Hybrid working has broadened the scope for women way more than ever: Shruti Mishra

We, at Adgully, have always saluted and honoured women managers and leaders across diverse fields. W-SUITE is a special initiative from Adgully that has been turning the spotlight on some of the most remarkable women achievers in M&E, Advertising & Marketing, PR & Communication industry. In the refurbished series, we seek to find out how women leaders have been managing their teams and work as well as how they have been navigating through the toughest and most challenging times brought about by the global pandemic.

From Anchor and Producer with TV Today to Senior Vice President of Flags Communications, Shruti Mishra’s professional journey is marked with persistence, hard work, and a string of difficult and successful decisions.

In conversation with Adgully, Shruti Mishra, Senior Vice President, Flags Communications, speaks about maintaining work-life balance, women’s strength in multi-tasking, lessons she learned as a woman leader during the pandemic times and more.

How do you think the role and scope of women leaders have widened in the post-pandemic world?

During the pandemic, the entire world got to witness that women are the best managers. When men were struggling to manage their work from home, women were managing daily chores, work, kids, parents, home, and more. Their managerial skills and multitasking surprised the world and made it believe that there are no better managers than Women! This definitely has paved the way for a lot of leadership opportunities and hybrid working has broadened the scope way more than ever.

 The rapid transition to digital, an uncertain economic landscape, charting unknown waters, working from home – how have you been navigating during the COVID-19 times? How are you maintaining work-life balance in the new normal?

I believe women have always been trying to maintain a work-life balance even before in the pre-pandemic era. Our society has defined a lot of responsibilities for women, which she can never get away from! Managing house, kids and parents have been always a minimum expectation set. With an understanding of the office, spouse and family, things become easier to handle. The problem arises when a “work from home” of a lady is considered as “work for home”.

Multiple studies have shown how women leaders performed better during the COVID-19 crisis. According to you, what makes women the best in crisis management?

Women are genetically made to handle crises situations from day one. Working women not just in India but across the globe are multitaskers and I guess no one does time management better than them.

What are the five most effective lessons that you have learned as a woman leader?

  1. Take your work family very seriously as you spend more time with them than your actual family.
  2. Always lead from the front and take everyone along.
  3. Trust people and don’t let bad experiences with few come in the way.
  4. Never ever make an “I am a woman” excuse.
  5. Don’t try to become a man to prove your capabilities, being a woman gives you a lot of extra capabilities already.

Gender sensitivity and inclusion in the new normal – how can organisations effectively encourage and groom women leaders in challenging times?

Pandemic or no pandemic, organisations can always take small steps to become gender-sensitive. If a woman feels “being taken care of” by her employers, her performance can improve manifold. Becoming a little gender-sensitive doesn’t cost anything, but the kind of benefits you can reap can definitely be overwhelming.

What are your views and observations on content consumption by the viewers during these times?

People had nothing to do and nowhere to go, so online content was consumed extensively and like how! People became overnight sensations by just cooking your favourite dishes! Influencer incomes doubled and tripled over this period. No one had anything to do, so they watched what others were doing online. One of the biggest positive sides of the digital world was community creation! People came out to help others in times of dire needs. From helping with the basic supplies to taking care of someone’s family, feeding the strays and arranging the medical essentials...we witnessed all of this through digital outreach and that too by complete strangers! The world became one small community where anyone could reach out to anyone for help, including the Governments!

How are Influencers playing a part in engagement with the audience?

Influencer marketing is the “IN” thing and we see influencers emerging every day. The ones who create refreshing content and give unbiased/ non-paid opinions are the ones who will stay in the game in the longer run. Today, the audience/ followers are smart enough and they don’t engage much in content that is promotional and sponsored. Yet there are influencers who garner millions of likes on their posts because of content innovation and authenticity.

What are your vision and mission for 2022?

My vision for 2022 is to get completely out of the pandemic blues and start living life absolutely normally and the mission is to at least double the client base and do 100% more business than the pre-pandemic era.


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