When It Comes To Women CEOs, Our Narrative Needs To Change

Where do women in leadership disappear? Priya Pugaokar, Public Relations Manager at RP tech India shares valuable tips to get them back.

Women have proven time and time again that they can excel at anything. However, because of the way our society operates and the different life stages women go through, mainly, marriage, childbirth, etc., many times they need to step away from their aspirations and career goals only to realize that whatever career stage they might have been at before their sabbatical, once they are back, after taking care of the ‘essentials’, there a wide gap that sometimes becomes impossible to bridge.

I am sure by now many of us would have guessed why, despite the increasing participation of women in the boardroom discussions, when it comes to women directors or CEOs, the story is so different? Where do women in leadership roles disappear? What can Corporates do to get them back?

Priya Pugaokar – Public Relations Manager at RP tech India tells us what can be done to fill this gap.

Public Relations is the territory of women. It is probably the only profession where women have created their dominance and influence. Despite this, the participation of women in leadership roles is not encouraging in India. If we look at the top 25 PR consultancies, less than 10 PR firms have women in Director/CEO roles. Although women’s participation in board room discussions is increasing, when it comes to heading the organization only a few can make the breakthrough. Hence, there is a need for collective efforts to encourage women to take up bigger challenges. This is not possible without the organizational support backed by inclusive policies.

Here is how the communication industry can fill this gap and create future women leaders

Leadership Training

Leadership training programs are the best way to create future women leaders. Forums such as WICCI – Public Relations & Digital Marketing Council, WILL Forum India, Her Career Foundation, and Corporate Diva offer leadership training to women professionals to excel in their careers. PR firms should integrate such programs in their employee training initiatives and offer support through sponsorships and financial assistance.

On Job Training

The best part of the PR profession is on-the-job training. It is probably the only profession wherein young PR aspirants get a lot of industry exposure and experience to work with elite clients. PR firms should focus on building leadership skills among women through such on-job training. This training should also focus on developing interpersonal and public speaking skills. Women often hesitate to make the first move to start conversations and hence, lack potential opportunities. Leadership training can help them overcome their self-limiting beliefs.

Scope for Second Inning

Women go through different stages in their life. Most of the women take a sabbatical from their career after marriage, childbirth. Starting a second inning after a gap of 3-4 years is not easy for them. Many companies do have programs and policies to integrate women into the workforce after a career break. Forums such as Her Career Foundation provide training and support to women to wish to start their second inning. PR firms should partner with such organizations to help women professionals to match their skills with industry trends/market demand.

Let’s accept that this world is a better place when women are around, and we need them everywhere, so why not at our workplaces? Let’s not forget our women when it comes to leadership key roles. The tips shared in this article make it a very possible feat to achieve. Organizations just need to take that first step forward and then it is a smooth road to success ahead!

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Image Source: DragonImages, Canva Pro 

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