As an advocate for gender diversity and as a woman, I was really excited last year when I learned that two qualified women were running for the office of President. Now fast forward to July 2016. Regardless of your party affiliation, women cannot help but celebrate that for the first time in the 240-year political history of our country, a qualified woman has received an official nomination from a major political party for the office of President of the United States of America.
Don't get me wrong, this is not an endorsement for a political party or a candidate. And while I am a women's leadership advocate, I am not making the case that women always make better leaders than men. In fact, the science behind leadership suggests that traits of successful leaders are present regardless of gender (and I believe in gender equality). But I also believe that a qualified female leader could make an excellent President of the United States. Let me be clear, the key word here is qualified.
Hillary Clinton has all of the credentials, both politically and as a strong leader, that make her a capable candidate for President. She has the executive traits of confident, assertiveness, courage, emotional intelligence, resilience, and passion. Clinton has had an undeniable passion for politics and political service all her life, and is confident in her experience. Research shows that all successful leaders have these key traits in common and use them as a tools to advance.
My research also shows that successful leaders have extensive preparation, like education and early career success, that builds a strong foundation for their future success as qualified leaders. Clinton has a decades-long history of political preparation, from getting a law degree from Yale University to being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001. She is by far the most qualified political candidate for president this cycle and has all the preparation necessary to hold the office.
Research and data prove that organizations that have qualified women in their C-Suite are more profitable. A most recent study shows that companies with a 30% female presence in corporate leadership, for example, have 15% higher profitability than those with no female representation. These are hard numbers that impact the economic success of firms. Having a female presidential leader, and having more female presence in political leadership in general, has the potential to translate those same economic benefits for our country.
The bottom-line is this... this country needs a qualified leader. Someone who has the executive traits and preparation necessary to advance and lead the nation. Wouldn't it be great if this time she just happens to be a woman!
To learn more about women's leadership, visit my website at Diversity Woman.