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Women Empowerment and Professional Performance


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This presentation talks about Empowering Women, how professional performance helps empowerment and how to advance in a career. This was developed for a seminar held at NITTTR, India for women and men from 15 countries. This also helps teacher and policy makers.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology

Women Empowerment and Professional Performance

  1. 1. Women Empowerment: Professional Performance, Development & Growth Sandhya Pentareddy, Executive Director, VIT University February 10, 2011 NITTTR, India
  2. 2. Agenda Introductions & Expectations – 30min <ul><li>Women Empowerment – 30 min </li></ul><ul><ul><li>observations from India and USA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Professional Performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>why is it important for women empowerment </li></ul></ul>Challenges faced by You – 30 min Professional Performance – 30 min
  3. 3. Agenda Self Development Career Growth Work-life balance Challenges and Solutions – 45 min Resources and References
  4. 4. What is empowerment? Who empowers women?
  5. 5. Empowerment Empowerment - “process by which individuals and groups gain power, access to resources and control over their own lives . In doing so, they gain the ability to achieve their highest personal and collective aspirations and goals” (Robbins, Chatterjee, & Canda, 1998, p.91) Women's Empowerment: educates and empowers women with the skills and confidence necessary to get a job, create a healthy lifestyle, and provide for themselves and their families – adapted from / <ul><li>Empowerment – from Dictionary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To give power or authority to; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To enable or permit </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Who Empowers Women? A Woman herself Women helping each other Family Communities providing support Conducive Policies Older women playing role models
  7. 7. Empowering Women - Tips <ul><li>Self respect & discovery of self-worth </li></ul><ul><li>As far as gender goes, You are an Equal </li></ul><ul><li>Voice your own opinions. Be assertive. </li></ul><ul><li>Make an effort to change language that communicates gender-bias and gender-stereotyping. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop skills and education </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Life skills – communication, financial management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Career and livelihood skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Work towards career growth </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Emotional Intelligence and Social Skills </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Be healthy. Respect your body and mental health. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nourishment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Say no to physical abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal leisure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Choices in Life are yours too </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Career choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reproduction choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lifestyle / Financial choices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have control over your environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be an equal partner </li></ul></ul>Empowering Women - Tips
  9. 9. Growth in Five Dimensions 1 Social Standing 2 Education 3 Career & Impact 4 Political Participation 5 Decision Making and Control over Life
  10. 10. India Based on my observations: Social Standing Then (80s): Respected but considered inferior in capabilities. “A woman’s place is at home” was the general belief. Many women started challenging this. Now: Due to rapid strides in education & career, more and more people are treating women as equals. Still a huge difference in moral standards and freedom . Identity still associated with Men in life, for the large part. More family orientation and less “ individuality ” for women even now. Education Then (80s): less awareness in economically challenged classes. Middle and Upper classes: Bachelor’s level education common. Women started getting into higher and specialized education – esp. Engineering and Medicine. Now: still less awareness in economically challenged classes. Improvement in vocational training and enrollment. Middle and Upper classes: Large enrollment in specialized education. Getting into other fields also (Sales, Marketing etc.).
  11. 11. India Career Then (80s): Economically backward: house-hold work, cleaning jobs, construction labor. Middle and Upper classes: Teaching, Nursing, Medicine, a few in Engineering. Now: Economically backward and less educated: petrol bunks, auto-cabs, bus-conductors, small businesses, retail, hotels & restaurants. Refreshingly far greater opportunities attributable to economic growth. Educated: A large presence in Engineering, IT, Medicine and diversifying across many fields – customer facing, business administration and leadership roles. In leadership roles, women are having to work harder to get noticed, compared to men. Glass ceiling – exists but is getting thinner and higher. Political Participation Then (80s): We have had notable women in politics right from freedom-fighting days. But fewer at grassroots level in Independent India Now: More and more women are seeking political careers (still far less than Men). Reservations by Govt. Greater levels of participation in community programs. Decision Making in Life & Control over Life Then (80s): Mostly deferred to Men. Now: Women contributing a lot but in many regions / economic classes, still deferring to Men. A vast portion is still not having / playing an equal role in overall control over life.
  12. 12. USA Social Standing Then (90s): In control concerning freedom, moral standards and social standing. High level of “individualism” but has a culture that still identified them with their husbands. Not as competitive as men. Now: Progressive. Making more impact. High awareness in personal development. More competitive than in 90s in many diverse fields. Still identified with their husbands despite high individualism. Based on my observations: Education Then (90s): Women’s enrollment in higher education crossed over that of men. Ratio: 7:6. Enrollment in science & technology is less compared to men. Now: Women enrollment in higher education is growing. 2007 ratio W:M:: 10:7. 1995 W : 2007W :: 7:10.
  13. 13. USA Then (90s): Mostly into customer facing jobs, teaching and health-care. Less in technical. Income disparity. Now: Seeing more women (than before) in technical jobs (lot of immigrants). Seeing more women at top of the pyramid compared to the past but still far less compared to Men. More competitive than before. Income disparity still exists. Glass ceiling – still exists but easier to break. Women are having to work harder to get noticed in leadership roles. Some big corporations are encouraging women. Career Political Participation Has obviously grown. Seen a woman president contender in primaries for the first time. More women governors. Decision Making in Life & Control over Life Recent years: House-hold decisions mostly by women. Also contributing to financial and other important decision making. Men are still implicitly recognized (but not explicitly) as ‘heads of the household’ but women are taking more and more control.
  14. 14. Motivating factors / Catalysts <ul><li>Need </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Ambition </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To improve one’s own quality of life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To contribute to a larger body / Recognition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul><ul><li>Support systems to suit the environment </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Women schools and colleges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ladies only” buses, ladies hostels, protected environment. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Special coaching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-help groups </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Motivating factors – Public Policies <ul><li>Equal property inheritance rights in many states </li></ul><ul><li>Income tax exemption – higher for women </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging nationalized bank schemes </li></ul><ul><li>A.P. – Encourages women entrepreneurs through loans and subsidies. </li></ul><ul><li>Some states have reservations in education for women – A.P. </li></ul><ul><li>Reservations in political system – Village, Town and City level -33%. Assembly/Parliament – bill pending. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s schools /colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Support for self-help groups, micro credit </li></ul><ul><li>Better Insurance policies for Women by LIC </li></ul>
  16. 16. Opportunity Unmet/ Underserved Need Employment opportunities Education opportunities Entrepreneurship Opportunity Skilled Employment Opportunity Prime Employment Opportunity
  17. 17. Professional Performance & Women’s Empowerment Performance Impact Career Growth Empowerment Economic Freedom
  18. 18. Challenges faced by You <ul><li>Exercise: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify Challenges currently faced by you or your communities/ friends </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at Work place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at Home </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Towards the professional performance & growth </li></ul><ul><li>Towards empowerment of the groups you work with </li></ul>
  19. 19. Professional Performance <ul><li>Formal Definition: Accomplishment of a given task measured against preset standards. </li></ul><ul><li>But it’s about </li></ul><ul><li>Not just doing to ‘the best of your abilities’ but doing what it takes to get the task done, and done well! </li></ul><ul><li>Asking yourself constantly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we reaching our goals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we meeting our commitments & expectations? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we exceed expectations and delight our customers/partners/colleagues? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can I go that extra mile? </li></ul></ul>If it’s worth doing, it is worth doing well !
  20. 20. Professional Performance <ul><li>An Individual </li></ul><ul><li>A key player in Delivery of program / project / product </li></ul><ul><li>A Manager / Leader </li></ul><ul><li>A Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>An Organization ? </li></ul>What can you do as
  21. 21. Professional Performance <ul><li>Commitment & Sincerity </li></ul><ul><li>Goal Oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Know your eco-system – utilize and cater to it </li></ul><ul><li>Process is important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Team work and high involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Responsiveness and Responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse available knowledge, information and best practices </li></ul>What can you do as an Individual ? <ul><li>Communication & Visibility to stakeholders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Progress, hurdles, risks, challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Achievements – self and team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build lasting Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Create repeatable best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Learn and Teach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from talented people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentor, Develop People </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Question accepted practices </li></ul><ul><li>Innovate & Encourage Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Quality consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate and Inspire </li></ul>
  22. 22. Professional Performance <ul><li>Keep the customer’s needs & project goals at heart </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility in requirements and scope </li></ul><ul><li>Intermediate outcomes – monitor, share, feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Quality consciousness </li></ul>Delivery of a product/ project/ program
  23. 23. Professional Performance <ul><li>What can you do as a Manager/ Leader ? </li></ul><ul><li>Cater to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognize that you are the bridge between the organization and the individuals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop and coach people – performance & growth </li></ul><ul><li>Instill best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Notice and bring problems to the forefront </li></ul><ul><li>See the ‘Individual slide’ </li></ul>
  24. 24. Professional Performance <ul><li>What can you do as a teacher ? </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share examples around the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Success stories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Encourage students to speak up and participate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects & Exercises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Field visits & work wherever possible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand their dreams, potential, gaps & needs </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate realization of their dreams, potential </li></ul><ul><li>Build critical skills necessary for the development of the local area and individuals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need-specific technical skills – ex: IT, Medical, Teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common skills – Communication, Language & Social </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Professional Performance <ul><li>Point to opportunities – higher education, jobs, resources </li></ul><ul><li>Suppressed gender / community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special attention towards needs and growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate them on equality / rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bring experts to school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To motivate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To give insight into their line of work, educational requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities in their line of work and how to get into that line of work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build Partnerships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International bodies who can share experiences and best practices </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Professional Performance What can you do as an Organization?
  27. 27. Professionalism – What’s working in/for India <ul><li>Based on my observation: </li></ul><ul><li>Ambition / Achievement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal growth and improvement in quality of life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for recognition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change / Impact </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drive to improve skills and education </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive spirit </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity and willingness to work hard </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment to Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking the regional / country barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Openness to partnerships inside and outside the country </li></ul>
  28. 28. Professionalism – Critical view of the gap in India <ul><li>Based on my observation: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Not my job” attitude </li></ul><ul><li>“ Doing (only) my best” syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing on self and self duties, rather than on team work and big picture </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of quality </li></ul><ul><li>Customer (un) friendliness </li></ul><ul><li>Not taking enough ‘pride’ in fruits of labor </li></ul><ul><li>Less emphasis on impact that the work makes and more on remuneration </li></ul><ul><li>Less knowledge sharing / information sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption </li></ul>There are many people and organizations that work with integrity and towards excellence. Above is an over-generalization and is not the case in whole, but nevertheless a gap we need to fill in order to excel as a country and civilization.
  29. 29. Career Growth <ul><li>Excel at your work. Remember “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well”! </li></ul><ul><li>Go the extra mile. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the big picture and put yourself in it. Contribute to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer for special assignments or improvements. </li></ul><ul><li>Take Initiative. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop positive communication and social style. </li></ul><ul><li>Be critical and notice opportunities for improvements. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost savings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Product ideas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency, Process improvements </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Career Growth <ul><li>Be innovative. Create opportunities for the team & organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop your skills </li></ul><ul><li>Be loyal – your manager, team, organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect, Responsibility, Reliability & Responsiveness! </li></ul><ul><li>Never say “That’s not my job” – notable difference between USA and India. </li></ul><ul><li>Be a great team player. Share the credit. Play ethically. </li></ul><ul><li>Network and develop partnerships. </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility, visibility and visibility! </li></ul>
  31. 31. Self Development <ul><li>Dare to Dream. Have a Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a roadmap – steps to achieve your vision </li></ul><ul><li>SWOT analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weaknesses & gaps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Threats </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify development areas. Chart a plan to improve </li></ul>
  32. 32. Self Development <ul><li>External and internal opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Help from Experts </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity, Professionalism & Excellence </li></ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul><ul><li>Life skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication, Language skills, Social skills, Emotional intelligence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation & People skills. Facing challenges. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Work-life Balance <ul><li>In double income families, his work-life balance is as important as her balance. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of how women make it work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderate careers for both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demanding career for spouse and Moderate career for self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demanding careers for both </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The key: Share the personal work load </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communication at work is important – reasons not excuses and not hindrances. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Professional Performance Gap in India Challenges and Solutions
  35. 35. How do we continue to share our progress? Email group Face book
  36. 36. My contact information [email_address]
  37. 37. Resources and References <ul><li>Empowerment Theory: </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s empowerment: </li></ul><ul><li>10 Simple ideas to empower women: </li></ul><ul><li>Women Empowerment in India – Milestones & Challenges – Dr. Rakesh Chandra </li></ul><ul><li>IES National center for education statistics (US) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>High performance work practices: linking strategy and skills to performance outcomes, a CIPD report, London, UK </li></ul>