Launching Women Into Leadership Through the Chief of Staff Role

A Good Fit

  • High EQ: Women tend to be more empathetic of those around them and are able to read a room quickly and accurately, an incredibly useful skill as a chief of staff. Women are also more adept at adjusting to transitions and leading calmly in times of crisis, making them an effective chief of staff.
  • Multitasking: The chief of staff role provides ample opportunity for “juggling,” whether it’s attending to various fire drill items all at once, dealing with competing priorities, or just generally taking on anything that the CEO or executive doesn’t have the bandwidth for. Have you ever watched a mom in action for more than five minutes? We were made for this.
  • Communication: Undoubtedly, women and men communicate differently. According to research presented in Forbes, women’s strengths lie in listening and reading body language and nonverbal cues. Chiefs of staff are often expected to communicate with various stakeholders in order to influence positive outcomes for the organization, so these communication skills come in handy.
  • Detail-oriented: Many women are experts at focusing on the details and creating systems of organization to keep them all straight. This is a key element of a chief of staff role.
  • Being the “second brain”: Since women are typically better listeners, more empathetic, and more aware of nonverbal cues, they are often more attuned to what’s happening above and beneath the surface, making them the ideal “second brain” of your organization.

Prepping for Leadership

  • Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, was Larry Summers’ chief of staff when he was U.S. Treasury Secretary
  • Aileen Lee, head of Cowboy Ventures, a VC firm in Palo Alto, California, was chief of staff for Mickey Drexler when he ran The Gap.
  • Aretae Wyler, former chief of staff to Atlantic Media founder David Bradley, is now general counsel and chief administrative officer of the company.

Pandemic Pause

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vChief provides interim and virtual chief of staff services designed to support executive leadership and maximize team productivity and growth.

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vChief — Virtual Chief of Staff

vChief — Virtual Chief of Staff

vChief provides interim and virtual chief of staff services designed to support executive leadership and maximize team productivity and growth.

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