Executive Presence: What It Is and Why It Matters for Women Executives

Recently, a number of my coaching clients have desired to level up their executive presence...

…so I thought I would share about what executive presence is and why it matters. As a woman executive, you are likely aware of the importance of projecting confidence, authority, and credibility in your role. You may also be familiar with the term “executive presence,” which describes the way in which a leader carries themselves, communicates ideas, and interacts with others in a professional setting.

The powerful example of a woman who embodied executive presence throughout her career that I like to use is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ginsburg projected confidence and gravitas in her role. She was known for her sharp intellect and insightful questioning during oral arguments, as well as her measured and deliberate writing style in her opinions. Despite facing numerous obstacles throughout her career as a woman in law, Ginsburg never wavered in her commitment to justice and equality.

Like Ginsburg, women executives today must cultivate a strong executive presence to overcome barriers and gain respect and influence in their fields. This combination of traits encompasses both verbal and nonverbal communication, from body language to tone of voice to attire. Sadly, whether we like it or not, attire is still something that is a factor for executive presence.

Confidence is a key element of executive presence, as leaders with this trait exude assurance in their abilities and decisions. They are not afraid to take risks and stand behind their ideas. In addition, leaders with executive presence possess gravitas, which refers to the ability to project a sense of seriousness, maturity, and wisdom. This often comes with experience and a track record of success.

Effective communication is another critical component of executive presence. Leaders with strong executive presence are skilled in both verbal and nonverbal communication, tailoring their message to their audience. They are authentic in their interactions with others and do not try to be someone they are not.

Finally, appearance is important for women executives to consider when cultivating executive presence. While not the most significant element, it is still important to dress appropriately for one’s industry and position.

In conclusion, women executives who cultivate executive presence can overcome barriers and gain respect and influence in their fields.  By embodying traits such as confidence, gravitas, effective communication skills, authenticity, and appropriate appearance, leaders can project themselves as credible, authoritative, and successful, just like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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I love helping women builder a stronger executive presence as it can be a game changer when it comes to leveling up in their careers. If you’re ready to level up in your executive presence, click here and schedule a time to talk.

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