While the term has usually been associated with strong-willed, dominant men, women too, can be alphas. Image Credit: Unsplash/Brooke Lark

Alpha isn’t just the first letter of the Greek alphabet, it’s also a personality type. But how do you recognise if someone is an alpha male or female?

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we give you “alpha”, one of the 45 words you can make in today’s puzzle.

While the term has usually been associated with strong-willed, dominant men, women too, can be alphas. Here are three ways to identify an alpha woman:

1. They are fearless leaders

According to a May 2010 study in the Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies, researchers used 14 items to measure the female personality, ranging from self-esteem and leadership to emotional intelligence. They found that alpha females embrace their leadership role and tendencies. So, they are never reluctant leaders, and know they can inspire others and make an impact.

2. They have high emotional intelligence

Because they have unusually high emotional intelligence, alpha women often bring social ease to a group – they tell jokes, start conversations, introduce people, and smooth over any disagreements. All this helps them to take charge in social settings.

3. They obsess about learning

According to a 2015 dissertation published by US-based Walden University, a common theme found among alpha women was the inclination to continuously learn. The study followed 12 veteran alpha women from various ethnicities and discovered that all of them showed a strong ability to learn from challenges, from their experiences, and from other people. They did this through reading constantly, diving into their expertise, learning about new fields, research and topics, asking questions and taking professional courses.

4. They are sought out

Whether they like it or not, alpha women are often put in a position of mentorship. The Walden University study found that they felt satisfaction in being able to mentor, mould or volunteer others and that they attributed their overall success and effectiveness to this ability. Because of this inclination, people are likely to seek out their guidance or ask them for advice.

5. They love their mothers

According to a study published in the Journal of Leadership Education, alpha women have a strong relationship with their parents, especially their mothers. The study found that their mothers didn’t have to be alpha personality types themselves – just having mum as a role model gives encouragement to budding young alphas. With a strong, solid family foundation, alpha girls gain the courage to venture out, grow and establish themselves as strong women in their own right.

Are you an alpha woman? Play today’s Spell It and tell us at