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The surprising lessons of

Female Leadership

We all know that women are severely underrepresented at senior levels in business. Female leadership in the creative industry is no different. So, the theme for International Women’s Day 2024 - ‘Inspire Inclusion’ - got us thinking.

Candida Uren & Jules Pickering

One of our guiding principles is ’Success is better together’. Good collaboration makes life at work more fun, and more exciting. It also produces better results than we could have managed alone.

Not only that, but a difference of opinion and perspective is critical to any creative business - it leads to better and more innovative ideas. Gender diversity is key to this.

Columns has always believed in challenging the norms, those age-old stereotypes, and championed the role of women in business, which has given us the confidence to step up as female leaders. Then, 3 years ago, we were handed the reins.

We’re now owners and business leaders at Columns, where every day is a learning day. Here are our Top 3 lessons so far.

1. Superpowers do exist

Studies show that women have more robust emotional intelligence than men. Strong female leadership no longer emulates the male model: it is a force of its own marked by empathy, emotional awareness, collaboration, and great conflict management skills.

2. Support makes you stronger, not weaker

Despite many years in the industry, Jules and Candida had no previous experience of owning a business. We overcome our fears and anxieties daily, and we’re clear on what support looks like for us to be able to do this: from colleagues, friends, family, partners, and even our dogs. Support, in all its guises, is a source of strength.

3. It’s time to believe in ourselves

Many women in business cite ’a lack of self-belief’ as an intrinsic barrier to their progress. Business leadership demands that we finally shed that doubt. There are concrete steps you can take towards doing this: building strong relationships, finding mentors, and speaking up regularly, even when you’re afraid to. Gradually, you develop the courage and clarity to be true to yourself, fight for your vision – and lead with kindness and integrity.

This International Women’s Day let’s celebrate the diversity of thinking that makes our businesses – and our own minds – stronger, happier and healthier.