Author: Monika Bhardwaj, Founder, Brainseekers

There are more working women in India today than there were in the past. Women have already out numbered men in the workforce (if we include the unorganized sector). However, the number of women in leadership roles is still meagre. What has gone wrong? How can we change this scenario? How can we have more women leaders in business and social enterprises? This was the topic of discussion in the Learning and Development Group’s social media platform recently. I have captured below the key thoughts shared the fellow group members.In executive board, there is not a single women employee.

Women have a way of managing family while men are taught to control family. To manage is fluid intelligence, control is concrete intelligence.

It is sheer stupidity to say one is better than the other. It is wrong to say men are superior to women or women are superior to men.

Men and women are different. Physically, emotionally men and women are different.

For a strong society we need both men and women equally empowered. If one dominates the other equilibrium will break. Each of them brings their own strengths.

Men are masculine leaders with male leadership qualities. Women are feminine leaders with female leadership qualities. Therefore we are not differently equal we are different and equal. Different in our process, but equal to the system and this chemistry is what we need to develop throw competition out of the window and bring parallel excellence.

Each has what the other doesn’t have, so in that sense men and women complement each other Ideally every individual has a different set of capabilities.

If we all can celebrate our differences and unite to evolve as parallels supporting each other’s’ greatness and weakness rather than qualifying ourselves on sizes, colour, region, sex and religion but use our nature given intelligence to unify rather than diversify. We surely have created a great world.

Dear women try not to equal men because they are to be celebrated and dear men try not to suppress women because they are to be worshipped as mothers, sisters, wife and daughters who give birth to men.

Does science see any difference between male mind and female mind or any hormonal activity in both cases?

Now let’s summarise THE CHALLENGES around this social as well as corporate issue:

  • Stretching beyond the work hours and extensive travelling which hampers family commitments;
  • Sabbatical after delivering kids.(especially in India);
  • An Ego clash as well between the dominating male population;
  • Biased thoughtful succession plan;
  • Culture of the organisation.
  • Women have a natural instinct and leadership bent towards another aspect of life which makes the corporate leadership feel insignificant;
  • Very few examples globally and nationally compare to what it should be, hence the awareness still not much;
  • Human evolution was male dominated and the child upbringing pangs would move the women off work for long durations.  This dis balanced the equations.

Transition has begun. With evolving time, awareness, building confidence and circumstances, women leadership is on growing trend. However still to contract this widen gap a few conscious measures should be taken. Let’s put together them as below:

 MEASURES to encourage Women leadership in Corporates:

  • Women herself needs to take stand and follow self-motivation thought process. No one can change anyone till the person listens to inner voice and move ahead.
  • Develop a woman specific leadership model supported by a culture values and norms.
  • Awareness through apt examples and display of leadership skills at home.
  • Men to encourage and support women to develop a stable career path and reach up the growth ladder.
  • Men to accept women as their bosses.
  • Organisations to hire women at Middle level so that over years they can gradually move up the top management roles.

FEW LIVE EXAMPLES shared by members:

“Under our India vision 2030 we have developed a program called “womanhood matters” which is a social entrepreneurship program that is designed making sense of the multi horizon that women function on such as family, marriage, children etc. We are working on creating women friendly men communities that understand the importance of the diverse spirit of womanhood and structure societies according to women Entrepreneurial needs.

“I am very proud to say that at my work place the ratio of women to men is 3:2 and this goes even for leadership roles. We may be a small campus, but a very woman centric one! “

“I manage a team of 50 of which 20 are female employees”

“My wife is a homemaker, in 1996 we picked up a voter id project, we have a 24×7 operation and 300 entry operators. She managed the teams and reporting much better than me. I share a lot of house work with my first lady.”

“I have three male managers and three women managers.  I don’t think I can do without either set.  I believe male mangers have more objective perspective while we as women tend to be more emotional in many issues.” “I had a Trainer from UK, who used to travel across different countries for training sessions… Her husband was a house husband” as she called… He used to manage everything at home, with no conflicts in their married life.”

“I have worked in my career under women bosses. I feel they are the best in terms of bringing the best out of the resource .they actually care and motivate. And what I am today confidently can say lady boss can bring change in your way of looking at life and confidence to excel”

If you’re in the middle level in corporate world and aspire to climb further at Top level, here are some tips to help you cope at work:

  • Be pre-equipped for the role above you.
  • Stop feeling guilty about your sabbatical.
  • Be confident and accept of new responsibilities
  • Stop saying ‘I haven’t done this before.
  • It’s okay if you fail; at least you will learn something new.
  • Set individual goals and align them with the organisational goals.
  • Don’t eat humble pie. Take credit for your hard work.