The 6 Key Competencies and How Women Leaders are the Natural Choice

Long-term thinking

A long-term commercial perspective is required to recognize that markets will be aligning to the SDG. Leaders need the ability to effect changes in company mindsets in order to gear up for the type of disruptive innovation that is required for a long-term competitive advantage. Growth strategies need to be accelerated and leaders need the ability to see the bigger picture. More evidence is emerging to support the theory that companies that focus on sustainability in their strategic pillars perform better financially.

Core business activities need to incorporate the SDG and broadening the strategic horizons of companies will encourage decisions resulting in long-term gains and increased investments.

Communication is said to be one of the strongest skills that females possess. Successful long-term strategies start with regular, clear and open communication that allow employees, co-workers, partners and senior management to buy-into the overall goals.



Maintaining business as usual or even striving for gradual improvements will fall short when attempting to find purpose-driven sustainable solutions. Innovation is a key skill required by progressive leaders to solve pressing issues related to sustainable development around the world.

When we work in diverse teams, we tap into collective intelligence which leads to better problem solving. Greater thought diversity leads to more innovative solutions as we have the benefit of working with people from different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities and race. The business benefits are endless.



In order to reach a tipping point towards businesses embracing a new model for the future, collaboration is critical. Collaboration initiatives need to include industry peers, counterparts in similar sectors, the regulators, civil society and government entities. This will unlock the opportunity to shift entire sectors to align with the SDG. The collective power of a whole sector is much bigger than individual companies going on this journey in isolation. 

Strong leaders recognize the benefits of collaboration like combining technology efforts, prioritizing, identifying tipping points, developing new jobs, analyzing changing financial requirements and mapping out the components of equitable transition.  Cross-sector collaboration will also drive systematic change in fiscal and regulatory policies which will even out the playing field.

There is scientific evidence that shows women to be better at making deals because of collaborating more effectively. We need more female leaders to acquire the practical skills of how to break the traditional silo-mentalities that exist in many organisations. Women have naturally high levels of emotional intelligence which is critical in understanding others, navigating conflict and managing relationships.



Leaders striving to position their companies for long-term success regularly benchmarks their performance against best practices. This includes data transparency as national and global citizens. Tax information is typically disclosed as this is the social contract between a state, its residents and citizens. In showing regard for human rights, they report their companies impact on the environment and society. Full transparency is required to tackle corruption and strengthen public governance.

A research study conducted by Pew’s “Women and Leadership” showed 34% of respondents say that female executives are perceived as being more honest and ethical than male executives while only 3% said this of male executives. It is also important for female leaders to demonstrate integrity in their business dealings as this builds trust in the market.


Environmental Management

Leaders of the future are fully aware of the business benefits gained by making a positive impact on their environment. They endorse the development of environmentally friendly technologies and embrace sustainable business models. 

Using circular business models, renewable energy and water will reduce the demand for natural capital and leaders need to be consistent and transparent in their business conduct. Public advocation for changes to climate and environmental policies as well as proactive inputs will help to create more effective policies to be implemented by governments around the globe.

In a study conducted with 60,000 employees under 3,000 managers, spanning across 43 countries, respondents indicated that they have a stronger belief in female-led companies and its strategy compared to those at male-led companies. More organisations need female leaders to become involved in environmental management as this is a key driver to global goals.


Social Inclusiveness

Socially inclusive business leaders respect basic human rights and they take care of their workforce to ensure that they receive fair wages, especially during difficult economic conditions. Their social inclusiveness also includes the development of innovations that improve lives on a wide scale. They strive to create and maintain gender equality and diversity both internally and through their offerings.

In the same study by Pew Research, 30% of those surveyed felt that women make better mentors than men (compared to only 5% voting for male mentorship). Having female mentors will improve social inclusiveness as others will benefit from honest, real-time, practical advice that is delivered with empathy.


Are you inspired to become a female leader in this industry?

The Energy Training Centre will equip you with all the skills and competencies required to drive sustainable development within your organisation through the training course Advancing Women’s Leadership Skills in the Energy Industry during which you will be learn to;

  • Recognise the benefits and challenges of greater equality for women leaders
  • How to become a self-aware leader
  • Enhance key leadership skills
  • Understand the impact of gender diversity on organisational performance
  • Create important networks and processes to support potential women leaders