Women in a crisis situation are naturally solution-oriented: Sukhleen Aneja

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, Sukhleen Aneja, CMO, Marketing Director, RB Hygiene, South Asia, highlights how women are adept and easily adapt to changes without any panic or pressure. According to Aneja, time management is a key to peace and productivity. 

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

The pandemic has impacted the entire world and changed the way workplaces and individuals function. In fact, both women and men in leadership positions have played an important role during the pandemic. It has been critical to create a conducive and healthy work environment, where empathy and building trust has never been more relevant. Every individual has to extend their support and help one another to make a cohesive ecosystem. But more than anything else, this time has been especially tough for parents having to manage both kids and work. 

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?

Human adaptability has never been tested as much as it has been in this time, where brands and organisations are reinventing how we work, how we buy, how we live. The pandemic created a never before inflection point for e-commerce adoption and digitally influenced buying behaviour.

The year 2020 has re-iterated the importance of being agile and adapt based on consumer preferences. We have started experimenting with tools like Augmented Reality and automation to amplify brand experiences and improve consumer interaction. As brands and marketers, there is a definite need to be on all platforms that our consumers are on. 

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?

It has been such a refreshing change to have spent so much time at home. The lockdown has brought about a much-needed work-life balance. While I have not met my team face-to-face, we have had umpteen one-on-one gupshup sessions. Chai Pe Charcha was a format introduced recently, which has been very well received. I have also had a chance to chat with my team’s family during virtual calls. As an organisation, we have ensured that every employee has been well taken care of. The personal connect has surely helped.

At home, the extra moments are special. COVID-19 has made us realise the value of our loved ones like never before. Time management is a key to peace and productivity. 

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?

Women are natural multi-taskers! We can manage work and home seamlessly. Women in a crisis situation are naturally solution-oriented and quick to turn things around. They are adept and easily adapt without any panic or pressure. 

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

  • Be kind to yourself and others
  • Build internal resilience
  • Create a strong circle of trust and an eco-system to tide you over the rough times
  • Invest in passions beyond work
  • Most importantly – Choose your battles

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