Research has shown that women can be great leaders during crises: Pooja Sodhi

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 the 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.

The 4th edition of Women Disruptors is all set to return soon. This initiative from Adgully endeavours to highlight the trailbrazing women leaders in India. Entries are now open. Click here to send in your nominations.

In conversation with Adgully, Pooja Sodhi, CEO and Co- Founder at Combonation, speaks about organisation prioritizing gender diversity, importance of empathy in post-pandemic world, work life balance and mental stability and more. 

How do you think the role and scope of women leaders has widened in the current market ecosystem?

A diverse work culture within an organization is a powerful catalyst for growth and progress, and the inclusion of women is an essential aspect of this. Women bring unique perspectives, expertise, and determination to the table, and their contributions can have a profound impact on leadership and decision-making within an organization. Today, 44% of companies have at least three women in their C-suite, and globally, 30% of new board appointees are women. In India, this number has risen to 16.3%. These numbers are encouraging and demonstrate the positive changes taking place in the workplace. Organizations that prioritize diversity and inclusion send a powerful message that they value and support the contributions of all individuals, and in particular, the role of women in driving growth and success.

What has been your major learning from the pandemic period?

The ongoing pandemic has served as a reminder of the importance of empathy and appreciation for the people and things in our lives. It has also provided an opportunity for self-reflection and the realization of personal potential. Many individuals, particularly women, have taken the opportunity to explore entrepreneurial ventures and to develop their skills and talents. The pandemic has highlighted the need to acknowledge and appreciate our common humanity, regardless of our backgrounds or social status.

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?

With the world heading towards more innovations and changing work environments, it is verydifficult to maintain a proper work balance, but there is no other way around it. There is a need to maintain a balance between our professional and personal endeavors for our own mental stability, or else everything can turn into quite a mess. The first key to such a situation would be to keep track of how you spend and manage your time, personally and professionally. Proper time management ensures a less-cluttered mind, making work targets easier to attain and maintain. Despite the progress that has been made in terms of providing opportunities for women, it can still be challenging to achieve a balance between work and personal life. 

However, by making conscious choices and prioritizing effectively, it is possible to create a successful balance. It may require putting in extra effort to prove our capabilities, but it is important to remember that our abilities and talents are valuable and deserve recognition. Empowering ourselves by taking control of our priorities is an essential step towards achieving success on our own terms. As for the second question, it is undebatable that women have qualified as the ultimate multi-taskers. Since time immemorial, women have shown their ability to handle and tackle difficult situations, both at home and outside. Research has shown that women can be great leaders during crises and can come up with more favorable outcomes.

What are the five most effective leadership lessons that you have learned?

  1. Self-awareness is a must when it comes to good leadership. It can be very helpful if you are fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses, in other words we can say that only when you know yourself, you can lead others towards the accomplishment of a goal.
  2. Good leadership is where you try to communicate and eradicate all the possible barriers between you and your subordinates and make a continuous effort to get feedback from your network.
  3. Leaders are very good listeners; they empathize with their employees and try hard to meet the expectations of their employees.
  4. As a leader you should be able to withstand the challenges you face. You must always stick to your beliefs and principles, no matter how hard the situation is.
  5. As a leader you should be always ready to face criticism with a positive attitude, because with leadership comes criticism and if there is no criticism then you are not leading properly.

Gender sensitivity and inclusion in the new normal – how can organizations effective encourage and groom women leaders in these challenging times?

The contributions and benefits that women bring to organizations should be recognized and valued. Their unique talents and perspectives should be actively incorporated into decision making and strategy development to promote motivation and engagement. Additionally, a diverse and inclusive workplace, that includes a range of talents not limited by gender, is essential for a productive and healthy work environment. 



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