Underrepresentation: In many industries and sectors, there's a lack of women in leadership roles, which can make it harder for aspiring women leaders to find role models or mentors who have navigated similar paths.
  • Glass Ceiling: Women often encounter barriers that prevent their ascent to higher leadership positions, often referred to as the "glass ceiling," which limits their career progression despite their qualifications and capabilities.

Work-Life Balance:

  • Family Responsibilities: Balancing family and career responsibilities can be particularly challenging for women in leadership positions, often leading to difficult trade-offs between career advancement and personal life.
  • Lack of Supportive Policies: Insufficient family-friendly policies or workplace cultures that don't support work-life balance can impede women's career progression.

Networking and Opportunities:

  • Limited Networking Opportunities: In industries or workplaces dominated by men, women might face challenges in networking and accessing the same opportunities for career advancement.
  • Access to Opportunities: Women might not have equal access to high-profile projects, promotions, or decision-making roles due to biases or a lack of visibility.

Addressing these challenges involves a multi-faceted approach, including implementing policies that promote gender equality, creating inclusive workplaces, offering mentorship and leadership development programs tailored for women, challenging stereotypes, and fostering cultures that value diversity and inclusion. Moreover, highlighting the achievements of women in leadership can serve as inspiration and motivation for others, gradually breaking down these barriers.

Virtual coaching, with its tailored and confidential approach, provides a safe space for women to tackle these challenges head-on. Valor coaching offers personalized guidance by equipping women with the tools and strategies needed to not only overcome these obstacles but also to excel in their leadership roles.


Strategies for Building a Supportive Network:


Building a supportive network is crucial for anyone aiming to ascend the ranks of leadership. Mentorship, networking, and a sense of community play pivotal roles in the growth and success of women in leadership positions.



Mentorship offers invaluable guidance, support, and knowledge transfer. For women in leadership, having a mentor provides access to insights and experiences that might not be easily accessible otherwise. Mentors can offer advice on navigating challenges unique to women in leadership roles, provide encouragement, and serve as role models. They can also help women expand their networks and create opportunities for career advancement.



Networking allows women in leadership to connect with peers, industry experts, and potential mentors or sponsors. Building strong professional relationships through networking opens doors to new opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations. It can also provide access to resources, information, and support systems crucial for personal and professional growth. Networking is especially powerful in breaking through barriers that women might face in male-dominated industries or leadership positions.



Being part of a supportive community is immensely beneficial for women in leadership. Communities offer a platform for sharing experiences, addressing common challenges, and celebrating successes. They provide a sense of belonging, encouragement, and solidarity. Additionally, communities often offer educational resources, mentorship programs, and leadership development initiatives tailored specifically for women.


Combining these elements creates a holistic support system that empowers women in leadership roles. It helps them overcome obstacles, gain confidence, and access resources necessary for career advancement. Furthermore, these connections foster a more diverse and inclusive environment, encouraging more women to pursue leadership roles and contribute their unique perspectives to various industries and sectors.

Valor coaching goes beyond individual sessions, fostering a supportive network for women in leadership. Through mentorship initiatives and community-building efforts, Valor actively contributes to creating an environment where professionals can thrive. For more insights into the importance of mentorship and networking, check out this story: Developing Employees' Leadership through Mentorship.


The Future of Women in Leadership


The potential for women in leadership is bright, as is the potential for positive change and increased representation of women in leadership roles. Coaching in leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping this future. The personalized guidance and skills acquired through coaching contribute to a more diverse and inclusive leadership landscape. It's a transformative force in advancing women in leadership. By addressing the gender gap, overcoming specific challenges, and building a supportive network, Valor coaching proves instrumental in shaping a future where women thrive in leadership roles. To learn more about Valor coaching, schedule a demo!

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