“It’s the women who are asked if they have family priorities as...

“It’s the women who are asked if they have family priorities as it’s assumed that men don’t need to necessarily have any”

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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 Arati Naik, COO, DIGISOL Systems Ltd. reveals some interesting facts.

What are the challenges of being a woman top executive?
One of the most common challenges of being a top executive in a male dominated culture is the divide one feels on reaching that position since women are still a minority amongst the largely defined male peer groups at that level. It’s the women who are asked if they have family priorities as it’s assumed that men don’t need to necessarily have any. For a woman with a family of her own, her commitment to work is questioned when she cannot spend more time in team building as her male peers do. This often leads to management not giving a chance to handle a challenging project with a thought that her family matters might keep her from giving her work her 100%.

Your educational background
I completed my schooling in Mumbai from Arya Vidya Mandir and followed it up by joining the science stream. Post this, I completed my graduation in UK in computer networking technology followed by a masters degree in Business & Information systems from University of Bolton. I am also an Alumna of IIM Bangalore, have done an Executive general management program.

Your Family Background
My father, Mr. K R Naik started Smartlink Network Systems in the year 1993 and is the executive chairman of the company presently while my mother is a home maker. Their guidance and motivation has always helped me achieve my goals and plan for my future. My elder sister and her husband are both doctors and I have two wonderful nephews who are just the stress busters we all need.

Does a Glass ceiling exist?
Glass ceiling is a reality and not a myth. But a lot also depends on the company and its culture. Many women today have reached the upper echelons of an organization due to their sheer hard work, perseverance and zest to reach the top. They have been recognized just like any man would be for their contributions to the company’s growth and success. I feel that if a woman is persistent and patient and keeps her emotional quotient steady with the right attitude and confidence, there is no way she can be stopped from reaching the desired level

Advice to working women:
‘Never fear to dream.’ In our society, women, and especially working women, end up compromising to a great extent. I’m not saying this is a negative thing because when personal commitments arise, it becomes necessary to let go of certain things you dreamt of achieving. This doesn’t mean that you cannot achieve it at a later time. Life is too short to live with regrets and if you have to let go of something today, make sure you reach for it tomorrow. Your dreams are yours and yours only to achieve.

I love to cook. I have lived with people from all over the world when I was studying in the UK and have developed a passion for cooking world cuisines. I also love to read and write and watch good movies when time permits.

Future plans:
I hope to see my company at the top most pinnacle of success that I know it has the potential to reach and with a great team of my fellow employees and channel partners, I know it is a feat very much achievable in the future.

Your Fitness Mantra:
Eat healthy and keep smiling
Your De-stressing Mantra
Cook complicated dishes…yes this works for me!
Your favorite Holiday destination
Lisbon. I have family who live there and have always loved Portugal as a country…its beautiful and peaceful with the best seafood I have ever eaten.
Five things you cannot live without:
My iPhone, Kindle, Contact lenses, Internet connectivity & Coffee.