I have put pen to paper to write on this topic not because of International Woman's Day, but because I truly believe with all my conviction in "Nari-Shakti" ( Woman power). It has been earlier a subject of reverence & then over the years also for discussion- I must admit that the needle surely has moved...however so very slowly that its going to be a long long time before we come across a level playing field.
What is commendable is to take cognizance of this journey on the road once less travelled & look forward to the myriad opportunities waiting to be unfolded. From Space to Sports, we see women increasingly participating & on a winning streak. This is extremely heartening for all the aspiring women wanting & waiting to fulfil their dreams.
Here are a few important tips to help more women become "Agents of Change" in the corporate battlefield-
- She needs to firstly "know herself" & understand her strengths. Predominantly, in our Indian society, a woman is told "What not to do" rather than "You are good at this, please pursue it". Once you are clear with your strengths, leverage it in every situation possible.
- While you work on your areas of development, do not shy away from accepting what you don't know. The beginning is always by knowing what you don't know.
- Keep an open mind, adapt to changes. Ask questions to facilitate dialogue and exploration.
- Lead with your head and your heart. Women leaders must continuously demonstrate emotional intelligence and bring 100% of themselves to work each day. They should remind themselves that having a human connection and bond with those in their organization is essential to their overall success.
- Women should focus more on networking. Networking is an invaluable business skill and a critical component in any professional's toolkit for career success. The ability to communicate effectively, build and nurture winning relationships and expand a network is absolutely essential in today's business world for career advancement. Usually after office, men in corporates tend to go out with their colleagues and bond over drinks. Women, however, are in a hurry to rush home to their families after work. So, women need to work on finding different ways for networking.
- One more aspect on which women need to work upon is making themselves 'visible'. While high performance is essential, it is not enough. It is making your accomplishments and your work 'visible' that make it crucial to succeed. One must also know how to promote oneself both internally and externally. One of the best ways to do this is to seek out roles that have a highly visible, stretch and maximizes one's growth in the corporate hierarchy.
Domination as a leadership style is becoming less and less popular. There is a new growing appreciation of those traits that women use to keep families together and to organize volunteers to unite and make change in the shared life of communities. These newly admired leadership qualities of shared leadership; nurturance and doing good for others are today not only sought after but also indeed needed to make a difference in the world. A feminine way of leading includes helping the world to understand and be principled about values that really matter.
In my view, women need to grow to make themselves self sufficient in all walks of life, however live & co-exist with male counterparts in an interdependent manner in any eco-system they are part of.
Finally, just a food for thought for all Womenfolk- just as George Eliot said "It is never too late to become what you might have been."
So, dream on, march on & unleash your power as "Agents of Change"!