5 minute read

The Rise Of Mums In Leadership By Estelle Carroll

It’s important for you to know before you start reading this, that embedded in my message is not a hate of men or quest for women to burn their bra. It’s a message for you to consider to create balance in Leadership representation.

For a long time, I thought to be a great leader you needed to be louder, firmer, more masculine in behaviours and language - and it is simply not true.

If you have feminine qualities you are created with some key qualities that will make for a great leader in business, community and your home.

As a Salon Owner, Business Coach and Mother I want to share with you the qualities you have if you too are a Mum in Business.

It’s possible you haven’t embraced them, celebrated them, nurtured them or developed them in fear that they were inadequacies - but let me tell you, you have so many things to be proud of.


Hands up when cleaning poo off a nappy, floor, walls, your outfit, you’ve gagged and kept going? nose with a straw because you feared they couldn’t breathe (ok - that’s a little extreme, they have tools for that... but I know you would).


Successful leaders are often seen as cold hearted, black and white dictators and masculine energies. And some can be.

But YOU don’t have to be, and you certainly don’t need to be to be a great at what you do.

It takes deep humility and emotional empathy to understand and address the wants and needs of a small person who cannot communicate yet.

This skill can help cultivate talent and shape the morale of your whole team.


It’s possible that when you first became a parent you were given advice from your mum, mother in-law, midwife, maternal health nurse, every client you looked after friends…. everyone. And in amongst it all you became overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated.

Then - you adapted. You took what worked for you from what you have learnt and also created your own ways. You realised that this pattern worked for a short time, then you had to alter to another and another.


Because the children grew, and their needs changed. Just when you thought you had mastered it, it changed and you realised quickly this change model was the only thing that didn’t change.

So, you allowed yourself a moment or two to think “What the?!” Then regrouped - reset and kept moving forward.


Everyone experiences some sort of setback at some point. What makes you successful is your ability to get back up quickly.

Instead of being rigid like some, you realise that you need to be more flexible to move things forward. You have GRIT to keep going through nighttime feeds, temper tantrums and burnt toast.

You realise that stomping your feet or falling down for too long doesn’t serve anyone - including you.


With 15 million things on your to do list, because let’s face it - everyone else has tried to squish their agendas on to yours…. Kids, teachers, partners, your team….eeek! - but somehow you find the cleverness to prioritise what’s urgent and important in a matter of seconds.

How much can you get done between breast feeds? If I put this in the slow cooker I can have a cuppa and rest for 15mins.

And how many times have you got to work at 9am after you have; - got the kids sorted and off to childcare - Been to the gym - Made breakfast and lunch for everyone - Put dinner in the slow cooker - Washed and blow dried your hair - Makeup styling on point …. on 4hrs sleep?

Yep - YOU did!

It’s hard in the younger years and you realise you just have to pull your socks up and do it. Just like in Business - in the younger years you have to stay up late, start early, put that client in, reduce that lunch break you have to do it to build the foundations.

You get it!


To be a great Leader you need to be able to also be a great problem solver.

As a mother how many times have you had to change plans due to illness of a child, or homework that needs to be done by tomorrow?  You think quickly, get it done, delegate and empower for results.

Hands up who had a nappy bag all organised and water spilt on it - therefore no clean clothes - YOU! You just wrapped them in your outfit with hair ties, or quickly popped into the shops for an emergency outfit.



PATIENCEAlthough you may feel you don’t have one at times, your muscle of patience is strengthening day by day.

In your salon you are working with adults, but you can appreciate that in the same environment, with the same instructions - it can be confused and misinterpreted so you create visual aids, verbal instruction, reminders, videos, training to improve skills and habits.

You Set Expectations - and don’t change the rules of the game. A feminine leadership style emphasises on empathy, humility and relationship dynamics in business.

Embrace your qualities as that is what can deliver greater results in your business than trying to adapt a harassing demeanor. As you know, being a parent there are times when you need to set firm boundaries and there are consequences.

Ultimately, it’s for the growth and safety of everyone involved. Set expectation, set consequences and then be fair - that’s how to be firm without being a contemptible person.

Why? Because it ensures that everyone is on the same page and accountable for their work.

It also builds trust in the relationship - because what you mean - you do.  Some of these qualities you formed in the salon and strengthened in motherhood. It’s what has shaped you to be a great Leader in your business.

Go you Mums in Business who have embraced their feminine energies/strengths to grow themselves, their families and their business.

If you need help on developing your skills in leadership, connect with me as a Leadership and Business Coach in the Hair and Beauty Industry. You won’t turn into monster as you succeed - you will just flourish and so will those around you.

Estelle Carroll The ZING Project