A anga mahesh

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A anga mahesh

  1. 1. A. Anga Magesh Alcatel-Lucent India Limited Women Empowerment
  2. 2. 2 Table of Contents 1 Executive Summary......................................................................................................................................................3 2 Women Empowerment – An Analogy..........................................................................................................................3 3 Challenges – A rocky road to the hill top .....................................................................................................................5 4 Strength of Powerful Women ......................................................................................................................................6 5 Going the extra mile – The path forward.....................................................................................................................8 5.1 Awakening from within - 3 I model......................................................................................................................8 5.1.1 Imbibe –Learn from experiences .................................................................................................................9 5.1.2 Innovate – Apply and Act.............................................................................................................................9 5.1.3 Inspire – React and reform...........................................................................................................................9 5.1.4 How ready is the woman .............................................................................................................................9 5.2 How ready is the world – EMI model.................................................................................................................10 5.2.1 Family – Emotional Quotient Factor ..........................................................................................................11 5.2.2 Society – Motivation Quotient Factor........................................................................................................12 5.2.3 Organization – Innovation Quotient Factor...............................................................................................12 6 Conclusion..................................................................................................................................................................13 7 Reference...................................................................................................................................................................13
  3. 3. 3 1 Executive Summary 21st century women are emerging from their cocoon with more strength and vigor to color the horizon for a brighter future. Women in today’s society are shining in incredible fields. We see women performers on board across top corporate. Industries today sense the difference with women presence amidst them. We see and witness many corporate giants becoming flexible to encourage women to play different roles in the entire organization hierarchy. The journey may not have been easy for many of them. They may have hit their valleys before climbing the mountains. There are certain elements of concerns which still remain as pain points and need immediate introspection and redressal. Only 12 Fortune 500 companies are run by women, what is their hidden power which made their names big? What is the transformation energy required to change the life of billion women and create a galaxy? Do women have access to an environment that is conducive to their growing into leaders? After an extensive analysis of industry surveys, Harvard Business reviews and various research reports, through this paper, I’m building a new ecosystem model with 3 key elements which are fundamental catalyst to manage diversity and relinquish the power in women and groom her attitude to pathway for success. This model has been proposed weighing in the current context and the external thrust that is needed to move from today to tomorrow. It’s quintessential and also need of the hour. 2 Women Empowerment – An Analogy Over decade, Women have been making their mark since the last few centuries. They have influenced everything from science to politics. Women with her strong attitude of assertiveness and persuasiveness have reaped success in all the roles adorned by them. With women literacy percentage at 65.46% (as per 2011 census) in India and 77% across the world, the rate of women at board level stands at 22% worldwide. Over the past 20 years we are seeing a considerable increase in acceptance of women in corporate sectors. Best organizations have come to view attracting, retaining and developing talented women as business imperative. We come across lot of books and blogs which talks about the difference in men and women, everyone have come to terms about the untapped power within a women which when unleashed will create a new world. The WEF (World Economic Forum) in their Gender Gap Report 2012 believes that empowering women economically could boost the world’s economic growth significantly, and this idea is represented by the oft-repeated refrain that women make up half of the world’s workforce. Women of today have built a stronger business case through her specialized skills. Women excel with their ability to collaborate, build strong relationships, open up lines of communication, and work in teams. Her underlying strength has proven highly adaptive to the decentralized models that web-based technologies require. Women’s ideas and
  4. 4. 4 insights have provided organizations to strategically place them in fast growing modern customer base. There is no absolute scale to measure this progress. However, an interesting analogy would be the concept of “Relative Velocity”. Fig 1: Relative velocity – An analogy to women’s empowerment Let us consider the group of women striving for progress and success as the “object in motion” and society and supporting factors to be the “object on the platform”. The perception of speed and growth is very different, depending on where you stand - this is the truth with women’s progress. Society sees this as growth at an unassuming speed and the women in motion see it differently. We need to get the fundamentals right in order to the track and manage to keep up the pace. The following are critical to solution and decision-making:  Right Education that is value-based  Ability to self-assess and self-motivate  Family values to strengthen and support  Awareness to the support system to experiment new leadership Somewhere in the process, one or many of the above are not at 100 percent. The dip in contribution reflects on the progress and pace which directly and proportionally defines equality. The facts 2 given below indicate that the pace is slow and needs fuelling:  Women’s share of Board Director and Executive Officer positions increased by only half a percentage point or less during the past year.  Women held only 16.6 percent of board seats in 2012—the seventh consecutive year of no growth.  Women held 14.3 percent of Executive Officer positions—flat-lined for the third straight year.  Women of color held only 3.3 percent of board seats, indicating no growth.
  5. 5. 5  More than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies had no women of color as board Directors for the fifth consecutive year.  Women held only 8.1 percent of top earner slots. Let us take a break and analyze the challenges in Women’s journey to the top. 3 Challenges – A rocky road to the hill top There are numerous challenges to reach the summit of success. These are possibly doubled when the travel is by a woman leader. By and large, irrespective of the geography, strata or situation where the leader is from; some universal problems pose themselves that need innovation and ingenuity to be resolved. In Indian society, men are bread winners and women tend to be the home makers. Some women take this as a privilege and love to be home makers. whereas, many women see it as rife with enslavement and drudgery. They have aspirations and undoubtedly the ability to be successful but fall short of confidence to step out of their homes to achieve their dreams. Their decisions are influenced by a family’s dynamic, education level, career choice and financial situation. Lack of trust in empowering women opens up pain areas which transition as challenges. Fighting the system or situation may not be uncommon, but patience is tested and pace is stunted. The progress boosters - opportunity, flexibility and mentors help speed up the development of women. Not every organization supports flexi working hours to enable aspiring women to reach their goal. There are lot of role models that women can look up for inspiration. Despite immense opportunities, lack of flexibility and mentorship makes the journey to the top task cumbersome. Looking beyond the obvious in order to make a difference is an inherent trait of the personal. Let us pause for a moment and capture few traits needed to be successful women.
  6. 6. 6 4 Strength of Powerful Women Fig 2: Strength of Powerful Women In corporate sectors where it becomes level playing fields, we see women outshining their male counterparts through their work excellence, commitment, “Can do” attitude, highly creative, strong interpersonal skills, inner strength and her special weapon “Multitasking”. They are more willing to explore, compromise and to solicit other people's opinions. Women are more tolerant of differences, so they're more skilled at managing diversity. Women are also technically strong, talented, hardworking and committed to work, straight forward, creative added to their natural strength of empathy and kindness. Women identify problems more quickly and more accurately. They encourage openness and are more accessible. Women are cultured to put relationships first. They become masterful relationship builders as a result. In companies where people are working in matrix environments, strong working relationships are critical to success. Women are more likely to get subordinates to transform their own self-interests into the broader goal the group is trying to achieve. A greater sense of teamwork and commitment to achieving the outcome with others is the result. With the paradigm shift of leadership from authoritative to supportive, it plays naturally to the strength of women. Though we see fewer women breaking the glass ceiling and entering the top management, they have made a huge difference. Based on research, Communication: Women on board have helped organizations improve 42% higher sales returns, 66% higher return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity with their superior Communication skills. Study shows, women leaders speaks lesser than men and gets the points across. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, helped the stock grow up by 5.7% closing at $16.67, highest level in over a year.
  7. 7. 7 Initiatives: Study by Harvard business review, women in management rated 11.58 percentile points higher than their male peers in workplace by taking initiatives. Indra Nooyi, CEO Pepsico, took strategic initiatives inspite criticism which turned 10 billion $ business to 30 billion $ business in 10 years. Emotional intelligence: Women’s attention operates like radar; men like laser. According to Daniel Coleman, on an average 1 woman is equivalent to 2 men when judging a person’s feelings. In his book “The Brain and Emotional Intelligence”, he states “Truly effective leadership is distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence”. Meg Whitman, former CEO ebay, current CEO HP, was featured in psychology today for dealing with emotional intelligence. Ebay is the fasted growing company under her 8 yrs reign. Risk Takers: Women score significantly higher in their levels of urgency, risk taking and abstract reasoning. They are less likely to hesitate or focus on small details. They will learn from any mistakes and carry on. Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian American astronaut and first Indian woman in space. She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. “I’ll show you” attitude: Women in addition to interpersonal skills also possess resilience. According to studies, they score mid-range on ego-strength, though lower, not significant in male counterpart. They may even dwell on it, and tend to be a little self-critical. But then they will muster their assertiveness, shake off any negative feelings, learn what they need to carry on and a voice in the back of their heads will say, 'I'll show you.'" Dr. J. Jayalaithaa, assume power as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for 3 times against all odds meted out against her considering her gender. With so much power hidden in each woman, we still see very few climbing up the career ladder. Women leaders and successful managers are few and these exceptions are today’s examples. This makes the starting point hazy. With struggles in order and hurdles that are to be crossed; the road less travelled at this time, needs a beacon. A woman carrying her flashlight to get across is indeed a good start, but the fuel to pump and push her during the travel depends on self-commitment, the positive perception and support from the family, organization and the society. On the context of the path to progress, these are challenges, some overwhelming and needs to be managed. Ultimate success would be achieved when women leadership is accepted without prejudice. The question is whether every choice is available to women, instead of being given restrictive choices. Today, women have a well set platform unlike yester years. If one regularly watches the soft news, one can notice many women rising up – like a woman auto driver, a woman who sells idlis on the platform educating her son for MBA, petrol bunks operated solely by women. These are less privileged than us women here – women have good access to education & information and exposure to the outside world. Though not ideal to the extent what we want, an educated
  8. 8. 8 women definitely have a platform which is already set, which they probably not realized yet. And therefore women have sufficient opportunities to inculcate success attributes within them and to grow it. 5 Going the extra mile – The path forward An outlook change from within the individual and from the rest of the world is a need of the hour. I'm suggesting the “3I model” of “Imbibe, Innovate, Inspire” for individual growth and the “EMI model” for the family, society and organizational change to motivate and speed up the path to progress in achieving success. These models have been proposed based on my individual experiences and my evolution upon practicing them. We need to create awareness and rework on the perception that is prevalent today to break the shell, both within the family and support. When the change is from within and the society, women’s empowerment is a dream come true. 5.1 Awakening from within - 3 I model “Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career.” -Abdul Kalam Right from birth and throughout the journey there is a struggle for women, whether it is right for education, higher education, career and employment makes it a metamorphosis for women. While the arena may vary across individuals, every situation poses its problems. Women need to handle the challenges with ease as they have a natural ability to survive using our strengths. Based on my experience I have proposed a model for individual growth and development in the women’s journey everyday is the “3 I model”. A simple yet practical approach that is easy to follow. Fig 4: The “3I Model” – For individual growth
  9. 9. 9 5.1.1 Imbibe –Learn from experiences To experience and absorb the learning for re-application and decision making is critical to any leadership. With limited opportunities, we need to make the best of every situation. The important part of the education is to learn to enjoy as we go through life. Journey to leadership becomes an easy path to tread. Role models are a few; it is important to identify aspects in everyone and get inspired by them. Women need to be self-motivated .This heightens our awareness of self and surroundings and this provides a positive attitude that women maintain enthusiasm and have a constant energy for the journey. In difficult situations women need to be ready to transition at a slower pace. Have an attitude of “Let Go”. The goal of being a good women leader is achieved. 5.1.2 Innovate – Apply and Act Leadership carries with it a vital part of encouraging both self and the team, towards exploration and learning, buys confidence necessary to propel oneself and the team/family forward. Mind share for multiple processes demands multi-tasking. Here, prioritization becomes the key. Innovation in every activity is therefore important in order to be able to spend time in every important aspect. 5.1.3 Inspire – React and reform Inspiration is key to growth. To be aware of the circumstances that we are in, to react and reform is an essential attribute of leadership. Much progress of self and team occurs where there is clear understanding on what the team can offer and what you can offer to the team. To empathize and energize is a major success catalyst. We need to ensure the well-being of self and the team. 5.2 How ready is the woman With so much power hidden in each woman, we still see very few climbing up the career ladder. The primary reason being, women are still the primary caretaker of her family and kids. As per statistics, 70% of 100 most powerful women in the world are married with an average of two kids. No matter how they manage, but still they are able to succeed at work and at home. What is the secret? Exterminate the perfection bug – Determine what is good enough. Let go of the expectation on you to perform at 100% always, sometimes lesser than 100% saves you time (Note: wherever it’s acceptable) Work Life Balance – Stop owning all responsibilities, learn to delegate. Not all work needs to be done by you. Cleaning your home can be outsourced. Child care can be handled by elders in the family, they would be happier to take care. Take time for self – Stop the never ending list and take time for self. Women who take time for themselves are happier, healthier and more satisfied with their lives. Voice out - Ask for what you want. No one is going to do it for you until you ask. Use your voice to tell people about your successes, and use your voice to defend yourself. Confront bad behavior, voice out.
  10. 10. 10 Persistence – Critical factor for every woman. With each obstacle, with each back biting, with each failure – Stand up. Women from past had the determination to break free of the tangles she was in for a free 21st century. Learn to say “NO” – Women by generations are used to say “YES”. Saying “No” is one of the difficult phrases to utter. Practice. Learn to say “NO”. Earn a Mentor - Mentors and sponsors are crucial to success. But the relationships should develop more naturally and be more reciprocal than anything else. Be yourself – Never try imitating men. These days men are expected to have the leadership traits of a woman. Learn yourself. Continue to be yourself. Adapt styles comfortable to you. Being self is much easier than being anyone. 5.3 How ready is the world – EMI model Recognizing new talent and celebrating leadership does not come easy to a society which has been traditional with what it perceives as growth, development and innovation. Conscious efforts as well as slow and steady knocking will open doors. The drive from within is the key to getting a head-start. However, an obstacle free environment is also an equal and vital requirement. Support systems in India predominantly lie with family and its values. Influences from society to support and strengthen the pace are also important. Last, but not least, the organization the woman is part of plays a vital role in shaping a women leader. The support units are the back bone that is responsible for maintaining the physical and mental well being of the aspiring women leaders. These provide motivation for the leader to move forward. The interfaces that a woman has are family, society and organization .The “EMI model” mentioned here discusses this factor.
  11. 11. 11 Fig 5: The EMI model –External Enablers 5.3.1 Family – Emotional Quotient Factor Family as a strong support system imparts the knowledge not only by provisioning for institutional education but also through imbibing and teaching the values the unit holds in esteem. Family values strengthen individual character and determination. Mentoring is not a separate process; it is part of the growth and evolution where role models are from one’s own comfort space – Family. Emotional quotient ensures personal balance and stability irrespective of the environment and situation. A healthy and stable family that is associated with the woman is a mutual stability factor, when it comes to her emotional intelligence. This becomes a primary variable in the equation to success.
  12. 12. 12 5.3.2 Society – Motivation Quotient Factor The society that the woman is a part of is important for women’s equality. The society plays an important role to encourage and welcome women leaders either at a municipal councilor level to represent the community at large or as a women leader heading an organization. The Center for Social Research (CSR) 3 in its report on “Women managers in India – Challenges and opportunities” puts forth a situation-specific methodology to improve and enhance participation and better representation of women in leadership roles. With India in the list of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the same does not translate yet to equality on the women leadership front. The reasons for this are many, ranging from individual constraints, mindsets, stereotypes and organizational and structural impediments. Motivation from within as well as from society creates optimism. Society, as an entity, is a major critic that has the ability to make or break the growth pattern and needs to be carefully interpreted for the betterment of women. 5.3.3 Organization – Innovation Quotient Factor Organization is a complex setup that forms the track for growth and development. This path to success involves decision making, networking and communication across all levels. As a fast-changing entity this demands the leadership for the influence, inspiration and involvement. Challenging situations are learning opportunities for creative solution-making leading to innovation. The combination motivates every individual towards more innovation keeping the quotient high, an opening to a new line of thought. Fig 6: Grant Thornton International Business Report - 2012
  13. 13. 13 The growth and progress of the organization demands dedication and time from all its leaders be it man or woman. Therefore multi tasking and creating mind share on multiple things simultaneously are the two key aspects that would enable women to give her best and also be recognized for her contribution. Flexibility at work place becomes a necessity to enable women to perform varied roles both at home and at work. All over the world, there is awareness that flexibility at work promotes diversity to the organization and enhances productivity of the woman employees. Yet this is not commonly seen in many organizations despite its merits. The Grant Thornton International Business Report 4 mentions that it matters to have mixed gender boards for better results of the organization. The positive influence of this diversity is thought to bring on better attention to audit, risk and oversight control. 6 Conclusion Women need to be recognized and appreciated for their true potential at home, organization and the society. It is imperative that the change should be initiated from one self in terms of motivation, commitment and embracing of change in order to emerge as a true women leader. The ultimate responsibility and ownership lies with women towards making this journey to the top, embracing all the stakeholders to a successful one. A new flavor of leadership is in the rising and when all equal minds work together, an equal India becomes a reality. 7 Reference 1. www.forbes.com (100 most powerful women, success secret of powerful women, why women are better leaders) 2. 2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and 2012 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Executive Officers and Top Earners. http://www.catalyst.org/ 3. http://womenleadership.in/Csr/Women-Managers-In-India 4. Grant Thornton International Business Report 2012 http://www.gti.org/files/ibr2012%20- %20women%20in%20senior%20management%20master.pdf 5. Centered leadership: How talented women thrive http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Centered_leadership_How_talented_women_thrive_2193)
  14. 14. 14 About Author My name is A. Anga Magesh. I have completed Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Government College of Engineering, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu (1996-2000). I started my career from I.T.I Limited, Bangalore as a fresher. It was golden days on my journey and being spinster, had lot of fun with my friends and new learning. I moved to HCL Technologies Limited from Sept 2002. I joined as Member technical staff and promoted to Lead Engineer and Technical Lead. I completed Master of Science from BITS through Distance Learning program offered by HCL. I was with HCL Technologies Limited till Apr 2009. Later on, I joined Alcatel-Lucent India Limited (ALIL) on May 2009. It is a breakthrough on my entire career. I had good challenges and learning opportunities at ALIL and grown as Test manager. Alcatel-Lucent gave me good forum to express the author on me. I am growing with the support of my employer. Personally, I am a proud mother of two sons. My first Son is studying U.K.G and younger one just started his Pre-KG. My husband is business man, who gives strong support of and stay next to me on all my success. I wish to take this opportunity to thank my family members, friends, my reporting manager and my colleagues for the sustained support.

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