More women in leadership roles #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
By Kofi Annan
Gender equality has been a matter of concern since long, and liberals across the globe have always pointed out the positive contribution of it towards betterment of the society. Indeed we have come a long way, however much remains to be accomplished. Today, a good number of women get the opportunity of education compared to yesteryears and it is improving. However it is worthy to reflect, if these educated women are getting equal employment or growth opportunities? The answer is NO. However, organisations today are becoming more and more aware, and are contending to improve the ‘women to men’ ratios. Now the question is what is leading to this striking disparity even in the educated strata?
Although there is a serious drive towards gender equality, sitting in a corporate office like mine, it is not difficult to sense and that it’s evidently men dominated. The number of women in leadership roles is alarmingly low. So besides the basic requirement of education, parity will come when we equip women to break the glass ceiling.
Recently I attended a program in our office, which aims at equipping women with skills and practices that can help them grow and take up leadership roles. It is structured strategically and discusses all the important points of concern. The Team have designed a thoughtful program for executing this unique concept of development of women managers in the organisation.
There were numerous sessions conducted with the aim of developing varied facets of managerial skills, in this post I have enlisted my major takeaways, which I believe have helped me groom better.
1. Understand your weaknesses and work on it, while leveraging on your strengths:
Women are high on emotions and many a times that can be a hurdle on the path of our growth. The first session was based on a test that we had to take on Emotional Quotient or EQ. The test helps give a better understanding of ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses. For e.g. it evidently showed that I had issues handling conflicts and negativity, while my forte was communication and interpersonal skills. The clarity of thought helped me consciously work on myself and improve.
2. Commanding and Confident Body language and assertive conduct:
This is one area, women often lack. Our negotiating skills are generally complacent, and lack assertiveness.The session explained the difference between being adamant and assertive, and how it was important to put your foot down whenever necessary, in order to be taken seriously. Confidence makes the mark, for e.g. women often prefer to take corner seats in meetings filled with men, but you must be prepared to take the centre stage and lead by example. They called it ‘claiming your space’.
3. It is your duty to be a part of your group:
Many corporate decisions happen over smoke or cups of coffee. Men do this very well, but women often shy away from being a part of these gangs. You may not smoke or drink coffee, but it is your duty to make your colleagues comfortable enough to approach you. Women often construct invisible walls or draw lines around themselves, which stop others from collaborating. This should be avoided as fraternizing skills are very important to grow in the corporate ladder.
4. Corporate politics- A reality we cannot shy away from:
Politics, groupism are facts of the corporate world and must be taken on the face. You may not be interested to be a part of them, but it is important to be aware and act smartly.
5. Branding and Networking
I was particularly fascinated by this session. It claimed that doing work efficiently is not a guarantee for success. It is important to make your stake holders and career influencers aware of it. Branding yourself is important; you must have uniqueness and also know to showcase that smartly yet judiciously. Create a dependable brand for yourself.
Networking is another area women often lag. The tea breaks, after office parties are great network opportunities. You have to push yourself to do proper networking and build a system for positive exchange. Start with giving, never collaborate with selfish motives and never let people exploit your virtues.
These are few of the numerous precious imbibitions from the women leadership program.I desire to take the learnings forward and inculcate the same in other women I know. It is our responsibility to propagate sisterhood and help create a just environment for everyone to excel. This women's day lets all vow to toil together and create the same.
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