Women are natural leaders and used to taking charge when situations escalate: Jyoti Dabas

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 be held in Mumbai on Monday, March 6, 2023. This initiative from Adgully endeavours to highlight the trailbrazing women leaders in India. Click here to register to attend.

In conversation with Adgully, Jyoti Dabas, Co-Founder of Fittr, speaks about her mantra for a successful work-life balance, effective leadership lessons that she has learnt, crisis management, women leadership in the contemporary market ecosystem, gender sensitivity, and more.

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?

In order to maintain a successful balance, one has to have clear priorities and excellent time management. I look after the operations of two companies and have the responsibility of running a home. Every hour of my day is planned so that I am not neglecting either - which is my personal choice, and other women can choose to focus more on one than the other. Of course, there are instances when there is pressure on one front for more time and energy, for which you need a supporting ecosystem both at work and at home. I believe in managing my mental health on a daily basis – so everyday my time commitment also includes meditation, workout, watch my nutrition, reading and taking time out to wind up my work day with gratitude.

Women are better in crisis because we have from a young age managed a lot of people’s expectations! More seriously though, women are natural leaders and used to taking charge when situations escalate. They take responsibility for things that they see are wrong around them and most go out of their way to correct a mistake. I have witnessed that women are also emotionally better tuned in to a situation and for those who are very good at it, they can really get the best out of people working with them.

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

Over the last few years as a women entrepreneur, here’s what I have learnt about effective leadership:

  • To be quiet and listen
  • To not pass judgment until I know the full picture
  • We always underestimating the impact of your praise and criticism by us as leaders
  • It is okay to not know the answer
  • Make people first decisions - whether employees or customers

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

A good leader can be a man or woman. Anyone who brings along fresh perspectives and diverse approaches should be prioritised irrespective of gender. However, women suffer in their career growth because of two major reasons – their most career advancing years is when she has to give birth to and rear children. Secondly, mobility constraints on women because of family or husband’s work. These two manifest in different ways and in both I think we have made some progress to make it more equitable for women, however, the challenge still remains.

What has been your major learning from the pandemic period?

COVID-19 did not spare any industry. The same holds true for the fitness sector as well. Initially, those fitness centers which struggled with upgradation to a virtual platform suffered huge losses. At this point, I realised the significance of upskilling and leveling up. I was someone who, from the very beginning, was fond of matching pace with ongoing trends. So, when the entire fitness sector was forced to go virtual, we brought about some changes in INFS and also FITTR. Both places allowed remote working and hiring. We introduced services and support that allowed people to look after their fitness and health even during the pandemic.

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

The contemporary market ecosystem has witnessed an upsurge of talented, result-driven, focused, and successful female entrepreneurs as well as senior leaders. Undeterred by societal obstacles and professional challenges, these women leaders keep pursuing their goals fearlessly. There are several driving factors that have contributed towards enhancing the role and scope of women leaders in the current market ecosystem, such as:

  • Inspiration from home: Multi-tasking women take inspiration from their homes and strategically implement the same at the workplace. Brands like Babychakra, Zivame and Fixderma are the biggest proof of women blurring the boundaries of personal and professional lives.
  • Hybrid work set-ups: The remote work culture has helped women leaders from around the globe run businesses while taking care of their family responsibilities.
  • Digital expansion: Digital expansion through websites, Instagram, and other platforms has helped women reduce the hassle of physical infrastructure and improve their reach.
  • Voice of Influence: The influencer culture has helped women run campaigns successfully and effectively convey their brand messages to a much wider audience.

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