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What is the typical emotional journey to the C-Suite? Most female CEOs and Directors love their positions despite the sacrifices The emotional associations are generally positive: excitement (82%), gratitude (62%), and pride (58%), although there are also moments of feeling overwhelmed (48%) and frustration (44%). To quote a participant, “Female leadership is living an exhausting life balancing on a razors edge the need to be smart, but not too smart. Being tough but not a bitch. Being confident but not too full of yourself. Being vocal but not too opinionated, ambitious but not too aggressive, agreeable but not weak and the list goes on and on.”

The purpose of this research was to document the journey female CEOs experience in their way to the top. The target population was not the famous ones, but the women who have quietly taken over organizations and made them successful.