#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
Our inspiring woman this week is Arundhati Bhattacharya, SBI's first female chairperson
Our Inspiring Woman this week is Arundhati Bhattacharya who recently made the headlines for becoming the State Bank of India’s first female Chairperson. Currently CFO and Managing Director at SBI, she has been with SBI for over 35 years, in an illustrious career across multiple roles and subsidiaries.
Women heading banks is not a new trend in India, especially with well-known female CEOs in the private sector such Chanda Kochhar of ICICI and Shikha Sharma of Axis Bank. However, SBI is India’s largest bank and in the bank’s over 200 years of existence, this is the first time a woman will be leading it. That is certainly a first worth celebrating.
She was also previously the bank’s first female Managing Director, so this is a woman with a history of firsts! Her achievements at SBI have included the setting up of subsidiaries such as General Insurance and the Macquarie Infrastructure fund.
She has been upfront in talking about the challenges that women face in moving up the ladder. In one interview to the media, she says, “Often, people wonder if she can give the time required at work, given also her responsibilities at home. So a woman has to prove her worth over and over again each time she’s given a new responsibility, especially when she is at junior to mid-level position.”
Even as more women reach the top in the financial sector, we need more women – and men – being upfront about the challenges women face, and how they can navigate these, as well as get the institution to remove obstacles in their path up.
Arundhati Bhattacharya is an inspiration for proving again that women can do it, and here’s hoping that more women at the top will reach out to those of us younger and making the same journey.
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Can you believe this bloke compelled me to wear only saris - full time at home- till the eighth month of my pregnancy?! The excessive heat coupled with humidity made my life miserable.
Recently when I browsed an interesting post by a fellow author on this very forum I had a sense of déjà vu. She describes the absolutely unnecessary hullabaloo over ladies donning nighties and /or dupatta –less suits.
I wish to narrate how I was in dire straits so far wearing a ‘nightie’ was concerned.
I lived in my ultra orthodox sasural under constant surveillance of two moral guardians (read Taliban) in the shape of the husband’s mom and dad. The mom was unschooled and dim-witted while the dad was a medical practitioner. But he out-Heroded the Herod in orthodoxy.
My supervisor introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As a transwoman navigating the corporate world, I had encountered my fair share of discrimination and challenges. Transitioning without the support of my parents and having limited friendships in my personal life made the journey difficult and lonely. However, when I stepped into the office, something remarkable happened, I left behind the stress and negativity, embracing a space where I could truly be myself.
Joining the marketing team as a graphic designer, I was initially apprehensive about how my colleagues would react to my gender identity. But to my surprise, the atmosphere was welcoming and respectful from day one. My supervisor, Sarah, introduced me as a valuable member of the team, emphasizing my skills and contributions rather than focusing on my gender identity. This simple act set the tone for my experience in the workplace.
As I settled into my role, I discovered that my colleagues went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and included. They consistently used my correct name and pronouns, creating an environment where I could be authentically me. Being an introvert, making friends wasn’t always easy for me, but within this workplace, I found a supportive community that embraced me for who I truly am. The workplace became a haven where I could escape the stresses of my personal life and focus on my professional growth.
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