Executive leadership coach, board advisor, author, diversity and inclusion champion.
Neela Bettridge is a leadership consultant working with individual executives and teams to create lasting success – both professional and personal. Becoming a global player in business is not about being an automaton. It is about nurturing a holistic set of qualities that ensures success is inevitable. Her approach is personal, forthright, empowering and has a proven track record of achieving business objectives and resilience.
Neela has 15 years’ experience of coaching both senior business leaders and teams in organisations ranging from start-ups to government departments to FTSE-100 companies. Her empathetic yet realistic approach remains consistent whatever the size of company, client or sector in which they operate.
Neela campaigns actively against the dangers of short-termism. She is also the co-founder of business responsibility consultancy Article13. She was CEO of an environmental charity for eight years. Deeply engaged with diversity in the workplace, she is a gifted networker and speaker. She has also written a book on the leadership imperatives of sustainable businesses.
Then there are those of own making. Don't get me wrong: I'm not reverting to the old habit of blaming women for barriers they cannot possibly control. But if you are to successfully navigate a minefield of external obstacles, you must first be accountable, and know your own mind.
I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet. I doubt as sophisticated a politician as Clinton would thank us for claiming that her gender was the cause of her defeat. In a way, there's no better demonstration of her leadership qualities than this. She fought a good fight against a tough opponent. She took the risk. She lost. The next woman may win.
Headhunters are trying to talk to more women about senior roles. But one recently told me that the overwhelming majority of women he approaches cannot, or will not, make time to talk. Most of the men, meanwhile, will. And we wonder why men outnumber women in leadership roles.
These are great leadership qualities for anyone, but they are particularly useful for women. We're often told that women lack self-esteem and pursue perfectionism to their own detriment. Resilience can neutralize that self-doubt.
Is ambition a dirty word for women? A fascinating study by TIME and Real Simple unpicks the question with the help of a number of successful women, some of whom have 'dropped out' of high-powered jobs before reaching the corner office.
Unconscious bias is often (rightly) blamed for its part in holding women back at work. But what about our own blind spots? Evidence suggests that people are often poor judges of themselves. Most of us like to strive for authenticity in what we do. But are we really being 'real'?
Many of these female role models aren't just blending in with the status quo. They are spearheading a different style of leadership. This was neatly embodied in an image from the latest BBC General Election debate, when the three female party leaders hugged at the end of the event.
What he calls 'creative' leadership I'd call conscious leadership: one that is highly attuned to the motivations and foibles of those around you. Conscious leaders tend to be very 'present'. They are good listeners and consensus builders.
It's the classic entrepreneur's dilemma: the bank has called in its loan, and you have two weeks to find a sizeable sum of money. What do you do? If you're Rebecca Harding, you take the dog for a walk. The irony of where she ended up that day -- at Beachy Head, a famous spot for suicides -- was not lost on her.
There's a longstanding, often deliberate tradition of secrecy around pay that keeps many of us in the dark about how work is valued. That's why Nadella's recommendation that women "have faith in the system" and expect good work to be rewarded rankled. Sitting back and waiting rarely works.
Some organisations are actively drawing them into diversity plans, using women's interest groups as a lever. I've seen this in action at a big tech company, where men are included on steering committees that deal with diversity initiatives.
The implication is that no matter how spectacular your achievements, if you're missing that X-factor, you're not going to make it as a leader. (This is not good news for women, since that X-factor tends to be determined from a distinctly XY set of precedents.)
Lack of support can leave women "faced with the feeling like they're not enough at either home or work" and prone to dropping out, says Chivers. "These are women who know they can deliver great things at work and raise happy, normal kids if only their and their partners' employers would trust them enough to crack on in flexible fashion."