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Women forums in IT industry – hype or real?


I have had very interesting conversations with many on the need to start a Women’s Forum  in  IT corporates –  It ranged from “This is a long felt need”  to   “why only Women’s initiative – why not Men’s initiative? call it gender equality!!!….”

Over the years in IT industry, I hardly saw any situation where women can operate differently because they are women. When we assess someone’s capabilities to fit into IT industry, we look for standard traits –  Zero-defect project deliveries, vast domain knowledge, excellent communication and team management skills, client-facing capabilities ……..  all these are gender-inclusive expectations in our industry.

Research has also proven that women have a higher EQ (Emotional Quotient), which in today’s corporate world is rated higher than IQ – this actually gives women an edge over men in problem solving.  The recent trend analysis also concludes that corporates which have women as part of senior management have done much better than those who do not.

Ideally, with the above two facts, the women workforce in IT industry should be at a minimum of 50%.  In reality, statistics show that women workforce ranges between 25% to 30% and less than 15% of senior management in most global IT companies.

The reason for lesser percentage of women is mostly attributed to women’s extended role in family and childcare – this is true globally. Surveys have concluded that in households where men and women work, women still do twice as much housework and thrice as much childcare.

How do we enable women workforce to sustain their career aspirations while they manage their housework and childcare responsibilities   –   this is the major trigger for many IT corporates to start  corporate programs supporting women –  Ideally, from my perspective, these forums/programs need to

  • enable women workforce with additional skills required to multitask
  • leverage women’s potential for furthering organization goals
  • retain women talent
  • establish the IT corporate as “employer of choice” by women workforce

So, what can women do to with the support from these forums??

  • KNOW YOURSELF – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” – James Allen.   With understanding themselves, comes the wisdom – with wisdom comes the personal power.
  • DEVELOP SKILLS – Ensure they develop skills which continue to give them the financial independence.  This is very critical – with financial independence comes a lot of responsibility and with responsibility, they grow as an individual
  • BE AWARE AND EMBRACE CHANGE –   Continuously challenge their limits – every archiver (Gender inclusive!) has done this!

We need a whole lot of committed change agents  who can make this change……and be part of the change!!   Till then, the debate on the need for  women’s forum will continue…and probably the cheeky lot will continue to check about the need for men’s forum!!

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International Women’s Day 2013


It is 100th anniversary of international women’s day !!   I still feel the same about this…what i felt years back….that wish still seems to be a secret wish!!….especially when you are in the realms of corporate world where you continue to work through the daily chores of everyone’s psycho maps and get things done and still love those few nice moments (a small note, a text message, that little fluttered morning wish from a security staff, the little smile from a junior staff in the elevator, the big laugh in the cafeteria over ginger tea) –  life for any gender is by and large influenced by that first circle of folks who we constantly meet or interact with and most of the time it is just that handful…

The factors which seem to be different for a women arises majorly due to couple of reasons

  1. people/society  just see her as a women physically than as a fellow human being!
  2. mother nature still holds to the fact that only women can bear children!

Every other factor tends to fade in the background if these two are handled well!  Just being constantly aware …. Constantly aware of  Self , Environment , individual rights and one’s own values helps!

The understanding that there is really no right and wrong when it comes to  gender diversity views is another step for us!   –   being financially dependent on her husband did not make any difference to my grandmom’s freedom of thought hundred years ago!  She never knew the existence of women’s liberation  –   she was born and also married into families which were traditionally  patriarchal  – still she was the decision maker for the family at large  –  men folks wanted to listen to her – she managed huge weddings –  she was there for everyone!  There was no gender bias coming in!!

While the modern world brought the humanity lot of advantages, it also brought in its own challenges  –  while it is nice to have those focussed groups to support and encourage gender neutral practices in various walks of our daily life, the fact still remains that the individual (be it whatever gender) mostly decide their own destiny!  As a man  thinketh!!   (a good debate topic for those feminist forums to find why James Allen did not write “As a woman thinketh!”)

Ofocurse  –  wishes to all those great and lovely women around the world  –  world is what it is today becoz of the different roles you all play  –  daughter, sister, mother, friend, boss, subordinate, etc…etc…  you make a difference in the lives of every one around you!!  Take care of yourself!  Be aware! Be blessed!

 

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho


Alchemist

Honestly, this is the second time i am reading the book. I read it five to six years back and just remember that it was a DIFFERENT book. I remember that i did not completely get deeply into the book, but read it and felt it had something which i was not able to relate.

Again, when i picked up this book this time, it really made me read some pages again and again – the depth of the concept was amazing. I am not telling that my grey matter has become much heavier in the last 6 years :). I think i have become more open to see others views – more patient to see the world as it stands and that makes me understand this book much better than what i did the first time. I somehow also get a feeling that in another five years i may get to understand these books much differently than what i do now.

Today, this book evokes in me a unexplainable peace, a confidence on self, a confidence on life -reinforcement that things will go as we want it to go (sounds like James Allen‘s “As a man thinketh“). It reinforces that every small thing / person in this world is part of a bigger scheme. As individuals, we need to listen to our heart and when we honestly make a try to reach towards our destiny, all the things fall in place and make us reach our destiny.

The book can be a looked at as a guide in management training, self-development, and what not?

It reiterates the importance of Love in everyone’s life – loving the world is more important for oneself . Betterment in Love  is a great concept. “When we love, we always strive to become better than what we are. When we strive to become better than what we are, everything around us becomes better, too”

The book is a short story – this is how i looked at it 6 years back. The book is still narrating a story, after all. But the pearls of wisdom in the story are for the reader to pick and cherish.

It goes with my belief when Coelho talks about the “Beginner’s luck” and Principle of Favourability. He says “When people are young, they know what their destinies are. People are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of.” He also says “Every search begins with the beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victors being severely tested”.

Many similar thoughts when it came to the analysis of fear..

  • There is only one thing which makes a dreamimpossible to achieve – the fear of failure.
  • The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
  • Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the language of the world
  • People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.

He reiterates the fact that we are all part of a bigger scheme of things – “All things are the manifestation of one thing only. Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected and we are able to know everything because it’s all written there”

The importance of living in present (FISH is a good book to read on this) is covered well ……..

If you concentrate always on the present, you will be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a great festival because life is the moment we are living right now.

The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present what comes later will also be better. When we strive to become better than what we are, everything around us becomes better too. When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

I am leaving this review open as I strongly believe that I have more to learn in this short book with the years to come.

Reading – made a joy!   God bless! 🙂

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