Meet and Greet:
The participants had an informal “Meet and Greet” Session. The participants were asked to talk about their role models and the leadership traits they admired apart from stating their names, titles and organizations. The most common role models were parents or other family members like daughter, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, Indira Nooyi among others.
The session ended with a coffee break before the start of the panel discussion on:
“Global Leaders in Modern Organizations: Opportunities, Challenges and How can Women Prepare for success”
- Exposure to diverse cultures and work ethics
- Influx of knowledge and challenging assignments
- Self Reflection on your value add to the team
- Building expertise in one or more areas
- Collaboration across hierarchy and regions
- Being authentic
- Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses
- Being the only woman in a meeting is an opportunity to make an impact
“Being a Global Leader is the most challenging thing today but you also have this unique opportunity to disrupt businesses because you had the ability to out-think someone.”- Saurabh Srivastava
- Work Life Balance
- Being the only woman in a meeting thereby facing the risk of not being heard
- Being adaptable to different cultures and markets
- Self-reflection-Accepting one’s short comings
- Not being vocal enough about ambitions
- Internal Politics
- Being aware of one’s own biases towards other people/culture/own gender
“Believe in yourself. Be Bold and Resilient.”- Debjani Ghosh
“Before I became aware of my own biases, I didn’t hire female assistants because they had a lot of constraints.” Bharti Gupta Ramola, Market and Industry Leader, PwC
How can women prepare for success?
- Having clarity of goals and once decided have no regrets.
- Un-learning and Learning are continuous processes and one must be open to all sources of knowledge.
- Embracing diverse cultures by being open to new experiences and being a good listener
- Out-thinking others. It is a skill developed by being aware of market shifts; geopolitical, technology and other changes that could possibly impact business.
- Continuously re-imagining your business to stay relevant.
- Surrounding yourself with people smarter than you. It is important for leaders to surround themselves by people who are smarter than them in some aspect or the other. The leader is someone that binds these people together and helps them in self-development.
- Being Versatile and adaptable to lead large, diverse teams
- Developing Cognitive Breadth
- Persevering and building resilience
- Collaborating smartly; look out for collaborations which could help you move forward
- Taking responsibility and creating systems and building people which could you’re your organization to function efficiently without you. That’s how you move up.
- Being one’s authentic self.
- Having confidence in one’s ideas and effective articulation of the same.
- Being unapologetic about ambition.
- Selecting the mountains you want to climb
“Individual intent comes first. If you want it, you work for it. You can’t balance work and home every day. There have to be phases between the two.” Gaurav Dalmia
“The one thing that you can do is be your authentic self. It is the most important trait of a leader.” Meena Chaturvedi, Joint MD, Tractors India Pvt. Ltd.
After the enlightening Panel Discussion, the cohort broke for a networking lunch before convening back for round table discussions. The topics and the insights discussion are mentioned below:
Table 1: What are the three show stoppers for women to rise to global leadership roles?
- Lack of clarity/ assertion of ambition or goals.
- Perception Management: Being seen as unapproachable, questions on ability/character (internal politics) and being seen as lacking in holistic knowledge.
- Organizational priority: Lack of Mobility and access to diverse experience.
Table 2: What are the three actions women can take to prepare for global leadership roles?
- Following your career goals with passion by participating, believing in yourself, standing your ground, listening to others and not being apologetic about being strategically assertive.
- By gaining knowledge from the people around you.
- By understanding individual quirks of people from different/same culture and geographical locations and respecting these differences.
Table 3: What are the three key leadership skills needed for modern organizations that women should focus on?
- Awareness: Thirst to be aware of surroundings
- Gender Neutrality
- Assertive Expression: Improve emotional intelligence.
“As a leader, you must practice what you say.”- Soma Mondal
At the end of the round table discussions, there was a brief exchange of ideas and opinions on the final presentations made by each table.
After the table discussion, Ipsita Kathuria, Founder and CEO, TalentNomics India explained the concept TalentNomics Global Mentoring Program. This was followed by a discussion on next steps and it was decided that the next session would be held in Delhi on December 12, 2017. The third session would be held in Mumbai, during the first week of January 2018, while the fourth session would be held in Bangalore on February 21, 2018.