“ Women by nature have a few distinct advantages over men”

“ Women by nature have a few distinct advantages over men”

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fortinet_jessicaToday women are now being respected and identified as equal contributors to business decisions across all sectors. In corporate business, finding acceptability for an innovative idea is difficult for everyone, more so for a woman. In an interaction with Jessica D’cruz-, Senior Marketing Manager, SAARC, Fortinet reveals some interesting facts.

How women at managerial posts are viewed by your organisation?
Fortinet provides a fast-paced, result driven environment geared towards empowering innovation. Fortinet is a great work place where you can get things done, explore your own innovation, creativity and feel proud about the difference you are able to contribute every day. As a pioneer in innovative security technology solutions, the company encourages its employees to come up with innovative ideas and provides patent incentives. The Fortinet Innovator Awards Program provides employees an opportunity to get involved in the development of their own ideas and even get a share in the commercial success of a newly developed product.  Fortinet has women employees at every level coming from all over the world, with a broad range of professional and educational experiences. It is a shared passion for creating cutting edge technology and protecting those who rely on it that drives and motivates us women folk – pulling from our histories, local insights and imaginations – to innovate in this rapidly changing world of Network Security.  Fortinet has women heading operations in many key departments, be it System Engineering, Channel, Marketing, Corporate Communications or Heading sales operations of a country. Women are behind many success stories at Fortinet.

How do you see your ‘role sets’ evolving in the IT world?
Information technology has made a tremendous impact on not only in employment but also in shaping the career of women. In India, as per Nasscom, women account for over 30% of the workforce in the software industry. There are over 60-70 tech start-ups being run by women today. The proportion of women CEOs and MDs in Indian companies has risen to 21% in 2013 as per a study by global executive research firm EMA Partners. Furthermore, it is important to note that the Government of India now mandates companies to have at least one woman on their board. This is creating opportunities for women as well as facilitating balanced decision making at company levels.

How a woman can execute challenging tasks, and can bring desired business results in corporate world?
Women by nature have a few distinct advantages over men, when given the opportunity to be themselves, they can be natural leaders. They can also be much more strategic and focused while executing challenging tasks. While handling tough situations, they tend to stay  polite and don’t allow their egos to come in the way. The other advantage of being a woman is we are relationship (including business relationships) specialists and are masters at facilitating connection points between people and resources. Our attention to detail and the ability to nurture, collaborate and manage makes our kind some of the best project managers.

Do you think, a woman at decision-making position can understand the channel issues more sensitively?
Definitely a woman can contribute in enhancing partner relationship by understanding some of the key business issues. Channel enhancement requires dedicated partner engagement to increase each partner’s experience in the various partner programs of the company. Partners need tools and resources to support them in effectively selling the vendor’s story to customers and prospects. Women can bring in a creative approach to channel marketing that better equips partners to share the vendor’s story through their own voices. The deep commitment and passion which a woman brings along will be a critical asset to companies cultivating regional partners to build a sales pipeline with a more strategic focus.

Running a household is even more difficult than running a corporate business, being a woman. All your management principles come under the household umbrella. What type of challenges do you faces in corporate business?
A corporate job demands very disciplined time management between work and family. Even while working late hours and travelling, you need to ensure your family is not being compromised. All these skill sets of multi tasking has been learnt while managing a home. We carry the same skill sets to work. A successful career for a woman begins at home.

Being a woman, how did you balance between your family, relationships, children and work?
The various roles require equal dedication, commitment and discipline to ensure I don’t compromise one for the other. Being a mother adds to my responsibility to bring out the best in my children by not only being very supportive in all walks of their lives but also by spending quality time with them. Family and social relationships complete a complex chain and being successful in one role just rubs off onto the other.

What are your future plans?
Fortinet is dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality solutions in the market. We are leading a fundamental change in how organizations around the world protect themselves from the ever-growing number of sophisticated cyber threats.  The immediate focus will be on solidifying existing relationships with partners and customers, planning and executing marketing campaigns, increasing lead generation, maximizing return on investment and identifying new business prospects. I look forward to working with the Fortinet team to further strengthen the company’s leadership position in the industry and to grow its market share in India.