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Sensitivity, vulnerability & authenticity are part of women leaders’ DNA: Bhavna Singh

We, at Adgully, have always saluted and honoured women managers and leaders across diverse fields. Last year, we launched our unique and distinct program, called WOMEN DISRUPTORS, which drew a lot of attention and was highly appreciated by the industry. 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 will 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. 

In conversation with Adgully, Bhavna Singh, Associate Director- Communications, MSD India, speaks about the inherent qualities of women that have helped women leaders do a better job in handling crises, especially during the pandemic times, than their male counterparts. 

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

In December 2020, Harvard Business Review published an interesting research on how women are better leaders during a crisis. The study drew attention to the phenomenon of a ‘glass cliff’. Unlike the glass ceiling (that we are so used to hearing), the glass cliff represents the broad idea of female leaders being called upon to handle crisis, as they do a better job than their male counterparts. This has extended the scope of women leadership even in a post- COVID-19 world, because the world at large is seeking leaders who display sensitivity, vulnerability and authenticity. These are not new to women leaders, it is part of our DNA. 

The rapid transition to digital, an uncertain economic landscape, charting unknown waters, working from home with no modes of the usual contacts. How have you been navigating during the COVID-19 times? What were the challenges that you faced and how did you tackle them?

Like any other multi-tasking working professional, Work from Home brought with it a few teething issues. Managing the home, managing people at home, managing work from home was a B-school refresher course. I see it as a silver lining: I explored many facets of myself, never knew I could manage the kitchen (what a revelation!). 

How challenging has it been for you to maintain a balance between managing the team & office work on the one hand and family responsibilities on the other as boundaries blurred while working from home? What is your mantra to maintain that balance?

Prioritising tasks and responsibilities and above that, accepting that I don’t need to do everything and be on top of everything, therefore sharing responsibilities has helped me in maintaining the balance and my sanity. 

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

Being sensitive to my strengths and building on five skill sets have made me who I am today. These five skills come to us naturally. Again, it is a DNA thing, they being:

  • Emotional self-awareness
  • Authentic
  • Good Listener
  • Great Communicator
  • Confident

‘Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.’

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