CIO's Desk: Post Pandemic- Women are rising to the moment as stronger leaders

Lockdown and its disruption had increased more dependency of families on women. Earlier, who were taught lessons on how to maintain work-life balance, have coped with the pandemic better than men and evolved stronger than before

CIO's Desk: Post Pandemic- Women are rising to the moment as stronger leaders - CIO&Leader

Within these last two years of the pandemic, there has been a complete 360-degree change in our viewpoints, looking at and managing a workforce. The pandemic has brought extraordinary pressure on everyone- families, companies, employees by turning lives upside down and shaking the economy.

While some studies say that women in technology feel their organization’s commitment to supporting them during the pandemic has been sufficient, others are feeling less optimistic about their career prospects now than before the pandemic and expect to leave their employer for a new role citing a lack of work-life balance as the biggest reason.

Nevertheless, a lot has changed around the women’s world. They look, feel, and live differently. Lockdown and its disruption had increased more dependency of families on women. Thus, post-pandemic women leaders around the industry are rising to the moment as stronger leaders. They are meeting this moment and taking on the work that comes with it. They have started putting forth their points and making their presence felt in the boardroom.

Women in tech roles

According to recent research by Deloitte predicts global technology firms will have a 33 percent overall female presence in their workforces by 2022. We have a large number of female entrepreneurs and top-level female executives all around the world who have demonstrated that women can be just as successful as men.

If we talk about the tech industry, there was a time when leadership roles were generally given or offered to men but the number of women in a leadership role has gradually increased in all walks of life. From India’s first Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi to Falguni Nayyar, a lot of women have proved that there is nothing that a woman can’t do.

To instill a belief that the tech industry is a place for women to work and succeed, the issue of gender stereotypes needs to be addressed long before women enter the workplace.

Women are receiving more leadership opportunities compared to years past. There is still room for growth in women’s presence across boardrooms and more and more people have now started recognizing this characteristic as a strength.


Women leaders stepping up to support their women mates

We, as women, are all fighting our own battles. But what drives us to keep going heads-up against the discriminations, biases, and daily struggles is the unity shown to us by fellow women. It sure does feel encouraging when you raise your voice and hear its echoes from all directions. Be it your friend, mother, daughter, sister, or office colleague, learn to stand up for them! We need to hold hands to break the glass ceiling and shatter the myths that have restricted us for years.

We say, with women comes empathy and today it can be noticed that women leaders are doing more than men in similar positions in supporting the people on their teams—for example, by helping team members navigate work-life challenges, ensuring that their workloads are manageable, and checking in on their overall well-being. They also spend more time than men on diversity, equality, and inclusion work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities. And finally, women leaders are showing up as more active allies to their other women teammates. They are more likely to educate themselves about the challenges that women face at work, speak out against discrimination.

There is a lot we can do as women leaders to create an inclusive space at work - using gender-neutral pronouns, being sensitive to the needs and situations of other women colleagues, amplifying women’s voices to ensure that their opinions are heard, or even creating forums where such conversations can be had safely. This ensures open and focused dialogue that emphasises real change, not just for women but for the entire organisation.

The author is Group Chief Information officer and Digital Officer, Sterlite Power

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