Women are successfully managing challenges brought on by societal dynamics: Poulomi Roy

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, Poulomi Roy, CMO, RSH Global, speaks about work-life balance, sustainability drawing the attention of everyone, crisis management, gender sensitivity, and more.

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

The political, economic, and social landscape of today is marked by frequent changes, posing various challenges for businesses and organizations. However, this has also encouraged businesses to reconsider conventional business management models. Over time women have successfully demonstrated their ability to manage such challenges brought on by societal dynamics and environmental change. In this context, companies need to redefine their policies and strategies to support sustainable development for long-term success. In light of this viewpoint, I believe that female leaders are playing a key role. 

What has been your major learning from the pandemic period?

Following the pandemic, the subject of ‘sustainability’ has drawn more and more attention and is now at the centre of significant political, academic, and managerial debates. The Brundtland Report from the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  Based on this, the three main components of sustainable development are economic growth, environmental protection, and social equality. Therefore, my main takeaway from the pandemic has re-emphasised my focus on social equality and environmental growth, which will be at the forefront of all marketing and business endeavours.

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?

The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. Pick your battles among the numerous tasks that you have to complete each day; while you won’t always be able to give them your 100% or full attention and some may not even require it. Hence, Prioritise and pick your battle.

Although I wouldn’t say in general that all women are the best crisis managers. However, I do believe that a woman’s ability to adapt to change gives her a competitive advantage.

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

READ - The first rule of effective leadership is to read, not just business books but anything you like. For a leader who wants to place empathy at the core of their leadership style, it’s critical to consider and comprehend any situation from another person’s perspective. The simplest way to one can observe this, is by reading about people, situations, and stories that keep the imagination active. 

SELF AWARENESS - Self-awareness is crucial and forms the base for effective leadership. 

IT’S A MARATHON - Developing into a good leader takes time and effort. It’s a marathon with multiple milestones and not a sprint race.  

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP - It is important to understand the difference between management and leadership. Leadership is an art and people are at the center of leadership. Management is a science, it’s about things where everything is stable. Knowing the difference will help clarify our day-to-day life and help us focus on creating leaders. 

PERSONALISATION - Last but not the least, each leader needs to have their own unique leadership blueprint. Leadership must be authentic to the leader and not merely a copy of expected behaviours.

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

To discuss gender sensitivity, we must first acknowledge that there are 72 additional genders besides male and female. We must first comprehend what gender equality means before we can figure out how to promote it at work. Simply put, gender equality in the workplace refers to providing women, transgender, men, and other people with different gender identities with equal opportunities and rights. They must be given reasonable duties and have access to all of the organisation’s resources. It translates to:

  • Everyone should have flexible work schedules, regardless of gender. Especially if the parent is currently providing care for an infant, then working mothers need to able to avail this 
  • No workplace discrimination. Everyone must feel confident performing their duties. While working with the team, diverse employees should feel safe and empowered
  • Equal opportunities and employee appreciation; closing the gender pay gap; access to comparable training and educational opportunities and strict company policies that forbid power abuse and sexual harassment

The following come to mind as clichés that should be changed right away:

Vacancy announcement - Equality starts right from the stage of recruiting process. Therefore, we must ensure that there is no discrimination on the job posting or career page. This can be achieved by eliminating all the gender-binary pronouns; writing job descriptions in a gender-neutral tone and maintaining gender balance in content. 

Verify the interview questions - Recruitment practices reveal a lot about the culture of the workplace. Therefore, it’s crucial to double-check all the interview questions to remove gender-sensitive questions. For instance, it is inappropriate to inquire about a female candidate’s plans for marriage or procreation. Such inquiries are inappropriate for the positions being considered and only portray apprehension towards working mothers.

Diversity and inclusion - These are more than just fancy terms to add to your employee handbook. When it comes to leadership and success, women are marginalised. Therefore, gender equality in the workplace is imperative for business success.  



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