How can a female leader competently manage a team full of males?

How can a female leader competently manage a team full of males?

| Leadership

In today's world, women enjoy the same career prospects and opportunities that used to get reserved for men.

It is now easy as pie to envisage a woman as the head of a large business or even an entire corporation. However, although history is replete with such examples, gender stereotypes continue to resurface from time to time, making life difficult for everyone.

The likelihood of encountering stereotypes is exceptionally high when you are a female leader in a predominantly male team. So let's find out how a female boss behaves with her subordinates and what management principles you must follow in controversial situations.

Tip 1. As the team leader, treat each team member individually.

To do this, you do not need to study behavioral psychology at the university or receive additional training. Simple observations will suffice. Be attentive to your employees, notice how they behave in certain situations, react to successes and missteps, and how open they are to informal communication or focus on work. This way, you can understand how best to interact with each of them, find rapport and build long-lasting relationships. The advice to be guided by the individual's character, habits, and needs works fine in any team! After all, we all like it when our personality gets noticed and respected.

Here are a few universal books that will help you work effectively, even in the most formidable teams, and competently lead them:

  • "The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People." How to build great relationships with your colleagues and show how much you appreciate them" by Gary Chapman and Paul White will tell you how to approach those around you during the working day.
  • The book "Fair Talk: Three Steps to Powerful Feedback" is an honest Dialogue with Customers and Employees" by Angela Lane and Sergei Gorbatov will help you establish trusting working relationships. Readers will also learn a few secrets about making the company's work more productive and the atmosphere in the workplace more inspiring with the help of open dialogue and feedback. 
  • In "The Science of People. People Smarts for Smart People," Vanessa van Edwards discusses how to strike up a conversation and overcome further communication difficulties. She offers insights into the hidden principles of human behavior and shows that these are the building blocks of our success at work and in life. Vanessa van Edwards's psychological tricks will help you become an engaging conversationalist and learn to recognise other people's emotions and thus better understand those around you. 
  • The book title by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, "Why should anyone be led by you? With a new preface by the Authors: What it takes to be an authentic leader," speaks for itself.

Moreover, the course "Perfect Manager" will teach you to avoid mistakes when interacting with your team, solve conflicts within the team and increase the productivity of your employees. After all, your professional competencies determine how well your team is formed and trained and the successes it will achieve. Therefore, if you want a deeper understanding of HR management, this course from Lectera for managers will significantly help you.

Tip 2. As the leader, protect the interests of your team members as if they were your own.


Real managers always become a kind of 'protector' of their employees against threats from the outside world, i.e., customer dissatisfaction or threats from higher authority. So, limit the impact on the team of those factors that risk reducing their productivity and performance. Nevertheless, please don't go overboard: it's vital to remain an authority not only for the team but also for customers, sponsors, and partners.

Of course, if an employee makes a mistake, you have the right to be professionally harsh. However, don't forget that the responsibility for that mistake still lies with you as a manager because, after all, you didn't adequately explain or teach the rules to the employee. Therefore, every employee needs to feel that you, as their manager, are on their side.

Demonstrate your ownership and commitment. How? Consult with colleagues, discuss new tasks, and ask their opinion on a particular project. But of course, in this case, leave the last word.

Tip #3. Keep your emotions in check.

Remember that constructive dialogue is always the most effective way to solve problems. Additionally, men, most of all, appreciate a leader. In addition to professional qualities and intelligence, a leader can manage their emotions and curb them. Therefore, do not give your team a reason to consider you weak or too nervous! Instead, bravely and confidently defend your position, based, of course, on detailed calculations and impartial analysis of the situation.

In this case, female coquetry or excessive sensuality will also be detrimental to your reputation as a boss. Your best chance at controlling and stopping your reactions is to take the “Emotional Intelligence. Becoming Happier and Faster To Succeed” course, where you'll learn the causes of your emotions, how they affect you, and how to manage them.

Tip 4. Strike a balance.

As a boss, you should first and foremost be a pro for your team, but that doesn't mean you have to act like a man. Don't forget your natural femininity, or more precisely, such essential traits as developed intuition, empathy, and tactfulness. No one forbids you from time to time to show soft-hearted and kind natured. If it is reasonable, the team can appreciate it.

Tip 5. Stimulate competition and make things gradually more challenging!


Motivational schemes based on competition between employees work best in a male-dominated team. The excitement and satisfaction of winning (or the frustration of losing) will motivate you and contribute to higher performance. Competitions also help to build team spirit and make it stronger, more efficient, and more exciting for employees. Moreover, the more challenging the tasks you put in front of your men, the more satisfaction they'll get from solving them! Some psychologists say that male employees lose productivity if they deal with the same simple routine. So don't be afraid to put extra hurdles before them and experiment!

Tip 6. Don't aim to conquer everyone and everything.

As the boss, you should not compete with your subordinates and prove your professional qualities to them head-on. If you are highly qualified and have the right to occupy a senior position, your team very soon sees for themselves. Therefore, deliberately demonstrating their competence is unnecessary; otherwise, you risk provoking the opposite effect and causing either laughter or pity.

Tip 7. Don't be afraid to trust male colleagues.

Men need a trust just as much as women do. If you delegate some tasks to your employees, rely on their opinion and vision, let them be independent, and show initiative, they will feel their importance and quickly realize their role in the team. And then, lo and behold, their productivity in several times multiplied!

Do not doubt a woman is just as capable as a man of becoming an authoritative and competent boss that can lead the company to success and find allies among her colleagues. The main thing to remember is that the qualities of a leader do not depend on your gender. It only depends upon your skills! Leadership is primarily a way of thinking that helps you see opportunities where no one is looking for them. Lectera’s course "Women’s Leadership: How To Take Up a Leadership Position in Any Company" will help you awaken the leader in you, where you will learn how to fight stereotypes and fears effectively, believe in your abilities and build the career of your dreams. 


Mila Smart Semeshkina and Lectera make it to the finals of the international EdTech Awards 2024

This year, there were over 60 nominations at The EdTech Awards | Future Focused For the Win. The online educational platform Lectera, led by its founder and CEO, Mila Smart Semeshkina, is among the winners.

| News

Mila Smart Semeshkina in the 100 Most Influential People in Dubai list

Mila Smart Semeshkina, CEO of the Lectera platform, was for the second time in a row included in Arabian Business’s 100 Most Influential People in Dubai ranking.

| News

According to Forbes columnist Mila Smart Semeshkina, "Startup success is a product of courage and foresight."

The founder and CEO of the Lectera platform, Mila Smart Semeshkina, told in her new article for the Forbes op-ed how to guarantee your startup a successful launch and a stable position in the market.

| News

Mila Smart Semeshkina receives the CEO of the Year at CEO Middle East Awards 2023!

On December 13, the annual Arabian Business’s CEO Middle East Awards ceremony was held in Dubai (UAE).

| News

Mila Smart Semeshkina Leads Inspiring Workshop on Personal Branding at UN Women Entrepreneurship Expo

Mila Semeshkina, CEO of Lectera and founder of the WE Convention, recently spearheaded a hands-on workshop on personal branding at the Women's Entrepreneurship Expo 2023.

| News

Mila Smart Semeshkina's article for Forbes: how business can make education accessible

In the 21st century, quality education is no longer a luxury; it should be a right. Everyone in the world, regardless of location, residence, gender, or financial status, should have the opportunity to obtain essential skills and knowledge to develop a career and realise one’s potential.

| News

Mila Smart Semeshkina is in the top 20 most inspiring female leaders in the Middle East

The Italian women's magazine Grazia has published an article about businesswomen in the Arab world.

| News

Mila Smart Semeshkina for Forbes: "Stories of accomplished female leaders can serve as beacons"

Mila Smart Semeshkina has published an author's column in Forbes.

| News