Present leadership is being redefined by women: Kanwaljeet Kaur Soni
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 and Communications 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.
Kanwaljeet Kaur Soni dons many hats – she is Founder and Director of leading educational company Kapp Edge Solutions, Founder of fraud prevention boutique firm Krish Consulting, a chartered accountant and certified fraud examiner by profession. She has also worked with various leading MNCs and banks. In a bid to use her skills more appropriately and serve the community better, Soni left the corporate hierarchies in 2012 and founded Kapp Edge Solutions. She is among very few women in India who have chosen fraud investigation and cyber security as a profession and broken stereotypes. Since 2012, she has been supporting law enforcement offices, corporates, banks and working executives with fraud prevention and cyber security solutions.
In conversation with Adgully, Kanwaljeet Kaur Soni speaks about the changing dynamics of corporate life, digital dependency in the post-pandemic world, importance of gender sensitisation, how to maintain work-life balance, and more.
How do you think the role and scope of women leaders has widened in the current market ecosystem?
Present leadership is being redefined by women. Today, more women are making history and applying a positive change in business, economics, health, sports, entertainment, philanthropy, government, and foreign policy.In my opinion, Women Leaders Contribute to Companies' Sustainable Choices. With changing dynamics of corporate world, the focus has been shifted towards sustainable development, which is fundamental for long-term success and competitiveness. In this perspective, female leadership plays a key role.
Over time, women have demonstrated the ability to successfully manage the challenges imposed by social dynamics and environmental change. This has really widened the scope of women leaders. I also believe that now women have successfully entered in almost all fields which were previously unheard for female. Be it heading billion-dollar conglomerate, in India or outside, to making a mark in defence, we see women shining everywhere.
What hasbeen your major learning from the pandemic period?
The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shocker for all. It has impacted each one of us in personal as well as professional context. The major learning I have noticed in this period is our “Digital Dependency”. In the last two years, almost everything got centralised towards technology – be it buying medicines, having online doctor appointment, shopping needs, buying grocery – we are getting more and more dependent on the digital world. Though technology has made our lives easier, however I call it a “Hidden Monster”. With growing use of technology, cyber frauds have also multiplied in the last two years. Cyber crimes have seen a spike of over 600% in the past two years.
What is your mantra for maintaining a successful work life balance in the new normal? According to you, what makes women the best in crisis management?
My mantra for maintaining a successful work life balance is to focus on myself. As a wife, sister, daughter and mother, most of the time, we forget to care for ourselves, both physical as well as mental. While a working woman has a lot on her plate in terms of managing household as well as corporate responsibilities, it is still very important to invest in yourself. The pandemic has given me an excellent opportunity to spend time with my one-year old son, to fulfil my work commitments virtually and also to spend ample time with my son and family.
Virtual is a new normal, I recommend to all women to use the technology wherever possible, it may take away a lot of pressure from you – from commuting long distances to leaving your family behind.
When it comes to crisis management, women are naturally gifted. We believe in relational skills, which involves the ability to anticipate and manage other people’s emotions. This makes women best in crisis management – at home and at work.
What are the five most effective leadership lessons that you have learned?
Over the last two decades, there have been many learnings, but one of the biggest life lessons that that I’ve come across is to always do what you love, find your passion and work on it every day. I also learnt that DO NOT let anyone tell you what you are capable of or what you can do. You know your strengths and weaknesses best, overcome your weaknesses and use your strengths to the fullest. I have seen multiple failures and hardships, however, I never lost confidence in my capabilities.
My 5 most effective leadership lessons could be:
- Always believe in yourself - your only limitation is your own thoughts
- Be confident - don’t let the world define , who you are or who you could be
- Balance - invest yourself in your work but don’t forget to nourish your family.
- Assign the responsibility - don’t take pride in doing all things on your own
- Don’t indulge in victimisation - break all shields and shine brighter
Gender sensitivity and inclusion in the new normal – how can organisations effectively encourage and groom women leaders in challenging times?
Gender sensitisation is important because representation is important. For a healthy performance-oriented culture, organisations need a right mix of talent, which is not bound by gender. A workplace which truly believes in encouraging talent, will promote inclusion and mutual respect irrespective of gender. In order to promote inclusions, organisations should invest on having appropriate trainings and workshops, the policies of the companies should be women friendly and should take care of the flexibility which they may require, also companies should have right infrastructure and safe environment where women can work freely and can flourish.