Editor’s note: Brin Moore is a partner at Trusted Talent and a Women in Research San Francisco event lead.

The marketing research and consumer insights industry is unique in that the workforce is predominately comprised of women. According to research from the job site Zippia.com, 55% of all marketing research analysts are women. While women are employed in nearly every function – from researchers to analysts or as project and operations managers – the percentage of women falls steeply when one looks to executive roles in our industry. 

Despite this discouraging trend – and though there is still much work to do on the issue of equity in leadership – there are some extraordinary women leading companies in our industry. I spoke with some of these leaders and discussed the qualities they felt were necessary for success. The consistent responses I received were the ability to manage a wide range of responsibilities both professionally and personally, as well as being driven and creative. Perhaps even more importantly, successful women executives in our industry often describe themselves as empathetic; instinctively understanding what someone else is facing from one's perspective was frequently associated with success. This skill cultivates a collaborative environment in which all members can leverage each other's strengths to achieve success. 

Women business leaders in our industry can build successful teams by continuing to foster the soft skills that helped them reach the successes they have already achieved. Soft skills such as empathy and collaboration are beneficial when leading and managing teams. Leaders of all genders should strive to create an environment where everyone feels respected and appreciated. This can be accomplished by "balancing the table, not creating a new one," as one woman executive explained. That means celebrating differences over homogeneity and finding ways to work together ...