“Most women are effective leaders, just give them the space to express themselves”

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.

Dharmishtha Goenka is the Founder & CEO of Praakritik. An eye for detail and passion for getting the job done is the culture that she has set for her team. Kindness goes a long way and she imbibes this in her company culture as she takes the team forward towards their common goal. Growing up in a business family, she gained invaluable experience on human management in business, which is the core of any business. She draws her inspiration from her grandfather’s teachings and his faith in Praakritik.

In conversation with Adgully, Dharmishtha Goenka, Founder & CEO, Praakritik, speaks about the many inbuilt qualities in women that helped them handle every crisis successfully, quickly adapting to a changed work environment and more.

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

The pandemic made us all pause. Take that ‘unthought-able’ pause. While that happened, work from home became the new norm, which gave the opportunity for everyone in their different walks of life to come together within the family. People observed more closely the person you are at work. The real role and scope of women were now staring at their faces. Trust was built in to let the decision be ‘hers’. Scope and role of women leaders pre- and post-pandemic were wide, they were just appreciated better in the latter.

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?

Today’s woman is ahead on adapting to changes. She has personally always welcomed change – be it digital, the unknown tomorrow, working from home, managing the health of all – there was quick adaptation. In fact, we even managed to hand hold everyone else in the family and work came naturally to most women. Quick decision making ability and strong perseverance have taken women a long way, that’s what held ground in the difficult times of the COVID-19 crisis. Work-life balance is easier post pandemic as now there are shared responsibilities. People understand and respect your work hours. The balance is only easier now.

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?

Most women throughout their lives have naturally faced many crisis situations, personally and professionally. Women are best at crisis management as this almost comes naturally to them, without self-doubt and strong instincts about which way to move forward. Crisis management is backed with quick decision-making, which women excel at! Also, the strong belief of doing the very best, in whichever situation, helps any woman overcome crisis without batting an eye.

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

  • Don’t second guess ever, follow your instinct
  • Empathy and a smile go a long way
  • Relationships and people (employees, stakeholders, suppliers, etc.) drive an organisation
  • Perseverance and consistent belief in what you are doing
  • Clarity of thought and value of few words

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

Give them the responsibility. Leave it to them. They will do and perform the best when you portray trust and confidence. Most women are effective leaders, just give them the space to express themselves. As an organisation, display gender inclusion, give everyone a fair share. Groom them for their strengths. Work alongside them to help them get through their weaknesses.


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