Medianews4u.com’s effort acknowledging women leaders of the Media, Marketing and Advertising fraternity has received an over-whelming response from all the readers.
Presenting to you Women leaders from S4 Capital, who share their experiences of breaking the gender stereotypes and how they continue to inspire many other women who are true leaders in the making.
Smita Salgaonkar, Country Manager, Mightyhive
Young women leaders often face credibility concerns from legacy organisations. Often their ideas are dismissed as nascent or impractical without receiving the due diligence presented by senior leadership. My collection of anecdotes always revolve around starting a new practice. Usually these practices are not only difficult to understand, but also appeared threatening to incumbents. Finding time with senior stakeholders was anyways difficult given the lack of internal profiling. Further, explaining the merits of the new practice or calling out the pitfalls of resisting change was received with dismissal. Ironically, I learnt the value of patience and perseverance by being perseverant of my objective and yet patient for both, the message to go through and the market to validate. The one moment of success came on a day when a major news article supporting my practice crossed paths with a customer email that demanded more maturity in this practice. This set into motion what turned out to be the largest transformation project in the country of its time.
Professionally, set your goals and hyper focus on them. Don’t lose this focus to expected or unexpected derailments. Upon achieving the goal, set the next ones immediately and pursue it. Goals are the currency of success.
Personally, don’t mistake being disagreeable with being dominant. Women leaders often appear to be intolerant and insufferable because they lose tact and diplomacy over time and circumstances. Be yourself, take care of yourself and own your identity.
Gayatri Sethi, Head Of Business & Operations, Mediamonks India
Being a woman in a predominantly male dominated industry of film-making often leads to challenges of being taken seriously. Earlier in my career all my decisions were cross-checked by colleagues and vendors approaching my boss for confirmation. The only way to overcome this is to keep pushing and getting the results of your hard work out there for others to see which gives that kind of affirmation. What helps is the magic wand of a great mentor.The real test came when I was thrown into the deep to produce a shoot for a leading automobile company.
I ran the set for a 300 member crew executing some 24 films with one of India’s top superstars from Bollywood all within 12 hours. This catapulted and since then, there have been several such scale (and larger) productions, but this one holds a special space as it was my moment to become me.
Two things all folks -especially women- need to keep in mind- time management and delegation. For the sake of your own sanity- you cannot be a one-woman army. Your team needs to be effectively outlined and have tasks assigned. This grows the team and come together as a functional unit.
Which leads to my other point- that it’s important to develop holistically- not just professionally but also personally. If you concentrate too much on work- you end up sacrificing too much of your personal growth. Take time off to concentrate on yourself.
Deepa Balji, Director Marketing Communications & Csr, S4 Capital Asia
In a previous role as an editor, I was asked to fire someone on the team. I had just joined the team then and didn’t feel it was the right thing to do. After some assessment, I observed that the reporter didn’t get much training and there wasn’t a strong mentor. I spent the next weeks training her and eventually, she became the strongest reporter on the team.
Leadership is about doing the right thing – even when under pressure.
Success in life is empty if you arrive at the finishing line alone. The best reward is to get there surrounded by winners – this drives me every day to build up male and female colleagues & people within and outside the advertising industry.
Let’s all arrive at the finishing line together.