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Five ways to get promoted to a leadership position

Updated: Mar 7

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2024, Beth O’Neill shares five ways to get promoted to a management role or higher leadership position, as a woman.


Two women talking and writing on a piece of paper
A female employee and female manager working together

You’re great at your job, you may already be leading a team, but you’re not getting promoted to the next level of leadership. Why? 


Chances are that you’re not focused on delivering the things that matter to your management and you’re not demonstrating your fullest leadership potential. 


If you’re a woman, you’re even less likely to get promoted because ‘for every 100 men promoted from entry level to manager, 87 women are promoted.’ At Director and CEO level, ‘only 10% of FTSE 100 companies have a female CEO’ and ‘two thirds of FTSE 100 companies do not have any women in executive director roles.’ McKinksey and Company


We need more women in leadership positions, as role models and influencers, to bring more diversity, connection and empathy to our boardrooms and workforce. 


“When more women are empowered to lead, everyone benefits” - American Psychological Association 

Here’s five ways to get noticed, unlock your fullest leadership potential and get promoted:


  1. Get clarity. A) Your leadership direction: Where do you want to be? What role do you want to be doing? What are the potential routes to get there? and, B) The things that matter to your management: What are the most relevant projects and pieces of work that will have the highest impact that you should be focusing on? 

  2. Build your self confidence and self-efficacy: Understand your key skills and strengths, what makes you unique, why you’re the right person for the role and believe it. If you don’t believe it, your management might not either.

  3. Be the person you want to become. A) Demonstrate your greatest leadership skills to your management right now: effectively lead projects and facilitate team meetings, mentor, coach and empower members of your team, share any key learnings with the wider organisation etc., and, B) Start delivering the work with the highest impact and the type of work your future role requires - if you don’t know what that is, ask. 

  4. Network: Get a mentor, surround yourself with other leaders you can connect, learn and grow from and be visible to your management/other senior leaders.

  5. Ask: Share your leadership and career aspirations with your management, ask for the promotion and find out the steps to get there.


From first-hand experience, one of the best ways to confidently work through these steps is with coaching: being coached and being trained in a coaching approach to leadership. 


A coaching approach to leadership


A coaching approach to leadership is a proven strategy for driving cultural behavioural breakthrough and achieving sustainable success. 


This April I am launching Women in Leadership, a 12-week practical training programme for female leaders and managers (or soon-to-be) looking to lead with a transformative coaching approach. Inspire, empower and positively influence others and unlock your greatest leadership potential. Find out more and book your place here.

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