By: Yohan P Chawla
Special occasions call for special stories. On the occasion of Women’s Day, I caught up with some thought-leading, influential ladies who are popular and successful women leaders from the worlds of advertising, broadcasting and digital, to get their views on being influential and nurturing women leaders and helping encourage women talent in their respective organizations.
Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer- ZEE5 Global
While a balanced diversity within your workforce is important, what really should be the determining factor for retaining and nurturing people is exceptional and meritorious talent. A person with the right attitude, who is bright with an aptitude and eagerness to learn, who is completely driven and who shares the same aspirations for the overall success of the business is really what every leader looks for or rather should look for. When a candidate displays these qualities, all resources are pulled in to support and nurture them to ensure that they are given every possible avenue to grow and achieve more.
Professional capability should be gender agnostic and as a leader I look to attract talent that is excited about being a part of the big picture, with the fact that I am a female leader being irrelevant. There are a number of measures that can be used to drive this change, like;
- Ensure that everyone is treated with equal respect and everyone is entitled to not only have an opinion but also a voice
- Empower employees to shape company culture to make it inclusive and gender-blind
- Enable schedule flexibility – this creates an environment that focuses on performance rather than number of hours at a desk
In recent times, the focus has been on driving equality, especially in professional environments. When we stop calling out talent or leadership on the basis of gender, that is when we take our first steps towards really achieving that vision.
Megha Tata, COO – BTVI
I have worked very closely with our HR team over the last few years to make BTVI an equal opportunity employer which helped us attract key talent. My style of leadership is to lead with the team and nurture the talent by trusting and empowering them.
To make it a conducive place for women to work, some of the things we have implemented are, anti-harassment policies in accordance with POSH, work from home option and flexi timings. This has helped all employees especially women employees.
Anita Nayyar, CEO – India & South East Asia Havas Media Group
First things first as a women leader, I am a believer. A believer in self and a believer in the capabilities of my women workforce. God made women stronger and gave them the art of multitasking without compromising on any task. Havas boasts a gender mix of 56% women and 44% men within its ranks globally, and the ratio is consistent.
As an organization, we conduct mandatory global trainings for all employees that cover subjects like sexual harassment, anti-corruption & bribery and business ethics. We also take a lot of measures to ensure the safety of our women employees like cab facilities, flexible working hours etc. Working late hours is often unavoidable in our business but we have a mandatory cut-off time and drop-off system for our women employees, where a security or office person accompanies them and ensures they reach their homes safely. Our culture is built on care and respect and we strongly promote it across all levels.
Only when families, individuals and the society at large make conscious attempts to bring down the gender walls, women would shine in the corporate world.
Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India.
We run a program called Women@iProspect which nurtures and grooms women in the organisation to take leadership roles. The initiative also intends to provide a safe and gender diverse environment. To do this it’s key to spread awareness and encourage sensitivity in the male colleagues to understand that women need to juggle multiple roles.
We have many women friendly HR policies such as trainings, POSH committee and gender diversity in top leadership. Regular communication by senior management to employees, prompt action against transgressions all work towards increasing the confidence of our women workforce that our place of work is safe and fair for them.
Sonia Huria – Head – Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18
At Viacom18, we believe in creating a workplace that is both diverse and inclusive. To attract, nurture and retain we have taken an approach that supports women employees while also at the same creates an environment where all our male employees also are eligible for benefits thereby, creating a larger impact in the business ecosystem.
As a part of Viacom18’s WAVE policy, we provide 36 weeks of paid maternity leave for women and 4 weeks for men, gifts for the baby and a maternity photoshoot. In addition to this, we have launched a world-class creche facility under the aegis of Viacubs which allows young parents to focus on work, knowing that their little ones are close enough to them. These initiatives enable a workplace that attracts and nurtures women as business leaders of tomorrow.
Ranjita Sehgal, Business Head, CNBCTV18.com
The first thing is to treat performance at par and have the same expectations as I would have of any teammate irrespective of gender. Second, is to be cognizant of the fact that a woman employee might require certain amount of security at the work space and work culture which offers her the dignity and respect. It also becomes important to be aware of the challenges a woman faces in or society and give her the support and encouragement if there are any circumstances where she might be vulnerable or under pressure