Fifty per cent of our working population will be millennials and Gen Zers by 2020 comprising of aspiring young girls and boys wanting to make to it to the corporate sector. How do we leverage the available talent—particularly the under-utilized talent of women across South Asia to make a more gender-neutral workforce? To attain an answer to this, and many more questions related to the declining women in the workforce, TalentNomics India held a conference on 15 February in New Delhi. TalentNomics India partnered TiE Delhi NCR to organise a conference on 15 February in New Delhi.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Leaders of today need to start learning from the people that they hire and unlearn the set rules as against thinking that we have to teach the new generation.
  • Young people need to recognise what they are good at and hold on to it and dig deeper into its understanding.
  • Make it cool for boys to cook and do housework as much as you teach girls to do it.
  • Men tend to overestimate themselves while women under-estimate. Women tend to over-judge themselves and men very rarely do.

The conference showcased discussions with industry specialists on issues ranging from how global disruption can cater to women’s entry and retention, organisational changes to be brought in to how home is where the change begins and many more. Debjani Ghosh set the tone right when she said, “As a leader today in the world of uncertainty, ego has no place. Leaders of today need to start learning from the people that they hire and unlearn the set rules as against thinking that we have to teach the new generation. What we need to learn today is how comfortable do you feel being uncomfortable? Because today that is what allows me to break through the clutter and make a difference.”

corporate gender-neutral
Audience at TalentNomics

CORPORATE DISRUPTION IN FUTURE

Since the corporate sector is ever-evolving and the future requires societies and organisations to disrupt and completely change the standard, how are the recruitment processes going to transform. Oona Stock, Chief Human Resources Officers of CDPQ—one of Canada’s leading global pension management funds—pointed, “We will need to have technical specialisations but we need to be open to the different way we can work. Young people need to recognise what they are good at and hold on to it and dig deeper into its understanding. The world of tomorrow needs newer outlooks. We need to have less rigidity and hierarchy more agility.”

Stock also delved into how today women are breaking the glass ceilings in different sectors and areas of work, but tomorrow there will be no glass ceilings because people will work in teams.

ALSO READ: Why Equality Policy Drives Swedish Corporate

ON PARENTING

Before stepping out of the house, women fight several biases and challenges within the house so progressive parenting is what we need to enforce in our society to truly empower young women and girls both in the urban and rural sector. This does not just end at liberating girls but also giving the right education to boys and teaching them to see through gender roles and smash them. To not let the patriarchy enter their minds.

In an interesting conversation on how to raise boys without gender biases, wife-husband duo, Sudha Sastri and  Srikant Sastri talked about how young boys need to be taught to see both men and women beyond what their gender allows them to do. Srikant recollected how he saw his mother driving an ambassador growing up while his father never did and that instilled in him that both men and women can do what they choose to do which was a great lesson in parenting for him at a very early stage.

corporate gender-neutral
Panel Discussion at Talent Nomics

Sudha, on the other hand, emphasised on changing the mindset when parenting and sensitising boys into accepting equality even in housework. “It transforms boys into accepting and supporting individuals. Make it cool for boys to cook and do housework as much as you teach girls to do it. Another thing is to communicate issues related to respect and dignity for women. We have consciously taught our boys on issues of sexual harassment and changing behaviour to instil the thought that it is crucial and not a topic to be pushed inside the carpet.”

Men tend to overestimate themselves while women under-estimate. Women tend to over-judge themselves and men very rarely do. So when you are mentoring, you need to overcorrect on this aspect.

WOMEN OF RURAL BELT

The conference delved on several aspects from corporate to parenting and it also recognised the potential of small enterprises and small-scale women entrepreneurs and women artisans’ groups. SEWA head Reema Nanavaty and one of its artisans from Gujarat, Sakhi Ben Ahir spoke about the large pool of talent in the rural belt of the country. Lakhs of women today have started earning by selling a variety of articles that they made with their own hands. They also launched a book written by women of TalentNomics on the struggles and journeys of such women from across the country called—‘Bold & Untold’.

HOW TO MENTOR

In a discussion around empowerment through mentoring, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of NASSCOM, Saurabh Srivastava pointed out the difference between a working man and a working woman. “Men tend to overestimate themselves while women under-estimate. Women tend to over-judge themselves and men very rarely do. So when you are mentoring, you need to overcorrect on this aspect,” he said.

More than networking and contact-sharing, such discussions are necessary to focus on how to move ahead with the emerging demographic of young educated women. These discussions make organisations introspect over how they too can enable their workplace to make it more gender-fair.

More Stories by Poorvi Gupta

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