Many business leaders show little empathy for employees, which could be holding women -- and their companies -- back, writes Belinda Parmar, founder and CEO of Lady Geek. Businesses that emphasize empathy tend to perform better as empathy plays into the understanding of others' emotions, as well as the dynamics of various situations, she writes. "Empathy must no longer be perceived as a soft, overtly feminine skill but as a commercial tool that can be learned and deployed in all aspects of a business if women are to thrive," she writes.

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