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With economists predicting an even stronger economic downturn in 2023, investors are looking for recession-proof companies. Traditionally, the best bets include businesses in stable sectors such as healthcare and utilities. But this time around, investors might be best served by not just focusing on what’s being sold, but also who’s in charge.

In an era of economic instability and where corporate governance reigns supreme, it’s the women leaders that may have the qualities needed to succeed. On the latest episode of "The New Rules of Business," Chief Co-Founder Carolyn Childers talks with Julia Boorstin, senior correspondent at CNBC and author of When Women Lead, about why now’s the time for a new leadership archetype.

"This is a moment for a new type of wartime CEO," says Boorstin. "We're in a new type of never-ending war of uncertainty and economic volatility. Men need to be adopting the leadership skills and strategies of women. This 'move fast and break things' model, established by Mark Zuckerberg over the past decade, does not work anymore. Period."

"Women rank a lot higher on empathy, which allows them to relate better to employees and customers. They’re also more likely to lead with gratitude, which correlates with longer term thinking. Women rank higher on adaptability, and they’re more likely to take a divergent approach to problem-solving. They pull on threads and ask questions to paint a bigger picture of the problem rather than converging on a particular piece of it," says Boorstin. "The strengths, skills, and strategies that women bring to leadership are more valuable now than ever."

Despite this, women are severely underrepresented in leadership and the statistics on this are depressingly abundant. Only 8% of Fortune 500 companies have a woman CEO. Women represent just 21% of all C-Suite roles. In 2021, startups run entirely by men brought in more than 82% of all venture capital dollars.

The root of the problem is pattern matching. When we don’t see women in a specific leadership role, we assume a woman won’t be good in that role. Unfortunately, this bias creeps into women just as much as men. Boorstin explains that many of the women CEOs she interviewed did not originally view themselves as such. On the podcast, she describes how a promising young executive saw herself as a potential COO, but never a CEO. Why? She didn’t see herself as a "genius visionary" like Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg.

This model of leadership — exemplified by numerous white male tech tycoons of the past decade — has always been more fantasy than reality, explains Boorstin. And it’s absolutely not the leadership archetype we need now.

"Women have always been leading with the skills that everyone needs right now," says Boorstin. "I’m really hopeful that this is the moment for all of those more female leadership skills and strategies to really shine."

Listen to the full episode on "The New Rules of Business" and be sure to follow wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every Tuesday.