First of all, this has nothing to do with a competition with men... let me just be clear about that.
Below are just 5 of the reasons to strive to be a strong leader as a woman.
1) Because you have something to bring to the table – so do it! Your knowledge, ideas, background are just as value-added if not more than those around you so share it.
2) You bring a new and different perspective. If you have worked in a male dominated industry for a long time you recognize that you have a very different perspective than the rest of the team. And there may even be push back from them at first, but in the end all strong leaders recognize the value of every unique idea and the team (industry, etc) will be thankful to have your thoughts.
3) You are being watched! Not just by your team, but by your daughter, niece, neighbor, the gal that just start at the company, etc... You have people looking up to you and wanting to learn from your example. Be the best you can be for yourself, and for them.
4) Women bring a softer side to business. You don't always have to be a tough leader, relish in your natural instincts and the softer side. Everyone needs a nurturer at some point in their life, even in business. Women have the ability to do this, don't loose site of this huge skill.
5) Because you can, because you are ready. Women have a tendency to think they are never really ready. I need to learn more, get another training, get a certificate, do more, do better, etc... no – just go do it now when want it and the skills will round out as you go. You are ready and you can do it.
What else would you add to this list?