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Women in Leadership Forum India 2011: Day One – A Powerhouse of Energy

Naseba’s 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India 2011 recently concluded in Mumbai. Held on October 13 and 14, 2011 at the JW Marriott, the two day conclave was carved with an objective to inspire the women business leaders of tomorrow. It saw an inspiring gathering of women leaders from across the country.

Shilpa Sachdev reports for Naaree.com on the sessions that took place on Day 1 of the Women in Leadership Forum India 2011.

  • My Career: A Cornerstone Of My Identity

A woman defines life. From her traditional role as a mother and a homemaker to now leading the corporate boardroom, the journey of woman has indeed come a long way.

Themed ‘My Career: A cornerstone of my identity’, the event saw healthy debate and discussion along with a motivating exchange of the success stories of leading women in the country.

Most importantly, it provided an opportunity and a platform for the women leaders to interact and network. Some of the most prominent women in industry were invited to speak at the conference. Each session was encouraging in its own way, adding value to every minute spent.

In the opening address, Sunita R Cherian, VP – Human Resources, Wipro EcoEnergy, shared some valuable nuggets stating that it is important to invest in a career and worthwhile to nurture it. One of the crucial points she emphasised is that women need to make a choice.

In context of her own experience, she shared how she chose to study engineering and take a job with a private sector. Coming from an IT background, she spoke on how women are pushing boundaries even in technical fields, and that it is no more an option between family or work, but it is now about integrating the two in a favourable manner. One must learn to weave a choice around the situation.

“It is a balance, so don’t try to be a superwoman. Invest in that maid/cook/driver that will give you quality time to spend with your family. Though career can be a very rewarding experience, other roles are equally critical, especially never make your family a second priority,” she advised.

At the end of her talk, Sunita shared some wonderful tried and tested home recipes to craft a meaningful career. It starts by choosing the right organisation in line with your values, choosing the right spouse so invest time to know him and his family as you need that support to be successful.

Look for sponsors in your organisation, invest in yourself; read more or take up a hobby, set milestones, stay healthy and groom yourself; develop a view point, she advises. In her words, you are the CEO of your career.

  • Lead by Example

Next in line was an interactive panel discussion throwing light on the key stepping stones for women to become an inspiring leader. The first viewpoint ‘Lead by Example’ was shared by Marsha Gabriel, CEO, The Helping Hand Network, who said that extraordinary things happen by liberating the leader within.

In order to know who has the power, one must identify the function. She elaborated that leadership can be autocratic or transformational. “In an autocratic set up, there is organisation but no organism no flow of life no corporeal structure so the danger is talent flees. Transformational leaders innovate and impact change,” she noted.

  • Mentorship

Presenting her viewpoint on ‘Mentorship’, Kanika Dewan, Group President, Bramco, said that it is a life strategy. Quoting a survey, she shared that 93% of the men get a raise from their mentors as against only 56% of women and hence there are very few women on top, the reason being women don’t blend with other women.

Cross-gender mentorship can prove helpful, she noted, suggesting a 5-point acronym “STRIVE” which stands for Singularity, Tradition, Research, Idealism, Vivacity and Enjoying the process.

  • Emotional Fitness In Women

In the third viewpoint, motivational speaker, Abha Maryada Banerjee, highlighted the need to build ‘Emotional Fitness’ among women. “We have to accept and understand that the wiring is different in women and that they tend to think from an emotional centre and not often a logical centre. However, this is an advantage as emotions are needed in business to build powerful relationships,” she stated.

The panel discussion also saw men presenting their perspective. Sanjay Modi, MD – India/Middle East/Southeast Asia, Monster.com, said that there is a definite business need to have more women’s participation. Since the majority of the consumer market is made up of women, it only makes sense to let the women decide for women.

Lucius Lobo, VP and Global Head – Security Services, Tech Mahindra Ltd, reiterated the commitment of his company to have more women employees on board stating that it is no more gender, but merit, that drives the decision.

The key challenge the panel highlighted was the lack of enough educated women and how each one of us carries the responsibility to be a role model in ourselves to bring the change. It is also important for the woman to be assertive, vocal and clear and learn to express herself, especially in a workplace.

Speaking on the issue of reservation, the panelists in unison maintained that better policies are required to integrate more women into the mainstream and give them a fuller canvas than just a one third representation, which only makes sense in the national context.

As moderator Uma Nambiar, CEO, Global Hospitals and Health City, observed that it involves imparting them a right to live and right to free education at an earlier stage in life.

  • Breaking the Social Barrier

The next session ‘Breaking the Social Barrier’ looked at the extraordinary journey of a multifaceted versatile woman who became a celebrated leader in a male-dominated society. Ranjana Kumar, retired Vigilance Commissioner of the Central Vigilance Commission, Government of India, left everyone spellbound with her magnetic persona and inspiring narrative of her illustrious banking career.

Ranjana KumarShe transformed three loss making units into profitable ventures and has worked with the best banking institutions in the country. She began with the importance of being a professional at work and importantly of knowing the work you do.

“Do not bring the problems of your workplace home,” she advised. “Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. Seize the opportunity when it comes. As you go up the corporate ladder, you have to teach and mentor others. Become ‘dependable’ for your organisation – that will be an asset.”

“Stay energetic and flexible. Your own conviction is important. Do not hesitate to take suggestions from your subordinates. When in doubt, delay the decision. When you put people in their strength areas, you don’t need to supervise them. Take manageable risks.”

“The graph of life has its ups and dips; don’t be mentally sick. Maintain a distance from people who make your welfare their worry. You don’t know your own potential.  Become bold and assertive and not aggressive. Be sure of yourself; be firm but polite.”

“Don’t curb your emotions. Learn to delegate work. Put systems in place. When people take decisions there are bound to be mistakes. Don’t have knee jerk reactions or your people will stop making decisions. A peaceful domestic life is the trump card – invest in it,” she continued to thunderous applause.

  • Womenomics

Ranjana’s talk was followed by another panel discussion this time on Womenomics focusing on how women will drive the future of the 21st century and what more needs to be done to leverage the value of women in the workplace.

The question is can women swing between the soft and the tough? Akila Krishnakumar, COO and Country Head, SunGard, presented her viewpoint on higher growth trends. Women are the most underutilised resource. She observed that 52% women drop out after 30 years of age.

“Imagine 50% of men dropping out; that would be a national calamity. We don’t want to be a part of any diversity quota. We need to have mixed teams that will bring complementary skills and talents fostering better decisions. We are not fighting for rights but for earning representation, that is the challenge at organisational level. We need to speak where needed and take the credit,” she recommended.

  • What Women Want

Each woman who wants to make it big must have a ‘dream’ says Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri, MD and President, NRB Bearings Ltd, in context of her viewpoint on “What Women Want”. “Women don’t tend to think big. They must aspire to be in key positions. We should recruit women in non-traditional spots. Apart from competency, choose women who have the spunk and character. Nurture them.”

“Ask the right questions but done ask for directions from people who don’t want to help. Surround yourself with cheery people. Use your sense of humour to get the point across. Have a plan to create the life balance you want,” she advised.

  • Retaining Female Talent In The Organisation

Aditi Chandra, National Head – Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services, gave some solutions on the viewpoint of “Retaining women talent in the organisation”, stating, “We need to have something on lines of a ‘brown bag lunch’ – a networking session where women can sit and talk. We need to understand that women have a different skill gap vis-à-vis a man at the same position. The organisation should have mentors and leadership programs to sensitise the men to women issues.”

Hrashbeen adds, “One may also have a ‘menu card’ system in a flexible domain to allow women to choose their incentives. One must brag about their achievements; people will look upto you. Don’t be invisible.”

The panel discussion was moderated by Sujitha Karnad, Head – Human Resources & Quality, IT Services, Tech Mahindra Ltd, and followed by an interactive role play session for the delegates. The day concluded with WIL Achievements Awards Ceremony conducted in the evening felicitating women achievers in various fields.

  • WIL Achievements Awards Winners

Leading Woman In Business (International) – Kanika Dewan, President, Bramco WLL

Leading Woman In Business (India) – Rekha and Renu Babu, Joint Managing Directors, BCG Health Park Pvt Ltd

Leading Woman in Finance – Ritu Arora, Director – Investment and Procurements, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company Ltd

Leading Woman in Media – Kavita Lakhani, President, Linopinion Public Relations – Lowe Lintas India

Leading Woman in Technology – Valerie R Wagoner, Founder and CEO, Zipdial

Leading Woman in Healthcare – Kanchan Naikawadi, Director, Indus Health Plus

Leading Woman in HR – Lekha Parameswaran, Head – Executive Search Division, High Places International

Women Initiative Award – Godfrey Phillips Bravery Women’s Empowerment Initiative

Special Category: Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award – Shahnaz Hussain

© Naaree.com is a media partner for the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum India

Women in Leadership (WIL) Series Topics:

The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum India is a cutting-edge platform for businesswomen from all backgrounds, industry sectors and countries around the world. Amongst the delegates in attendance will be top Indian and global businesswomen, industry visionaries, leading politicians, knowledge thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

Photo source YouthKiAwaaz

Leading Indian Business Women Confirm Participation At The Women In Leadership Forum In Mumbai This October 2011

Mumbai, July 25th 2011 – Leading business information group, naseba, has announced dates for the Indian edition of their global Women in Leadership (WIL) Series. It is returning to the country’s financial capital on October 13th – 14th 2011, and is being held at the JW Marriott in Mumbai.

WIL is a cutting-edge platform for businesswomen from all backgrounds, industry sectors and countries around the world. Amongst the delegates in attendance will be top Indian and global businesswomen, industry visionaries, leading politicians, knowledge thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

Women's conference

According to US corporate law firm Dickstein Shapiro: “Companies that increase the number of women in leadership roles have a competitive advantage. Compared with the median companies in their industries, organisations with a higher number of women executives performed better with respect to profits as a percentage of revenue, by a range of 18 to 69 percent.”

In line with the theme for this year’s conference: “My career – a cornerstone of my identity” – renowned personalities have been confirmed as speakers for the two days. These include: Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India; Sangita Singh, Senior Vice President, Wipro Technologies; Vibha Pinglé, President and Founder, Ubuntu at Work; Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson, Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies, and Marsha Gabriel, CSI Advisor and CEO, The Helping Hand Network /CSI Congress, South Africa.

Over the past few decades, women’s roles and their development in India have experienced tremendous change. They are venturing way beyond the traditional responsibilities of wife and mother, as a career is now an integral part of a woman’s identity.

The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India provides a suitable networking platform for businesswomen from across India and abroad, where they can discuss and celebrate their important role in today’s competitive society,” said Sophie Le Ray, CEO of naseba.

Official partners confirming their participation so far are Monster India, Radio City, Femina, Naree.com and Business Wire India.

“We are very excited about this partnership,” enthused Priya Florence Shah, Editor of Naaree.com and a successful internet publisher. “I completely support this event and believe it is high time India’s women achievers had a platform of their own. We enthusiastically invite all businesswomen in India to be part of this.”

The forum culminates with the prestigious WIL Achievement Awards in partnership with Monster India. The ceremony recognises the achievements of prominent businesswomen and gender diverse organisations.

Media Contacts:

Mitha Ittycheriah, Marketing Manager

Email: mithai@naseba.com; Tel: 080 3022 2017

Event Details:

Venue: JW Marriott, Mumbai, India

Date: October 13th – 14th

Log on to www.wilforumindia.com to register

About NASEBA

naseba produces, promotes and hosts business summits, professional training courses and business exhibitions targeting executive level attendees across multiple industries. Each event is focused on re-education, networking and creating a deal-flow platform for all participating organisations. Whether it is raising capital, expanding to a new market, vendor sales contracts or sourcing a strategic partner, naseba facilitates and supports clients’ business development.

Our team of experts conducts extensive research in conjunction with recognised thought leaders to ensure that all events are relevant, timely and at the forefront of market and industry trends.

naseba collaborates with leading media, industry and local authorities, such as International Data Corporation (IDC), International Business Consultancy Group (IBCG), Saudi Trading and Resources Co. Ltd. (STAR Group Holdings), HIL International Lawyers & Advisers (HIL), International Herald Tribune, CNBC Arabia, Zawya, Council of Saudi Chambers, Asharqia Chamber, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Ministry of Health – UAE, Ministry of Economy – UAE, Ministry of Environment and Water – UAE, Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning – Qatar, Privatization and Investment Board (PIB) – Libya, Principality of Monaco, Singapore Tourism Board, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, Department of Civil Aviation – Malaysia and many others.

Since its inception in France in 2002, naseba has organised over 400 events and played host to 58,000 executive delegates globally. Operating from four strategically located offices, naseba has on-the-ground presence in Monaco, Cairo, Riyadh, Dubai, Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur.

For more information on naseba, please visit www.naseba.com

Naaree.com Chosen As Official Media Partner For The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India 2011

PUNE, July 18, 2011: Naaree.com, the top online magazine for women in India with a focus on career and business issues, has been chosen as an official media partner for the 2nd Annual Women In Leadership Forum to be held in Mumbai from October 13-14, 2011.

The Women In Leadership event is the brainchild of NASEBA, which produces, promotes and hosts business summits, professional training courses and business exhibitions the world over. WIL has been successfully groomed into a cutting-edge platform for businesswomen from all backgrounds, industry sectors and locations around the world.

Naaree logo“The purpose of this event is to provide a suitable meeting-ground and networking platform for businesswomen from across India and abroad to discuss and celebrate their important role in today’s competitive society,” says Mitha Ittycheriah, Marketing Manager at NASEBA.

The 2nd Annual Women In Leadership Forum will provide yet another opportunity for the stalwarts and rising stars of India’s businesswomen cadre to exchange information, create new business connections and make the most of the vast field of opportunity before them today.

The event will culminate with the prestigious Women in Leadership Achievement Awards, which recognise the achievements of prominent businesswomen and gender diverse organizations.

Among the confirmed speakers for the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India 2011 are:

• Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager & Country Head – HSBC India
• Sangita Singh, Senior Vice President – Wipro Technologies, Healthcare, Life sciences and Services
• Marsha Gabriel, CSI Advisor and CEO – The Helping Hand Network /CSI Congress – South Africa
• Vibha Pinglé, President and Founder – Ubuntu at Work (Worldwide)
• Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson, Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies

“We are very excited about this partnership,” states Priya Florence Shah, editor of Naaree.com and a successful Internet publisher since 2001. “I completely support this event and believe it is high time India’s women achievers have a platform of their own. We enthusiastically invite all businesswomen in India to be part of this event.”

EVENT DETAILS:
Venue: JW Marriott, Mumbai, India
Date: October 13th – 14th
Log on to www.wilforumindia.com to register

About NASEBA:
NASEBA produces, promotes and hosts business summits, professional training courses and business exhibitions targeting executive level attendees across multiple vertical industries. Each event is focused on re-education, networking and creating a ‘deal-flow’ platform for all participating organisations. NASEBA works in partnership with leading media, industry and local authorities such as Since its inception in France in 2002, naseba has organised over 350 events and played host to 52,000 executive delegates globally.

About NAAREE.COM
NAAREE.COM is an online magazine for career and business women in India. It aims to help the new Indian woman get in touch with her own needs, and achieve balance and harmony in all areas of her life. NAAREE.COM offers resources and information for Indian women to empower themselves, connect with other women, experience their feminine power and nurture themselves, in body, mind and spirit. It empowers the Indian woman to be proud of who she is and become a force for change in the world.