Headquartered in Mumbai, the Essar Group is a multinational conglomerate and a leading player in the sectors of Steel, Energy, Infrastructure and Services. With operations in more than 25 countries across five continents, the Group employs 75,000 people, with revenues of $27 billion.
Despite years of progress by women in the workforce, the presence of women within the C-Suite remains a rarity. Of the most highly paid executives of Fortune 500 companies only six percent are women, of the CEOs only two percent are women and only 15 percent of the seats on the Board of Directors are held by women.
This has always begged the question on opportunities available to women employees and the famed class ceiling that may restrict her climb to the top. In reality while the challenges for women aspiring to climb the corporate ladder are many, the glass ceiling is turning out to be a myth as more focused and competent women triumph over their filial roles, gender biases at the workplace and the networking edge of their male counterparts to thrive, survive, even win in male dominated workplaces. Here are some of my insights on what can make women make successful strides up the corporate ladder and live meaningful lives as women.
1) Get really, really good at your job Nothing is more defining than your competence:
In reality there are only two genders in a workplace – competence and incompetence. Be competent and deliver differentiated results- you will always be in the reckoning- male or female.
2) Think of your Career as a Jungle gym rather than a ladder:
Do not think vertical only when it comes to your career and sweat to win the next Step on a ladder. Be open to move parallel, laterally and expand the bandwidth of your experience and knowledge. Swing to the opportunities as they come to you.
3) Live a life of Passion and Purpose:
People see passion and purpose in other people. Display it and spread it through your leadership.
4) Do not underestimate the value of Mentors :
Mentors introduce you to new ideas, new people and provide great advise. Most women who have succeeded in the complexities of the Corporate World will tell you of great people who mentored them to their success.
5) Your destiny is in your Hands:
But of course you will have family responsibilities- responsibilities of having children raising them and all the rest that comes with being wife, mother and daughter. Do not see yourself as burdened or set benchmarks by emulating other women who gave up “If it is to be- it is up to me” should be your motto. Persisting with resilience and remaining focused to your Goals and aspirations will give you the energy to get past a bad day!
6) Live a ‘360 Degree Life’:
Women are known to be good multi-taskers .Continue your focus on being house proud, raising a happy family, being there for your female friends, enjoying your music, playing an instrument. Watching theatre- whatever feeds the soul. The great thing about being a woman is that you have so many avenues for happiness that unlike men your professional success is not the only thing that defines you! Go on, be a woman, be happy, and be successful.