The KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit has been a vehicle that executive women across all areas of industry have leaned on for support, guidance, and advice on how to excel in business and in life.

In 2022, the roles were reversed as it was KPMG who turned to the women who had attended the summit over the last seven years for insight into how they’re leading through the uncertain times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The result of these conversations led to the creation of an exclusive study titled, Advancing the Future of Women in Business: A KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Report.

Amongst the women surveyed, trust was the one quality that emerged as the most stabilizing force within their organizations. In fact, 82 percent of the executive leaders believe trust was essential to finding success during this time of uncertainty in the workplace. The women increased the trust amongst their employees through frequent communication, by prioritizing work tasks, and keeping their team’s well-being top of mind.

The study also revealed the following from the women surveyed:

  • 87 percent saw mental health and burnout as the biggest considerations
  • 83 percent say the shift to the virtual work environment has impacted teams’ success
  • 81 percent implemented new health initiatives and mental health benefits
  • 78 percent attributed recent success to working as a team
  • 78 percent have worked with their teams to establish flexible hours and schedules
  • 74 percent believe recruiting and retaining talent has changed

Five themes emerged from the executive women surveyed in terms of how they found success in leading their teams through these uncertain times.

  1. Calm under pressure
  2. Prioritize key tasks while maintaining the big picture
  3. Willing to take risks
  4. Ability to exercise emotional intelligence
  5. Focus on employee mental health and wellness

As cited in the study, the shift to the virtual workplace has led to an increase in employee turnover, a decrease in morale, collaboration, as well as connection. It has also led to an increase in employee burnout. To combat these challenges going forward, the executives surveyed outlined six keys to lead their teams in the future.

  1. Emphasize employee experience
  2. Build a strong culture
  3. Boost morale through listening
  4. Provide incentives
  5. Provide health and wellness benefits
  6. Grow talent