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Organisations with better gender diversity are more innovative

Keyuri Singh is Vice President-HR at Blue Star Infotech, having over 25 years of multi-disciplinary experience in Consulting, Finance & Accounting and HR. In an email interview with People & Management, she shares her views on women leadership, gender diversity and how to inspire women to become leaders.

What are your views on women leadership?

Gender diversity at workplace is very important today. Organisations are working in this direction to ensure that a healthy gender balance is maintained. Women bring in certain qualities like innovation, discipline, ability to multi-task, thus adding value to an organisation. It is found that organisations with better gender diversity are more innovative.

Though the percentage of women at the top is abysmally low, it is time that we encourage our women workforce to grow in their role and aspire to reach the top. Effective leadership today need to have best workforce, irrespective of men or women. In fact men and women can complement each other and can build the most effective result driven team in an organisation.

Leadership traits of women like ability to build a strong network across the organisation, capability to understand and develop relationships, nurture talent and empower people, ability to manage multiple roles under pressure and uncertainty – all these qualities can make women the best leaders today.

Do you think that women leaders stand to inspire working women of today? And how?

Yes, defi nitely – the women leaders today are role models for young working women. Having women leaders as role models, helps boost confi dence among other women. Women usually face multiple challenges – responsibilities of running a home, motherhood, and lack of family support compels them at times either leave their job or not to opt for more demanding roles. Many women have given up promotions and new positions for the sake of family life. Today women leaders are inspiring others, showing them that it is possible to juggle high pressure work and at the same time maintain a peaceful family life. Also these women have helped to change the societal mind-set, which used to believe that women need to prioritise family over professional life.

How do you nurture women to become leaders in your company?

As an organisation, we believe in gender equality and are open to recruit men as well as women for any position. Also, we provide equal growth and development opportunity to all. We have fl exible work timings and option of work-from-home. This makes life easier, especially, for women employees and encourages many of them to continue with the job, even during maternity or early motherhood.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I think leaders use different leadership styles dependent on situation – so there is no particular leadership style that I use. It can at best be defi ned as a combination of Coaching & Participation.

My biggest joy is to see people develop both personally and professionally. I believe in mentoring and coaching people to help them grow in their career. I believe in empowering people and allowing them to take ownership for what they do. The best way to judge a person’s capability is to give him/her the required freedom he/she needs to operate in a role.

What are your key career highlights to date?

I have had many roles in my career – starting from Finance & Accounting (being a Chartered Accountant) to Consulting (Management /IT/HR) to line HR where I now head HR for an IT company. I have helped start up a company and help it grow rapidly by setting up the right structure and processes. In my consulting role, I have contributed towards business development and help the company win many new accounts.

In my HR role, my biggest achievement has been getting people across levels to realise the importance of metrics-based goals and timely quality performance management. Effective performance management is the single biggest contributor towards alignment between corporate goals and employee goals. Managing the transition from performance management being viewed only as a tool for getting increments to a way of improving organisational productivity has been a major achievement.

What would you like to achieve, as a leader, in coming five years?

In coming few years, I would like to create the right environment in my company where people feel empowered and energised to work at their best. The only way an organisation can succeed is to have motivated and engaged employees, who want to contribute their best towards the growth of the organisation.








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