Do Women Have What It Takes to Be Great Leaders?

Article by: Shobhika Ramanathan, Associate Research Analyst

The topic itself gives us a suspicious question as women are already multi-taskers. But why is there a persisting doubt against them as great leaders? There are many instances where women prove that they have all the qualities to hold the position of leaders.

According to the research done by Harvard Business Review in 2012, with a database of 360-degree reviews, women scored as equal as men in handling leadership positions. The surprising fact is, when the same research was held in 2019, women in senior leadership roles remained relatively steady as same as when the original research (2012) was done. This is one of many such examples.

Gender shouldn’t be a factor determining a person’s leadership qualities – a person’s leadership abilities depend on their strengths and personality traits. Women see leadership roles from a different perspective. One research states that 65% of women describe a leader as one who shares their knowledge to uplift his/her team to reach success. When this attitude of women is put in managerial roles, it can make them stronger and effective leaders.

Let us take a look at why women should be given the throne:

  1. No “Nos” To Multi-Tasking 

Women are used to multi-tasking since their young age. Managing many works at the same time is what she had mastered already. Hence, for her, this is a go-go!

2. Patience in Full Battery Level 

This doesn’t conclude that women are always polite. But they know how to handle a situation or an argument without losing temper. Given any situation, she knows how to tackle them.

3. Already A Winner Against the Odds

Yeah, some people would say otherwise, but being a woman, we know how to work against the odds. You know why? Because we have always faced discrimination and restriction – regardless of which, many women have come out and stood up for themselves and succeeded against the odds in flying colors. They have the drive to prove people wrong, who put a barrier in their way and succeed in whichever path they are working in.

4. High Scale On Emotional Intelligence

The ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others and relate is something that accounts for a great leader. Married or not, a woman always possesses this character. With this power, she can handle all kinds of people with clarity in what she wants for her team and herself.

5. Easy Mingle Policy

Normally women don’t stay alone in any situation. Although she is always with her companions, she clearly knows whenever a decision must be taken. And, it will always be in favor of everyone else on the team. This fact helps her more when it comes to an organization. It gains her respect for being the kind-hearted individual she is and will for sure cheer her to go on.

The above-stated points are only the match’s highlights. The real match is yet to begin. There are for sure many other qualities of women that suits up to the mark, to fit in as a leader in the corporate world. So, come on let us try to understand those boons and reserve her a seat!


PASSIVE JOB SEEKERS – NO MORE A ‘DRY’ PHRASE

Article by: Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager – Research, Avtar Group

I was on my return flight to my home, after a day-long of a session with a bunch of women professionals. It was a session with successful women professionals in managerial positions proud “working mommies” with close ten to twelve years of work experience. It was a wonderful experience to hear each of their amazing narratives on their career comeback post marriage, maternity, and relocation. I was so glad to hear how their family support plays a central role in enabling these women professionals in their career progression.

One thing all women professionals put forth in common that they desired to explore new career opportunities. But, were not actively seeking nor have applied for a specific position, nevertheless was open for it. I was surprised to hear such articulation from high potential talents. It was not an expression of a bunch of women professionals but a sample of the universe of Passive job seekers. A research study indicates that passive job seekers comprise 75 percent of the total global workforce.

Passive job seekers are working professionals who are willing to learn about new career opportunities but do not actively seek out nor apply to job openings. In India, the women representation at the managerial level was only about 20 percent. Incidentally, the prime reasons that “halt” a woman from actively sought for a new job for career advancement was not external but internal.

Yes! The top challenges a woman professional faces at mid-level career stage are:

  • Unwillingness to come out of the comfort zone
  • Afraid of the market competition and fear of interview rejection
  • Missed to upgrade the technical skills with the current market trends
  • Not ready to build a network
  • Waits for employers to reach out to them with opportunities.

One should understand it is easier to break the barriers within oneself. Actions taken now can pay off significantly later. Here are some of the key pointers passive job seekers can keep in mind.

Analyze what you want.

Do a quick SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analyses on yourself and list down all on a blackboard.  It is a comprehensive strategy for identifying not only the weaknesses and threats of a plan of action but also the strengths and opportunities it makes possible. This exercise will force you to look at your career in new ways and from new directions.

Be an active LinkedIn user

Your LinkedIn account will give you the ability to exhibit your career profile, areas of expertise, recommendations, and connections. In recent years recruiters and employers use LinkedIn extensively to search for potential candidates. It is the first professional impression of you but also demonstrates the credibility in your industry and highlights your achievements. Join relevant LinkedIn Groups such as job search groups, alumni groups, and networking groups. Set the email notifications for each group to weekly updates.

Networking

Experts advocate that the most connected people are often the most successful. Networking is not just to have someone on your email list, or have them as a friend on LinkedIn or Facebook.  Putting in a little effort can serve as an avenue to foster long-term relationships with mutual benefits.  Send your contacts personalized updates regularly. Never miss opportunities like meeting clients or superior to your career path could be a stepping stone that could transform your life for the betterment. Don’t be hesitant to offer your help if you can, also, do not be skeptical to ask for help.

Appraise the trends and develop your skills

Staying abreast of what’s going on in your field becomes essential as it offers immense benefits to professionals across job roles and industries. Check out the online certification courses, training and workshops sessions for professionals through your networks and social groups. It enables you to be up-to-date with the latest knowledge in your key domain. Women tend to procrastinate and complain lack of time to upgrade their skills. A little effort and with your time management, certainly you can curve out.

Be interview ready

Your resume is the most important tool to advance your career. Don’t use up all your vacation or personal leave for enjoyment. Reserve some time to update your CV and all your online profile(s). Expound on your certifications, upgraded skills, professional memberships, your promotions, or even expanded responsibilities, achieved noteworthy accomplishments, etc. It should focus on your strengths. Adapt your resume for each application as each job has slightly different needs. Make sure you have a mobile-friendly version in your handset.

So, stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you MUST make it. I bet you will make a DIFFERENCE.


In Conversation with a Working Mother

1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams.

My name is Richa Chauhan. I reside in Baroda. We have a small family of four, apart from me – my dear husband and two sons. I am passionate about everything that is a creative medium of expression. I love writing, speaking, acting and making videos. Recently I have been attracted towards zero waste lifestyle, though not easy but I am trying my best to make a difference.

2. Was your break a conscious decision? What were the obvious fears when you started looking out for openings?

My children have never been a problem for me whenever I had thought of reviving my career, (Radio Anchor in AIR, copywriter in an Advertising Agency, now an English Teacher). The only pressure was to keep “people” happy at home. All my breaks were due to their insecurities. And I gave up thinking it as my “DUTY”. Finally had to take my stand, though changed my stream drastically but thanks to social media for being the outburst of my creative ideas.

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How I started my Bakery

Article by Sylvia Rodrigues, Entrepreneur.

I have been working all my life to meet the financial needs of my family. However deep within somewhere for so many years I wanted to start my own bakery as I have a lot of passion in baking but never got the time to do something that I wanted to do may be because of the responsibilities that were never ending. Be it my maternal family who needed me or my daughter, my husband…life continued with 9 to 6 job. I am thankful to God for giving me this ability to help me raise my nephew who completed his mechanical engineering, niece who is now an MBA and now my daughter who is in STD 6. It is this year that I felt now I can take a break for myself and spend the time doing what I want to…hence took a break from my job, having said that it wasn’t an easy decision because there were so many questions still to be answered like how will the EMI get paid, what if my daughter needs funds to pursue her education? Will I be able to support her financially when she needs me? What if my baking thing doesn’t work? So many unanswered questions!
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In Conversation with a Working Mother

  1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams.

I am Usha. I work remotely as the head of content and SEO. I worked for 4 years in the IT industry before taking break. 

My dream and passion:

I had a love for numbers right from school days. I wish to work in the field of analytics in a big way.

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In Conversation with a Working Mother

  1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams.

Passions & Dreams are not two separate words for me. In fact one leads to another. If I am passionate about something I dream to fulfil it. I dream a plan to execute the passion into reality.Breaks are a part of any process and yes i took in that spirit.

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Economic Centeredness of Indian Women Professionals

Indian women and money have always shared a salient bond; their ability to manage the household budgets amidst soaring commodity prices, their determination to save every penny possible, to name a few.
Post liberalization and opening up of the economy in 1992, an increased number of women professionals have entered the corporate world witnessing a jump in the workforce participation rate of women from 17% in 1992 to 24% in 2012.

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In Conversation with a Working Mother

Article by Kanakadurga Ramani, Manager – Consulting Services at Avtar with Ms.Anuradha V

  1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams. 

Like every other ambitious girl, when I was out of college I thought I would conquer the world.  Thought I can do everything.  There was no IF or BUT or CAN I DO.  Everything was possible.  Was to be a very successful corporate executive with an intention to make a difference to the organization I work for and also to the people who worked with me. I now have an Art store where I sell stuff that I handmade.  I also have a unit to recycle stuff and make new items.

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In Conversation with a Working Mother

 

Article by Kanakadurga Ramani, Manager – Consulting Services at Avtar with Ms.Anitha Pradeep

  1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams. 

Am a B.Tech graduate having 9 yrs of work experience as senior executive-merchandising/supply chain management, am very much passionate towards career and want to achieve more to reach higher positions. My dream is to be a good personality both in office and personal life and to be respected by everyone.

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In Conversation with a Working Mother

Article by Kanakadurga Ramani, Manager – Consulting Services at Avtar with Ms. Ashika Agarwal

  1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams ?

My name is Ashika Agarwal, married to a loving husband and have a daughter who is 4 year old now. I am a B.Tech in Biotechnology & Masters in English and have worked in the Sales & Marketing departments of companies like Nestle India, Luxottica India, Guardian Lifecare & Posh Baby and Kids India, I am currently working at William Penn and have a total work experience of 8.6 years. I am passionate about keeping fit, healthy eating, adopting ecofriendly ways in daily life and Zumba as I am a licensed Zumba Trainer. I dream and aspire to be at a higher level position in the Corporates where I have been working. Also I want to raise my daughter to be a responsible person.

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