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We saw more women entrepreneurs coming up during pandemic: Neha Pandey

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. 

In conversation with Adgully, Neha Pandey, Business Head, AdLift, speaks about  pandemic giving opportunities for both genders, few things that sets women apart from others, lessons she learned as a women leader, Gender - Sensitivity and more. 

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

Pandemic gave altogether more opportunities for both genders to grow equally. There are lots of common factors that make leaders in both genders i.e. understanding of technology, focus and determination to do big and different, taking risks. What sets women apart is that additional factor of care and empathy. They are more empathetic, much more communicative and have a lot to offer than we think. Handling home and work 24/7 by being at home gave them more confidence on what they can achieve and bought out the best of themselves.  A lot of women become comfortable to technology sitting at home giving them comfort to do business and explore their talents. The Pandemic somewhere bought balance in their lives where work was being handled by being there for the family and giving equal attention to both. Due to pandemic, lots of people have realised what women go through when they handle home and work together. This has resulted in more support and empathy by their male counterparts. These women know that they can beat the uncertainty with their determination and dedication. With more people getting to see how successful women leaders can be, we are looking for a world full of opportunities.

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?

The rapid transition to digital made my job more exciting as there were lots of partners with questions on how digital can really carve a path for them to still stay relevant to their TG. Of course, there were economic uncertainty but the services that we offer was a must have for the brands to grow and stay afloat in the times of uncertainty. We did not just stay afloat but we did really well with a 100% customer satisfaction. Work from home, I will admit, was very difficult initially. I am a social animal, meeting people is what I love, working with the team closely, chatting up with my peers, partying is what I did and not doing that anymore was very difficult. Eventually you create your own zone at home, balance the day out, share the chores and that is what made my job very easy. A support system is what you need to have a successful work life balance which somewhere everyone has learnt and experienced. Post pandemic I still believe in hybrid work culture where you can get best of both the worlds. 

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?

What sets women apart are few things which they have more i.e. empathy, care, flexibility and good listening skills which comes automatically to them. Sometimes you need to make decisions keeping all these in consideration which makes them more successful in handling crisis like situations. They are more expressive and communicative which was most needed thing during Covid- 19 crisis. Women Adapt easily and quickly to situations. They are better multitskers which may be a problem in some places but when it comes to crisis like situation, this is a must have quality in you. Reacting quicker to change is one of the best factors that women have inbuilt in themselves. 

That is why you saw more women entrepreneurs coming up during pandemic. Countries like Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan and Denmark who have women as leaders gained utmost attention for how quick they were in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic which led to lower death rates %. 

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

  1. Be true to yourself.
  2. Listening is the best tool that you can have and nurture
  3. Always play offensive and not defensive
  4. Do what you fear the most. It teaches you a lot of lessons in your life journey.
  5. You need not be some superwoman. You can fail and stand up back quickly. You can have weaknesses. But that does not make you less of a leader. Learn to grow your strengths and fight your weaknesses

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

When Covid hit, it was no more about the gender. It was more about who could respond and do better. Post Covid Gender sensitivity has been taken more into consideration. We as an organization need to build that from early joining years on how good they can really be. Being more emphatic to the day-to-day situations that women face to manage both of their worlds. Parity in salary is a must  for every working level and should be purely on talent than gender. The organizations can have training programs in nurturing those traits that women excel in and help them to become the futuristic leaders. At AdLift we take this very seriously and have amazing women in the leadership roles under whom the team has grown big and strong. 

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