When passion and compassion come to the boardroom: Aarushi Agarwal

This Womens day , let us go beyond feel-good diversity and enable you to break the proverbial glass ceiling by exploring learnings and values to assist your sprint from being a fresher to a part of the C suite, writes Aarushi Agarwal.


If March is the month of colors with the festival of Holi being one of its highlights, then it is also the month of celebrating womanhood as it commemorates the fairer sex with International Women's Day, which dates back to the early 1900s. One hundred twenty years later, this day is commended by pampering females with inspiring messages and promotions from brands, restaurants, spas, and making them feel special at the workplace by colouring everything Purple. 

Though feeling spoilt is always a nice, but is marketing the occasion and talking about it enough to deliver on the promise of equality, justice and equal pay? If we look at the corporate world, especially in India, with a male to a female employee ratio of 10:1, as per a study conducted by Corporate Responsibility Watch (CRW), a think-tank comprising 14 civil society organizations, we definitely need MORE. 

As part of the India corporate jungle, most of us have faced the stereotype thinking or whispers about women- She is doing well because of her gender and looks, rather than her hard work and intelligence. Or an even easier assumption that if a woman has a male-mentor, then she is preferred upon. Though many of us would believe that it gets better as you climb the corporate ladder, but it actually gets tougher. So, let us take a moment and draw inspiration from women leaders like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director, Biocon, Kaku Nakhate, India president and country head, Bank of America, Renu Sud Karnad, managing director of HDFC Ltd, etc. who have braved the odds  and carved a niche for themselves .

 This Womens day let us go beyond  feel-good diversity and enable you to break the proverbial glass ceiling by exploring learnings and values to assist your sprint from being a fresher to a part of the C suite-



  • Remain Authentic while creating your distinct Brand  Be yourself as everyone else is taken.  
  • Create your own collaborative circles- Meet more professional women and give them a helping hand without fearing competition. Start your own group, wherein you showcase and celebrate your achievements and those of other women. 
  • Listen genuinely and deeply while expressing politely and dispassionately- While you listen to the opinions around you, don't hesitate to voice your opinion, whether on work, asking for the raise, or even a more prominent role. Don't dread about people considering you too strong or about being judged    
  • Men have their muscles; we have ours, too: Passion and compassion- Flex them to win hearts. Don't be afraid to be seen as a woman with emotion. It's a GIFT – cherish it.
  • No glory or growth came from comfort- Brave the winds and set sail with new learning, new skills, and new challenges, to stay relevant in the new VUCA world. 
  • Men are our partners in success - Don't doubt them or yourself if they are lending a helping hand. Be your biggest cheerleader and believe in yourself, and the rest will follow.
  • Don't micromanage- Empower your team and give them wings, help them evolve to be smarter than you and lead them with your honesty and care.

Our career and development is our responsibility and not that of the organization or managers; hence, make time and not excuses. Be the Change, you want to see. Lastly, please don't fall into the trap of feeling uncomfortable with compliments, bask in their glory and enjoy every moment, because as L'Oréal rightly says – We are all Worth It. 

(Aarushi Agarwal is a business & marketing leader with over 15 years of experience across multinationals, start ups and Indian conglomerates including Nissan , Philips and Timex across the globe. A passionate women enabler focussed on accelerating their journey to the C suite )

Tags assigned to this article:
Women's Day marketers c-suite bw businessworld

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