How My All-Female Leadership Team Sets the Stage for My Nonprofit's Success

If you work in nonprofits, you know from your own experience, the workforce in this sector tends to be made up of women. In fact, the White House Project posits that 73% of the nonprofit workforce is female, but men hold the majority of leadership positions, not dissimilar from the rest of the nation's economy. All this is to say that female led teams are not as common in nonprofits as one would think. I am lucky enough in my job to be part of one of those uncommon teams, and for my post today, I want to tell you about that experience.

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My team’s leadership is entirely female, and each leader has a different background and story of how she came to work for our organization. These eclectic backgrounds have given me and the other young women I work with something of tremendous value: a wide array of examples of how to be a successful woman. Some women on the team have children, others do not; some are big picture idea thinkers, others are detail oriented, nitty gritty types; all lead and encourage in their own way. What I find most important is that these women show me there is no single way to be a success, which means that no road is closed to me.  

These exemplary women not only show the way, they take an active role in building up the people who work for them. We are given opportunities to expand our portfolios and take on new challenges. If we go to our bosses with an idea, we are rarely met with negativity. Rather, we are met with constructive insight and brainstorming. There is a sense that a successful idea from one person leads to success for all.

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In many work environments, leadership fosters competitiveness between employees, driving them to attempt to constantly one-up their colleagues, and this tactic breeds negativity. While no workplace is free of competition, our leaders have put it into a positive light. The success of the team does not depend on one person achieving; it depends on each member being her best. We celebrate each other because all of our successes are shared and are motivated to keep growing. 

I recognize my luck in being part of a team like this one, what with the aforementioned statistics. I am grateful for our little piece of Themyscira. Not only is it an example of what women are capable of, it is overall an example of what a positive work environment can look like.  

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Emma Standring-Trueblood is one of YNPN LA's Guest Bloggers. Connect with her on LinkedIn and comment below and add your voice to the conversation.

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