Call to offer more senior management positions for women in organisations

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INDIACSR News Network
CHENNAI: Offering more senior most positions for women in organizations and companies, the need for women to break the ‘assumed constraints’  and  willingness to play lead roles,  creation of gender-neutral societies , demanding the rightful place for women in public life and formation of  ‘women bouncing boards’ to take up challenges, share experiences and inculcate best, and next practices in personal and professional life were some of the key  suggestions,  at a Conference on ‘Women Leadership’,  to create women leaders in organizations and the country.

These proposals emerged from the second edition of the ‘Women Leadership 2011’, with the theme, ‘Imagine, Discover , Relate’, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Thursday.

At least 33 per cent of senior management position in companies and organizations should be held by women to create leaders for the companies and organizations they work for and for the country at large, Mr R Dinesh, Vice-chairman, CII Tamil Nadu State Council and Joint Managing Director,  T V Sundram Iyengar & Sons Ltd, said.

In his keynote address to the  second  edition of the ‘Women Leadership 2011’, he said, women managers would have very different perspective in thinking and solutions to problems. A mix of people with right caliber, irrespective of gender, would do immense good for the organization. “It is time that we involved women at senior most levels. There are issues, and unless we address them squarely we cannot move forward. It is not a question of whether we can do it, but wanting to do it. We have to make the commitment and the South has to play the lead role’’,  Mr Dinesh said.

There were phenomenal opportunities for people who were dependable, reliable, high-enegy, vibrant and readily available in times of need, even if they were women,  in any organization, Mr Raju Venkatraman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MEDall Health Care Pvt Ltd, said.

‘People start as enthusiastic learners, without any gender discrimination, but soon become disillusioned learners in the early years of their professional life. Then most of them, especially women, move on to a state of ‘assumed constraints’ and escape to a belief that ‘women are in chains and growth is restricted’.

“All depend on the attitude, opportunities are phenomenal’’, he said. In 12 years in the profession, one should be a specialist, a subject expert, a leader in any one area.

“If you have mastered a skill and have the ability to take risk, have phenomenal faith in yourself and the power to play multiple roles you can be an entrepreneur’’, Mr Venkatraman said.

Ms Jennifer A McIntyre, Consul General, US Consulate, Chennai said, the CII Women Forum was a symbol of change and the generation of change was happening in India. “Women empowerment starts with family’’, she said.

Ms McIntyre said women should be included in policy-making. Steps should be taken “to create organizations which are gender-neutral’’. She said professional leadership training should be facilitated in workplaces and there was no substitute for empowering.

The seminar was aimed at providing, “each one of us take-backs of experience of learning which we can put into practice in our professional and personal life’’,   Ms Rajani Seshadri, Chairperson, CII Tamil Nadu Women Leadership & Empowerment Panel & Vice President, Tata Consultancy Services,  said.

The Women Empowerment Forum of CIl, had on its agenda advocacy, creation of small communities to be termed as ‘women’s bouncing boards, organization of small women’s groups to face the pressures of the work place, for sharing and learning and bringing out of a publication detailing the roles and responsibilities women could play in large organization, Ms Gayathri Sriram, Chairperson,  CII Southern Region Women Empowerment Forum and Managing Director, UCAL Auto Pvt Ltd said.

She said the Forum would take efforts to change policies at the highest level to ensure women their right place in public life.  Inculcating best and next practices in workplaces would be another important area the Forum would work for, Ms Gayathri added.

Ms Srimathi Shivashankar, Co-Chair, CII TN Women Leadership and Empowerment Panel and Associate Vice president-Diversity and Sustainability, HCL Technologies Ltd,  asked the women managers and entrepreneurs to be catalysts of change and to “create a ripple effect’’.

In three parallel sessions, the junior managers deliberated on ‘Power of Aspirations’; the middle management on ‘Power of my persona’ and the senior managers on ‘Power of self’.

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