Upskilling Women Leaders for an Inclusive Future Tim… Mumbai -138996

Upskilling Women Leaders for an Inclusive Future TimesTSW / Mumbai

Post# A138996 · Mumbai, Maharashtra


Recent data indicates that India has fared better than most of its Asian counterparts in terms of gender diversity in corporate boardrooms. While this is an achievement, it is noteworthy that today women occupy merely 5-10% of the executive and non-executive chairs in corporate boardrooms. This is a global phenomenon that is not limited to India. The numbers in leadership and executive positions are still highly tilted towards men. This holds true across countries and sectors. Since the absence of strong female leadership positions is discouraging for other female employees, it leads to the origin of a vicious cycle that ensures the persistence of skewed gender ratios in corporate leadership. Research suggests that these skewed gender ratios are, in fact, detrimental to a country’s economy, having an adverse impact on its GDP. While this should not be the sole motivation behind taking the initiative to promote women’s leadership, it is definitely a metric that can quantify the economic losses incurred by a lack of action towards being gender inclusive. The Need for Women Leaders Understanding the importance of women holding leadership positions begs the need to answer the question: How do women leaders benefit organisations, thereby benefiting economic growth? Statistical evidence across various business verticals demonstrates that women in positions of power can improve an organisation’s sales returns, workplace initiatives, quality of management and mentoring, financial outcomes, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. This is generally attributed to certain characteristic traits considered to be better displayed by women, such as empathy, emotional intelligence, effective communication skills, ability to don multiple hats, creativity, and compassion. Beyond these personality traits, women can also efficiently negotiate the several, often clashing, demands that arise in a corporate setting. Even though there are many benefits organisations and economies enjoy with a higher number of women in leadership positions, several factors prevent women from climbing the corporate ladder. In conjecture with deep-rooted patriarchal structures, these factors include persistent gender stereotypes, a negative perception of ambition and strength in women, and skill gaps due to lack of opportunities. For organisations to enjoy the benefits arising from women occupying leadership positions, companies need to extensively put in efforts to create a conducive and nurturing environment for women. The first step can be upskilling aspiring women leaders through executive education programmes. IIM Calcutta’s Women Leaders Programme In today’s world, upskilling is a fast-becoming norm. Executive education programmes from top-tier B-Schools are gaining prominence among working professionals in India. Among India’s top management institutes, IIM Calcutta’s women executive program stands out for its offerings and its focus on building the next gen of women leaders in India. Transition into Leadership: A Programme for Women Executives (TLPWE) is a one-year programme offered by IIM Calcutta which is aimed at supporting women executives to hone, focus, and channelize their leadership qualities, and emerge as highly successful leaders in their organisations. IIM Calcutta TLPWE covers all the fundamental aspects of leadership such as strategy and planning, leadership, finance, marketing, operations, data analytics, digital management, effective communication, and interpersonal skills. Additionally, the women’s leadership certificate programme is tailored to suit the requirements of women leaders and lays special focus on addressing the challenges faced by women in the workplace through upskilling them effectively. IIM Calcutta’s women executives programme follows an interactive and immersive pedagogical approach which emphasises on how to apply theoretical concepts and knowledge to solve real-world problems. The Importance of Executive Education In today’s world, it has become necessary for leaders to be rigorously upskill themselves in order to enable their companies to thrive in an ever-evolving business environment. The same applies to women leaders who can realise their full potential and occupy the topmost positions within their organisations by appropriately upskilling through executive education programmes like IIM Calcutta’s TLPWE. By pursuing such programmes, women can further sharpen their skills and be up to date with core competencies required to establish themselves as strong leaders and facilitate organisational transformation. In a world where organisations have opened their eyes to the immense value of having women leaders, the opportunities available for women to rise to top-tier leadership positions are plenty. However, converting these opportunities into realities requires affirmative actions on the part of all stakeholders to ensure that women are provided with an environment that is conducive to growth. Executive education is the first step in the direction towards allowing women to upskill and unlock endless opportunities for career advancement. To know more: »

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