The fact that we don’t have enough women leaders in the Board room is well understood. Leaders share their perspectives on what needs to happen across various stages (education, maternity, late career) for women to rise to the very top.
Vedica Scholars Programme - Nurturing Women leaders
The fact that we need to have more women leaders at the top is well-known and there has been enough commentary around it. Pramath talks about the unconscious biases that still exist in the society and his attempts at making a difference through the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women.
Women and careers
Vedika talks about her initial days at ICICI which has been a breeding ground for several women leaders in India. She also shares her perspectives on how women should think about building their careers and the common misconceptions there-in.
Women and Board roles
Vedika talks about how women should think about approaching Board roles. Clearly there is an opportunity for more women to get onto Boards but there is a need for women to be thoughtful and considered about this to be in consideration for these roles when they come up.
Women Leaders - a leaky pipeline
Zia talks about the leaky pipeline of women leaders and talks about the key inflection points where the leakage is maximum. She talks about the false glass-ceilings that women often have in their heads.
Tough work-life trade-offs
Zia talks about how, in her generation, the notion of work-life balance, didn’t really exist for ambitious women who wanted to make a mark in the corporate world. She candidly talks about the real trade-offs involved in her case and how that is changing.
Women and Leadership
Rama talks about some practical tactics she uses perform effectively in forums (such as Boards) that are often filled with men.
Message to graduating women
Anu shares her perspectives on how aspiring women leaders should think about their careers. She underscores the point about the need for having the right mentors and sponsors along the way.
Grooming more women leaders
Meher shares her perspectives on what it would take to have more women leaders at the top. She starts with the challenges in basic education and sanitation and how that severely restricts the number of women who start a corporate journey. She goes on to talk about what organizations and women can do to ensure that we have more women at the top.
Early formative years
Roopa talks about how she grew up amidst nature in the North Eastern part of India and how some of her perspectives on working women started getting shaped right from an age of around 10. She also talks about her first brush with Mumbai when she comes to pursue a B.Com in Sydenham College but quickly find the city overwhelming and goes back to Guwahati to pursue B.Sc in Mathematics. She also talks about the peculiar situation where despite clearing the entrance process for IIMA, she is unable to join. She decides to teach in a primary school and appears for CAT yet again.
Women Leadership - The barrier no one speaks about as much
Roopa talks about the fact that there is a lot of commentary around women coming back to the work force after they start a family. She mentions that support structures and corporate policies are evolving and this problem is slowly being addressed. She discusses the barrier that shows up when women are in senior management roles. She talks about the notion of self-belief which often comes in the way of women raising their hand for top jobs and for a seat at the table.
Getting people comfortable with the context
Deepa shares her thoughts on the trade-off between seen as a “different person” versus being seen as just another individual who can do most of the things that a regular person can. She talks about how it is about her taking the onus and putting the other person at ease rather than expecting the other person to react to her situation. She says “if I am OK with it, they are OK with it”.
Balancing work and life
Jayashri talks about the challenges of being a performer who has to travel around the world and how she is often split between the two worlds. She talks about the criticality of the ecosystem around her including her family that has provided her the support.
Women and intense careers
Falguni speaks about how she juggled her family and her career at various points in time. She specifically speaks about the Maternity transition and says that women shouldn’t treat it as a P&L discussion where they are trading off the income with the opportunity cost of being with the child. She urges the women to look it as an investment in oneself that pays out over the future.
How women often respond to feedback
Sally speaks about two phenomena which are often at play when it comes to feedback. She speaks about how women sometimes can take the developmental feedback to heart and start to question themselves in often unproductive ways. She also speaks about how men can often have double standards and for the same set of behaviours, they might have a different interpretation depending on the gender.
Downsides of pursuing mastery
Sally speaks about how women need to think about recognition and mastery to move forward in their career. She goes onto say that women often assume that recognition will “just happen” and when it doesn’t they often double down the rabbit hole of pursuing mastery which can come in the way of them being considered for roles with wider scope.
Delivering performance vs unlocking potential
Sally speaks about how women often end up getting assessed for performance in their current role while men are seen for their potential. She says, this coupled with women often focusing on loyalty to the role often leads to a double whammy that keeps women stuck in their current place hampering their progress. She speaks about how we can avoid this phenomenon.
Leakage in the leadership pipeline near the very top
Sally speak about how maternity is a point of leakage when it comes to women rising to the top. She also speaks about another place where there is often a lot of leakage. She speaks about how women leaders rise almost to the top but then they look at the person in the top job and have a discussion with themselves around whether it is worth it and often back off.
Changing the game vs playing by "club rules"
Sally speaks about the notion of women “changing the game” rather than “playing by the club rules”. She speaks about the transformation that has happened over the last several years.
Insights for parents as they bring up boys and girls
Sally shares some insights for parents as we bring up our boys and girls. She specifically speaks about how we could get boys to listen more and girls to let go without being trapped by the quest for perfection which could be counter productive beyond a point.
Going Deep Vs Broad
Sukhinder speaks about how we should think about going Broad initially to explore different pathways and then once we know our sweet spot, we should think about going deep in a certain space. Eventually, she speaks about how we should consider going broad to leverage the distinctive capabilities we have built-in a certain area and apply it in different contexts. She also speaks about how women sometimes prioritize specialization overgeneralization and how that can sometimes come in the way of CEO / GM roles that require breadth.
Leaving the past behind
Manjari speaks about the challenges she experiences in her first marriage and how she had the courage to walk out of the relationship and rebuild her life and her career. She recounts the role of her parents and some of her friends in this phase of life.
Raising an independent girl child
Manjari speaks about what it takes to raise an independent girl child. We specifically touch upon the notion of ensuring that the girl makes choices that make her financially independent which in turn gives her agency.
Finding your style as a woman
Manjari speaks about how she embraced her femininity as a Police Officer rather than trying to develop a cold exterior to fit into a world filled with men in the IPS.