Women have a high sense of self-worth and professional ambition to match. Yet most women are unable or unwilling to travel extensively, relocate, work long hours, network, dedicate time for professional development, and look at long term. Career does not rank first in their priority, but family. In a discussion with Ms. Kankana Barua, Chief People Officer at Tally, reveals some interesting facts.
How are women at managerial posts view at your organisation?
Tally is an equal opportunity organisation and there is no distinction between men and women. The company is built on strong principles and the underlying ethos are against bias of any kind, including gender. The chairperson of the company is a woman, which shows the extent of equality across the organisation.
How do you see your ‘role-sets’ evolving in the IT world?
As CPO of the company, the skill-sets in managing the workforce in IT industry have undergone a sea change… you need to be alert, up-to-date and most importantly sensitive to the needs of the millennials… there is a pertinent and persistent need to unlearn and upskill ourselves… age old note book theories or practices would not work…. the priorities of this generation have changed and therefore to retain and attract new talent, whose expectations from their very first jobs would be different. Hence we have to keep their expectations in mind, strategise and plan accordingly. It therefore imposes on us the ardent need to think ahead of them / be at par with them in aspects of technology and expectation.
How can a woman execute challenging tasks and bring the desired results in the corporate world?
Women holding critical positions in companies are doing so by virtue of their experience and competencies and capabilities. Experience and skills acquired over a period of time have equipped them to effectively manage and multitask various responsibilities. Executing demanding and challenging tasks are the core responsibilities of any leadership position.
Do you believe that a woman at a decision-making position can understand the channel issues more sensitively?
I feel that women at decision-making positions have an edge over their male counterparts. They are inherently more sensitive and emotionally balanced beyond the requirements of the corporate position, allowing more effective tackling of the issues.
What type of challenges did you face in the corporate business?
I started my journey in the corporate world 26 years ago. Transitioning through various roles in my personal and professional life, while staying committed to my career goal, has brought with it a fair share of challenges. At the leadership positions, one cannot use the ploy of being a women employee and claim privileges… you are treated at par with your male counterparts… there have been situations wherein you need to manage a deliverable along with an emergency at home which obviously becomes a challenging and overwhelming task…. the secret here is to learn the art of delegating and the ability to manage your team with a remote access which becomes possible only when you manage your team well… there were times I did face challenges in becoming a part of an immobilised and violent workforce which does make the task twice more difficult for being a women… we do need to take up risks and success is when such risks are handled well with appropriate strategy and planning.
As a woman how do you balance between your family, relationships and work?
Life is full of choices, but it is important to follow your heart and find the balance. My work and family have always been equally important to me. At times, when deadlines have to be met, work comes first; other times focus on family is more important.
What are your future plans?
I would like to help the women workforce to become more confident and take up leadership positions in their respective domains. Through my learning and experiences, I’d like to change the myths and perceptions around women taking up leadership positions and guide them to realise their true potential.