Women Leadership – Diversity of Womanhood

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Women Leadership -“Diversity of Womanhood”

The Global Workforce management(GWFM) organized a roundtable discussion with senior women leaders across APAC, ANZ and EMEA on 19th March 2021. The topic for the discussion was “Diversity of Womanhood”.

Very aptly titled, we had a diverse set of speakers for the event ranging from the Pharmaceutical, Technology, Banking, Consulting, Business Processing and Health Care industries. The moderator for the event, Neeraja Ganesh, is a seasoned Technology professional who switched her career after 25 years in the corporate to work in the space of gender diversity. The discussions focused around how a woman’s professional and personal experience contributes to the Business world and how they shape the society.

Prioritisation of their own needs and to be able to assert themselves at home and at work, is important. While everyone speaks about the need for equality, it is important for everyone to consider equity as one of the main requirements in an organization to build a gender diverse and inclusive workforce. The discussion wrapped up with each of the women leaders speaking about how they are empowering others to achieve an equal future in the COVID-19 world.

Some important quotes from the participants :

1. Neeti Mahajan, MD/ Operations head GSC Malaysia and Global Head WFM – “Stay in the workforce, instead of dropping out as your parents and you have invested in your education. Ask for help and support, shamelessly”

2. Bhanurekha Condur, Business Leader Contract Governance, D&I Social Impact Sutherland Global Services – “Choosing the right marriage partner is a very important career decision. The partner should collaborate and support us in our career endevours”.

3. Yamini Krishnan, Sr Director HR IQVIA – “Take challenges that come your way as opportunities. Just grab them”

4. Kankana Baruah, Group CHRO Healthium Medtech Pvt Ltd – “If someone has taken a career break, be it a woman or a man, evaluate the CV of the restarter for the merits that they have before they went on the career break. Senior leaders who can influence such decisions have a responsibility to do so.”

5. Vijayanti Margassery, India HR Leader Global R&D Teva Pharmaceuticals – “Choose what your theme in life is and go after it without an iota of apology.

6. Grace Samson, Vice President HR India Informatica – “In each of our careers, we need to adapt a strategy of Go Fast, Go Slow mode. Not everytime can each of us be at a 200km/h kind of speed. Keep racing. The pace might be something that you might have to adapt, adjust and embrace but continue to be in the race”

7. Francia Sales, Head of Contact Center, Manulife Business Processing Services, Manila – “The unique qualities that women bring in which is empathy, high emotional intelligence, patience, great communication and more ensures we are able to lead even male dominated industries and be successful”

8. Radhika Narang , Director WFM , KPMG – “Women don’t need to be superheroes and compete all the time. It’s ok not to be perfect all the time.

9. Neeraja Ganesh, Leadership Development and Behavioural mindset coach – “Plot on a 4 quadrant graph what from your To-Do list is Important – Urgent, Important – Not Urgent, Not Important – Urgent, Not Important – Not Urgent. You can easily see what tasks can be thrown away, and what can be delegated so that you are left with doing only the Important tasks which have not yet become Urgent. This way, you will not have the last minute stress to complete the Important tasks. Important learnings for everyone

1. The customer base is diverse in any industry and hence, to be able to deliver good products and services catering to the diverse customer base, it is important to have a diverse employee base

2. Choose to challenge the past stereotypes about industries which employ women and hence, the theory, that in only those industries, women can thrive. Continuous learning and putting up her hand for any challenging assignment will break these stereotypes

3. Moving across industries helps build the diversity of thought and learning. One must move across industries and roles, to broaden their perspectives

4. Having gender neutral policies will remove some of the biases that exist about the woman employee

5. If one works to be “significant” in the organization, success will follow. Everyone and everything that is “insignificant” will fall out of the way

6. Cross-skill, Upskill and reskill to be relevant all the time. Sometimes one needs to unlearn. This is true of all the times, but COVID taught us this lesson, even more harshly.

The recording of the entire discussion can be found here – https://youtu.be/OCXDxrbivcg

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