Excellence is Gender-less.

The social media today is replete with stories about Malavika Hegde, the resilient woman who breathed life back into CCD.

Sometimes I wish the couple had partnered through the 2019 CCD crisis.

How many more women with how much more capabilities remain hidden behind their high performing spouses? How many times are the gender roles blindly followed without opening up to stronger and more resourceful possibilities?

Gentlemen, when you next say “Let it be, I will handle it myself” … do reflect if she can bring in an angle you have not thought through. May be you are knee deep in the situation and she has an overview.

Ladies, when you next say “Let it be, I do not have time to learn/understand this” … do reflect if you need to move out of your comfort zone. When it comes to numbers and finances… do reflect on what it is that you are running away from. Life changes from moment to moment. Your personal finance is completely your own business.

And if you are in business, learn the business side of what you do. What works in the market, and to what percentage ? When something failed, by how much did it fail ? What is the margin ? The numbers side of everything.

From a basic fresher interview to the leadership glass ceiling, this one gender difference glares at us … men dig out the numbers beneath the surface scenarios. Women don’t.

Women take the prize for interpersonal skill set. Women in leadership bring better communication and empathy to the team. I have seen this when I was in the corporate trenches, and I have seen it from my trainer’s lens. This is also a fact born out by strong global research.

Numbers and stories, both are learn-able skill sets. And the presence of one does not forgive the lack of the other.

One thought before we end this story. What is it that finally drives women to be efficient and strong, if not ruthless, leaders? What makes us break out of all the diffidence?

What brings out our own version of the CCD story ?

The answer from giants like HBR and Forbes ? Women are relentless advocates for others. When we focus on the people we lead, we are born leaders.

Let us open up to all the possibilities, not just the ones our culture and tradition has thrust open us.

Let us say Yes to new ways of learning, living and leading.

Let us say Yes to life beyond basic biology.

P.S. A few statistics, the numbers that hold up my story :


Did you know that only 4.9%. of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs are women?

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/un-women-2020-gender-equality/ :

18% – The proportion of chief executive officers who are women, according to a survey of enterprises by the World Bank. Among Fortune 500 corporations, only 7.4%, or 37 out of 500 chief executives, were women (compared to one out of 500 in 1998).

20 – The number of heads of state or government who are women. This is a “slight improvement over the 12 countries with female heads of state in 1995,” the report says. Women’s representation among cabinet ministers has increased almost four-fold over the last 25 years. Although in 2020, gender parity (around 50%) among cabinet ministers has been reached or surpassed in only 14 countries.

36% – The share of elected seats in local government held by women. In most cases, high levels of women’s representation have been reached by legislated quotas. While women’s representation at the local level was higher than in national parliaments (25%), it was not yet close to parity.

47% – As of 2020, 47% of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to 74% of men. Globally, this results in a gender gap of 27 percentage points. This is similar to the gap observed in 1995, despite a slight decline in participation for both women and men over the past 25 years.

A 2020 analysis by Mercer of over 1,100 organizations across the world found a leaky pipeline for women in leadership:

  • Executives: 23%
  • Senior managers: 29%
  • Managers: 37%
  • Professionals: 42%
  • Support staff: 47%

2 thoughts

  1. So well reflected post about the reality we all are a part of. I am yet to hear a man ask for an advice on how to combine marriage and a career.


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