The X Factor in Corporate online social networking

Cooked a new dish at home or dining at a restaurant?

Meeting friends or having a get-together? 

 Travelling for work or pleasure? 

Received an appreciation or won an award?  

Feeling excited, happy, sad or depressed? 

Have spoken in a conference or published paper somewhere? 

These experiences (and many more) seem incomplete without posting on social media!! 

Today, many of us are living our lives on Facebook or other social networking platforms, albeit to varying degrees – some high, some low. Even if we don’t post, someone tags us in their posts. Social media has become a convenient way to express ourselves, stay connected with friends, be updated with latest information, get some entertainment. Given the popularity and all pervasiveness of social media across generations, it’s hard to believe that human beings had lived a fulfilling life without social media, just about a decade or so back.

Despite this immense success in personal sphere, online social networking has miserably failed in corporate world.  While the market is littered with online collaboration tools and several organizations have tried to implemented it, success has been limited. A survey done by Altimeter Group in 2014 indicate that less than half of the enterprise collaboration tools installed have employees using them regularly.

Why are the organizational social networking platforms not able to create a pull factor?

Employees are not averse to staying connected with colleagues; on the contrary, they use social media as means to stay connected with the current and ex-colleagues (including bosses at times).

Organizations can derive immense benefit out of online social networking: geographically dispersed employees can be brought together, information and knowledge can be shared easily, ideas can be replicated – possibilities are immense.

Despite this, online social networking has not taken off in organizations. Agreed, the tools are less intuitive, less user-friendly and not so fun to use. Surely, these are not key reasons. Several authors have written about lack of role-modelling by leaders as a reason; if leaders don’t adopt social media and integrate it in their day-to-day lives, employees will not adopt it either. Agreed, this is an important reason, however it’s not all. There are three other critical reasons:

Sense of control – on social media, we decide what to write, which picture to post, what to comment on, what to read, who to connect with, who to block, who to chat with, which group to join, which to exit etc. Sometimes, we are even a mini celebrity! It’s about us. We feel that we are in control – it’s content posted by people for people. No one is trying to moderate it. Compare this with social networking platforms in organisations: employees are channelized towards specific topics that organization want to focus on or groups are formed and employees added to it to collaborate, learn, share knowledge etc. This leaves the employee wondering – why should I? An employee feels shepherded into a direction which he may nor may not wish to take!

Freedom to express – We feel free to express our opinions in social media; there are no consequences, no one is judging us. This belief is undoubtedly misplaced: our posts can be used by our prospective customers or employers or even current employers to form opinions that might influence their actions. Many of us are aware of this, still there is a perception of security. However, this safety net is perceived to be missing in most organization social networking context. In organizations, we believe that we have to be careful about what we write, what we share, when we share: there is a sense of being constantly evaluated. In such a scenario, easiest thing to do is ‘not participate’

Purpose is self-driven – We join social media for our own reasons, there is no one forcing us to do so. And each of us have different reason to join and contribute – we decide what and to what extent. However, in organizations, the purpose is decided by someone else. Employees may or may not connect with the purpose. Worse still, they may not even clearly understand the purpose.  The question continuously lingers in their mind – “what’s in it for me? Why should I participate?”

Without incorporating these aspects into online social networking, only a miracle can make it work in organizations.  

 

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Notwithstanding lay-offs, organizations crave for employee loyalty – Time to evolve

imagesRarely does a week pass these days without news of a company shutting shop, or restructuring or planning to axe jobs; thus leading to hundreds or thousands of lay-offs. This ‘does not happen in India’ phenomena, even a couple of decades back, has become a new normal today. It is not just limited to start-ups and global companies. Even large Indian corporate houses and public sector organizations, who at one time used to take pride in life-time employment, have not remained immune to it.

Lay-offs are a painful process for everyone involved. I would like to believe that most organizations, if not all, would take this as a last resort. The business environment today is forcing organizations to make such difficult decisions. But, what intrigues me is organizations’ fetish with employee loyalty even today?

Consider any employee engagement survey run by organizations; employee loyalty is a key part of the assessment. A typical employee engagement model has four elements – pride, satisfaction, advocacy and loyalty. Following are a couple of sample questions on loyalty:

  • “I see myself working in this organization two years from now.” – An employee might wonder, “yes, I see myself working here two years from now. But, will my role exist two years hence? Will the organization exist two years hence”?
  • “I rarely ever think of moving out of this organization.” – An employee wonders, “are you kidding? My appointment letter says that we can mutually terminate the employment with 2 or 3 months’ notice. With all the lay-offs happening around, isn’t it a weird question to ask”.

This obsession for loyalty permeates into several spheres of an employee life – be it eligibility for promotion or critical roles, awards or recognitions, talent assessments, deferred compensation and many more – things that matter to an employee.

If an organization can’t guarantee employment (even to highly capable and suitable employees), is it fair for to expect the employees to stay loyal?

Is it time for organizations to move away from this traditional definition of employee loyalty – length of employment or intent to work with the organization?

What can an organization today commit to its employees and be confident to meet the promise? Enable them to stay employable. An organization can surely give its employees experience and exposure that will help them constantly develop themselves and in turn stay employable today, as well as in future.

Needless to say, employees have to be open to such exposure and development. In fact, it has the potential to become a symbiotic relationship leading to the new definition of loyalty. Employees go through the exposure and willingly take on challenging tasks; put in their best efforts every single day of their association with the organization, till the last day.  And when they have to leave, they leave as friends, without any hard feelings – with a promise to stay friends forever and brand ambassadors of the organization – rather than a bitter ex!

It’s time for organizations to move to the new definition of employee loyalty in changing times!  And adapt its people processes to this evolving definition.

Oh dear, how we miss the bygone days

Last week, on my way to office, I heard Arijit Singh’s song “Nashe si chad gayi oye” (I am intoxicated.…) I had heard this song before in parties; somehow it didn’t stick. That morning, I don’t know what happened, but the carefree energy and passion of the song  gripped me. It kept playing in my head through the day. I had to consciously restrain myself from humming the tune in office. Imagine a middle-aged professional, a self-declared conservative lady, humming “Nashe si chad gayi” in office!!  Would have been quite a shock to my colleagues and team members to see this side of me 🙂

On way back home that evening, I played it on Youtube in my phone, and saw the music video. I was fascinated by the graceful and carefree dance steps, the passion, energy and dreams. Even as I enjoyed watching it, a tinge of sadness hit me. Melancholy for bygone years – those carefree times as young adult with endless dreams for future – suddenly engulfed me.

My mind traversed back to college days and early years as a professional in Calcutta. Endless gossip with friends deep into the night, biking at high speed, train journeys with friends, laughing over stupid things, fighting over even more stupid things, loud music and dancing (much to the chagrin of professors), late night movies, vicariously enjoying romance, going to college library not to study but ogle at few handsome guys (why not be honest about it now, 2.5 decades is a long time!).

When the car stopped in front of my building, the driver’s voice broke my reverie. I walked into my flat with mixed emotions; happy for the good old times, angry for limited opportunities in those years (I had my first tequila shot in 30s, danced on a proper dance floor somewhere around same time). I craved for the impossible – go back to the old times and live it again. The desire was so strong! Like a stubborn child who wants the moon for his toy, and want it now!! I spent rest of the evening pining for the past.  Thankfully, the mood passed by next morning. I was back into reality of September 2017.

What’s behind this nostalgia? I am happy, I love what I am doing, have been blessed to have achieved most of my dreams, I have no regrets for past. But, there are moments (fortunately rare and few) when I wish the impossible, turn the clock and go back to childhood days, college days, first few years of career.

Why this yearning? Is it triggered by the irony that we stay young at heart, even as our bodies start showing signs of passing years? Is it a cruel joke played by God, keep the heart young and age the body? Am I the only one to feel like this? Or are there others like me, who are fast moving towards half a century mark in life; yet feel nostalgic for bygone days!

Interestingly, everything was not rosy in those days. I had some very difficult times in college. First few years in career were rather tough. I was working in an inappropriate role;  an introvert working in a role that needed high extroversion – in key account management. I wouldn’t achieve my sales targets, I hated to repair those machines. In those days, I wondered why I didn’t like going to office many days? Now I know why.

Still I ached for those days! Isn’t it strange?

Triggered by curiosity about nostalgia, I read up the topic. It threw some interesting facts. Am sharing them for benefit of friends who like me experience nostalgia sometimes.

As per Alan Hirsch, “nostalgia is a yearning for an idealised past – a longing for a sanitised impression of the past, what in psychoanalysis is referred to as a screen memory – not a true recreation of the past, but rather a combination of many different memories, all integrated together, and in the process all negative emotions are filtered out.”

We remember fleeting feelings, the emotions of joy, happiness and thrill. Our memory erases the pain, hurt and sadness. We remember what our biased mind has chosen to recall. Thus, nostalgia is not about a specific memory at all, it’s rather an emotional state. On similar lines, Sigmund Freud had said, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

This answers as to why those bygone days, despite all the challenges, seem rosy and beautiful.

Another piece of research indicate that it’s fairly common for people to be nostalgic.  (I had an inkling that I am not alone in this, but data and research always helps, isn’t it?). Nostalgia is like any other emotion. Its shared across ages, races and culture.

Is it okay to be nostalgic? Well, according to John Tierney of the The New York Times, living in the past or nostalgia was deemed a disorder in 17th century (thank God, we are living in 21st century). A Swiss physician attributed soldiers’ mental and physical ailments to their longing to return home.

Fortunately, later research has indicated that nostalgia helps in overcoming depression. It counteracts loneliness and anxiety. When people speak longingly about past, they also tend to become hopeful about future. As per Clay Routledge, nostalgia serves an existential function. The cherished experiences assure us that we are valued and have meaningful life.

I found all this quite reassuring! So, go ahead, it’s ok to feel nostalgic, at least once in a while

Mumbai Sojourn

Couple of things have triggered me to write this blog. In few weeks I would complete two years of living in Mumbai, away from my family. More importantly, I experienced the  real rainy day of Mumbai on 29 August (300 mm rain in few hours). It is almost akin to rites of passage, a test of whether you have adapted to the city. Not only have I adapted, I have a deep sense of gratitude for this city; Mumbai indeed has been kind to me!!

For several years, I have been traveling to Mumbai for work. But I never spent more than couple of days. Every time I visited, I went back with an unanswered question: how do people live here? So congested, dumps of garbage, slums, narrow roads, unimaginable commute times? Most flats look so dilapidated. To top it, Mumbaikars love living here, they can’t dream of living anywhere else. How? For what?

I shuddered at the thought of living here. But, deep down I had an intuition that I would live here someday. I hoped to delay it as long as possible.

I still remember the day I received a call from a search consultant to talk about this exciting role, it was 19 October 2014 (remember the date as it happens to be my birthday). I decided to give it a try and think of other issues if and when I get the offer. I did get the offer. The role was challenging and I loved the people I would get work with. I was torn between the desire to take up the role, my dislike for Mumbai and need to stay away from family. My son was in class X and I could not dream of disrupting his education. There was one huge silver lining though; my bestie from college days, another from school days lived in Mumbai. The possibility of meeting friends often was enticing – the pleasure of shopping with girls (after having shopped with husband for decades, my girl friends can imagine the pain), late night girlie gossip, watching movies etc. After much deliberation, I decided to give it a go!

The day came when I packed my bags and moved to Mumbai, it was 18 October 2015. (Why did it take me one year to land this role? Well, that’s a long answer, how about leaving it for another blog?) I left Hyderabad with loads of mixed emotions – excitement for future, anxiety of staying away from family and despair of leaving a city that I loved and called my home.

I landed in Mumbai late in the evening. As the taxi rolled on to Bandra Worli sea Link, huge hoarding of Abbott advertisement, live life free caught my sight. It showed an elderly lady happily riding a bicycle on a green meadow, her grandchild running behind her, to hold her just in case she falls. Her joy was so genuine and contagious. Her picture illustrated the joy that human beings derive out of freedom, indeed, we are all born free! Being a Sunday evening, there was hardly any traffic. As the car zoomed through the sea link; I was awestruck by beauty of the sea link, the beautifully lit buildings across the sea. It reminded me of NewYork, Hong Kong, and Bund in Shanghai. A little voice inside me called out “Bombay doesn’t seem bad”.

Alas, the pleasures and beauty of life are always so short lived!. We crossed over the sea and my car hit Worli. In no time, I was transferred from a fairy tale world into the reality of Mumbai. I checked into the company guesthouse in Worli. It was close to my office and was going to be my home for next 3 weeks. While it was comfortable and homely, it had one challenge. It was practically at the intersection of two main roads, bang opposite to a temple. Being Navratri time, a loudspeaker was blaring devotional songs. Combine this with traffic noise and Indian’s penchant for honking (we have a unique ability to express to all our emotions by honking). I found my worst fears coming true. I rummaged through my bags and took out my ear plugs (being sensitive to noise, I never travel anywhere without them) and tried to block away the noise. I blessed 3M for making good products.

Next morning I opened the window to look out. My room was overlooking another house barely 10-15 feet away. I could see the family engaged in their daily chores, and could also hear their conversation. Remember the famous song of Kishore Kumar, “mere samne wali khidki mein ek chand ka tukda rahta hai”, Sunil Dutt expressing his love to the Saira Banu in opposite house. All these years, I believed that it was a figment of director’s imagination, something like that can never happen. Well, Mumbai proved me wrong, it is possible. Unfortunately, there was no Sunil Dutt for me there (not that I needed one!) I quickly closed the window, it remained shut for rest of my stay.

While my induction at work was going smoothly, the bumpy ride of house hunt began. I met the broker and gave my requirements: close to road (as I was going to depend on public transport) but not on the road, no noise, not overlooking another flat, clean area. I can still remember the expression on his face, it said, “madam this is Mumbai, not a hill station”. As if this wasn’t enough, I added, no South facing flat (I believe in energy and Vastu). He asked, “anything else madam”, I could sense the sarcasm in his voice! Fortunately for both of us, I had no more conditions.

I searched and searched, I lost count of the number of flats I saw.  At long last, with the help of my husband (he flew in to help his indecisive Libran wife), I found the flat that suited all my needs, yes, each one of them. It was overlooking the Arabian Sea and a large patch of greenery. Couple of evenings later, I went to the flat to sign the lease documents. As I signed the papers, I was mesmerised by the beauty of the Sun setting into the sea. As the Sun disappeared in the sea, the clear sky was painted with innumerable colours that no man can ever paint. It was breathtakingly beautiful. That day, my belief in perseverance was strengthened.  If you pursue your goal relentlessly, without giving up, you will meet it, some day.

The last 22+ months in Mumbai have been well spent, both professionally and personally. I did all that I wanted to do. Have taken up challenging assignments, learnt new things, have spent wonderful time with my friends, did all that I wanted to do with my bestie – day-long shopping, clubbing, watching movies, dining out, doing some really fun stuff. Honestly said, more than half the credit of my wonderful stint in Mumbai goes to my bestie and her husband. Remaining half goes to my great boss, wonderful team and colleagues in the organization. Over these months I have come to like many things in Mumbai:

  1. Safety for women – in first few weeks, I was surprised to see young girls walking freely on roads, even very late in the night. Today, I take safety for granted. I wish other cities in India are as safe as Mumbai.
  2. Discipline – people are extremely disciplined. Unlike anywhere in India, they naturally fall into queues, and patiently wait – be it for a bus, taxi, restrooms in shopping malls.
  3. Adaptive and happy – people are generally happy. They would dance garba at the corner of the road and smile and laugh. They are happy with what little they have. Kolkata is called the city of joy, I believe Mumbai deserves this name.
  4. Spirit of camaraderie – Citizens stand for each other in times of need. I personally witnessed it during the rains on 29 August. Colleagues were freely opening up their homes for others, and standing for each other.
  5. Professionalism – rain or shine, people turn up for work and deliver what they are expected to. I have worked in places like Kolkata, where people look for a reason not to come to work. It’s heartening to see their professionalism.

This city has taught me the power of gratitude. Do I love Mumbai? I am afraid no! Not yet at least. Hyderabad still pulls the strings of my heart. But, do I like to stay here? I would say a resounding yes! May be it will turn to a love when my family moves in here next year! Who knows!

Till then, keep rocking Mumbai! You indeed have been very kind to me!!

A chance encounter

Last Friday when I headed for Mumbai airport, like all other Fridays over last two years, litte did I know that I am about to step into one of the most valuable hours of my life.  I had a heavy lunch, so instead of going to the food court, I headed to the Jet Airways gate, 40B to be precise. How can I forget the exact location?

I usually pick a quiet corner away from the gate. But, my phone was running out of charge. The charging points were closer to the gate; it was crowded with only couple of empty seats. I resigned to my fate and sat next to an elderly lady. I put my headphones and started listening to a beautiful song of Kishore…tera mujhse hai pehlee ka natal koi.. The lady next to me asked, “are you going to Hyderabad?” I looked at her, she was in a white saree with brown motiffs, very simply dressed. Her eyes behind the glasses showed deep intelligence. I paused the music, said “yes, going to Hyderabad” and was about to get back to music when something in me told to go ahead and speak to her. Its quite unlike me.. after all the meetings in office, I prefer some quiet time.

We started conversing and soon I got to know that she is Mrs. Ranjana Kumar, first lady to head a public sector bank. As the Chairperson of Indian Bank, she had a turned it around before moving on as chairperson of NABARD.  Today at 72,  she is on board of several companies.  The next one hour proved to be a great learning experience. Have captured few key ones here, especially for the benefit of my lady colleagues and friends.

  1. It’s all right to stay away from family and pursue your career, don’t indulge in self pity, everything works out well in the end – since I moved to Mumbai about 2 years back, I have lost count of the number of times I answered this question, “How do you manage to stay away from your family, don’t your feel guilty, especially when your son is in important class? How can you travel every weekend, don’t you get tired?” Mrs. Kumar shared her story on how she lived away from her family for 20 years… yes, 20 years. How she used to travel from Bangalore by bus on Friday night to Hyderabad and return back on Sunday night. Remember, this was decades back, so no Volvo buses and I am sure the roads were worse. She went on to explain how everything worked out extremely well for the family when she was based in New York. How it benefited her children. She proudly mentioned that both her children are doing well, and she is a proud grandmother of four grandchildren.
  2. Never show your work pressure at home, no frown should ever cross your face, most importantly ‘no ahankar’ (no arrogance) irrespective of how successful you are – so true, who cares how well you are doing if you are constantly throwing tantrum at home. Regarding arrogance, for the one hour that I spoke to her, it just didn’t seem like I was speaking to someone so successful. She was so very simple and her connect was so so strong.
  3. Don’t expect to be treated differently just because you are a woman – I asked if she ever faced discrimination at work, her answer was an emphatic no. And she went on to explain how she never ever expected to be treated any differently. How she spent late evenings at work, people would ask her to leave as she was a women. She shared a story when she had to deal with some very difficult people, who told her that she won’t be able to negotiate with them. And how she put them in their place with just one sentence, “I manage three mothers-in-law at home”. Her statements made me wonder, are today’s women professionals feeling more entitled, with all the focus on diversity, inclusivity, unconscious bias etc etc. Are we beating the drum more than required. Point worth pondering!
  4. There is nothing like a problem – it’s only a situation that you are finding difficult to handle and don’t have an easy solution. When you look at problem like any other situation, it becomes easier to handle. When your mind is full of positive thoughts, you get a solution to this different situation (read problem) as well.

I wanted the conversation to go on and on. For the first time, I hated the boarding announcement and the fact that the flight was on time.  We were the last to board, we walked together. I took her email id and expressed my desire to stay in touch with her. Hope I would meet her again and get some more insights.

Another learning, don’t always pick a quiet corner. Who knows who you might get to sit to next time and what learning you might get!!

My mother – I learned​ from you as well, not just father

Most of my childhood memories are monopolized by my father; I was very close to him. My mother’s silent love and care were dwarfed by my father’s strong presence, overt expression of love, storytelling (he was an awesome storyteller) and countless other things. As a child, I thought of my mother like a shadow, whose presence I always felt; but a presence that never sought attention; a love that I took for granted.

I realized her power, her strength, and her unfailing yet undemanding love much later. As I reflect back, over the years, she taught lessons without uttering a single word; she allowed her actions for me to learn. While I have always raved about my father ( I even opened this post with him), I have never publicly expressed my love and how much I value her presence in my life. More importantly, I have never acknowledged the role-model she has been for me!  What better day to do it than on the eve of Mother’s Day! 

Three key things that I have learned from her are:

1. Be objective and practical, especially in difficult circumstances – I caught the first glimpse of it when I decided to marry someone from another state and caste. My father was furious, he wouldn’t simply agree to the marriage. But, my mother was objective. Despite being orthodox, she went beyond the obvious man-made differences and decided to give more importance to my boy friend’s character and our love. She was a pillar of support me through the period.

I again witnessed this strength when my father was diagnosed with terminal stage of cancer. He was still in his 50’s and our world suddenly came upside down. The prognosis was not more than few months. I expected my mother to completely break down, leaving my father’s care and other responsibilities to me and my husband. To my surprise, she stayed calm, took practical decisions – small and big, asked for help, took care of her own health in order to take care of her husband’s health – she practically became a pillar of strength and support to all of us. She was grieving, we would catch her silently wiping off her tears (when she thought she is unobserved), but she did not allow her grief to make her impractical and unnecessarily emotional. Her being practical made a world of difference, to herself and all of us around her.

2. Be adaptable, without losing your essence – Here again, I can relate countless incidents. The one I believe stands out is her tolerance to non-vegetarian food. A few decades back, she would not partake a meal at someone’s house if they were non-vegetarians. She would eat only if she was absolutely sure that the meal was cooked in separate kitchen. Today, chicken is cooked in her kitchen – albeit in different utensils. She found her ways to adapt to the new reality, without losing her essence. She still does not even eat eggs. It might seem very simple to rest of the world, but my South Indian Brahmin friends would understand the difficulty and adaptation it demands!

3. Be happy and contended with what you have – this really stands out for my mother. I have rarely seen her crib about things that she doesn’t have. She has seen several ups and downs in life, very difficult phases, including tough financial circumstances. However, she has always been contended and happy with what she has. Not that she does not aspire to have more, I am sure she does. But, she is grateful for what she has – which is why she probably gets more to be grateful for.

Happy Mother’s Day amma! May God bless you with pink of health and a long happy life. May we be blessed with your presence for years and years to come!

Generous Maternity Benefit is good, but not enough

The Maternity Act in India has doled out some wonderful benefits; a generous 26 weeks leave, compulsory crèche, work from home options and

images
Credit – coachingforleaders.com

so forth. Many organizations in India are beginning to offer all this and more!  No doubt this is a welcome move, but it’s time to take a pause and ponder if it is enough to meet the goal that many organizations are pursuing: build leadership pipeline of women and having higher representation of women at senior and CXO levels? Or is it merely scratching the surface of the problem.

What happens after 6 months? Even with work from home option, women still have to get back to work by the time the child is or one or so. A one-year-old child needs significant attention and care. Separation anxiety also builds up around this age, making it none too easier for women.

On the other hand, women join workforce in huge numbers. But, they leave in between. There is a significant drop in numbers as we go up the corporate ladder.  Interestingly, they do not vanish suddenly. They vanish from workforce over a period of time. If there are 25% women in junior management, they reduce to 15% by middle and to a mere 4 or 5% at senior and top level. The maternity benefit can help retain women at typically junior or middle level – assuming that’s the child bearing age. But, what about the leaking pipeline, maternity benefit can hardly be a solution to this problem.

I believe that one of the real challenge lies in expectations from the society and home.

Societal expectations – How about a house husband? How comfortable is this idea in our society? It would take tons of courage and confidence for a man to become a house husband, even if he wants to. Whereas a housewife raises no eyebrows, it’s almost a norm. Society expects a man to be the primary bread-earner and provide for the family, while the primary responsibility of a woman is to take care of home and children (even if she is working).  Man is expected to work up the corporate ladder, while it’s okay for a woman to go slow on her career. When a husband gets a good offer, the wife is expected to move with him, if required even by taking a career break. Can the husband do the same? Can he relocate If the wife gets a good opening in another city? It gives such immense pleasure to see few men doing it today, but its far and few. The first step is to modify the societal expectations and bring equality – let careers be pursued by men and women as per their choice, not based on societal expectations.

Expectations at Home – The societal expectations creep into homes. Boys are expected to get into professional education enabling them to provide for their families in future. While several families encourage girls to study well and even get into professional education, they are also prepared for taking care of household chores. Jobs are classified into male and female jobs. Subtle messages about these responsibilities are unconsciously passed on to children – both boys and girls – in growing up years. While this is changing in many families, there is still a long way to go.

Impact of these expectations on women – Expectations from the society and home, understood and imbibed from childhood, have a strong impact on women. When faced with a dilemma – work or home – many get influenced by the subtle biases deeply embedded in the sub-conscious. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all right for a woman to drop out of workforce or decide to take a low profile job for a certain period or permanently – it’s her personal decision. But, the question to ponder is would women approach work differently, search for more solutions, be more creative about their careers, put in more efforts to stay in workforce and make more efforts to grow up the career ladder had the expectations from society and home been different?

What can organizations do to remove these subtle biases, first from the minds of women?

What can women do to unlearn these biases?

Answers to these questions would help organizations meet the diversity agenda. As I come back with few thoughts in next post, would love to hear your thoughts to these questions.