A Glass ceil­ing ex­ists pri­mar­ily in the minds, both of women and men

N S Shobana, chief fi­nance of­fi­cer, TAKE So­lu­tions

DQ Channels - - Women Power - ISHLEEN KAUR TAKKAR (ish­leenk@cy­berme­dia.co.in)

What are the chal­lenges of be­ing a woman ex­ec­u­tive in a top role?

As clichéd as it may sound, the big­gest chal­lenge for a woman is bal­anc­ing life, fam­ily and work pri­or­i­ties. Time man­age­ment, the abil­ity to pri­ori­tise and del­e­gate, com­pe­tent sup­port sys­tems both at work and home are key fac­tors that help one excel in a top role.

What is your ed­u­ca­tional back­ground?

I am a Char­tered Ac­coun­tant, Cost Ac­coun­tant and a CPA (USA).

What is your fam­ily back­ground?

My fa­ther is an au­to­mo­bile en­gi­neer who re­tired as a manager from United In­dia In­sur­ance and mother is a post grad­u­ate in Hindi Lit- er­a­ture and a home-maker. I have a son do­ing his B.Com from Loyola Col­lege, Chen­nai.

What are your com­ments on work­ing in Male­dom­i­nated field of IT, es­pe­cially in R&D?

Fi­nance is a field where there is a fair rep­re­sen­ta­tion of qual­i­fied women. Hence, I do not ex­pe­ri­ence any male dom­i­na­tion. My peers and se­niors at work have also been very en­cour­ag­ing and sup­port­ive of my as­pi­ra­tions and in­ter­ests. There are many women in se­nior po­si­tions in our or­ga­ni­za­tion (TAKE So­lu­tions).

Does a glass ceil­ing ex­ist?

A glass ceil­ing ex­ists pri­mar­ily in the minds, both of women and men, in terms of so­cial stereo­types, pre­con­ceived no­tions of gen­der be­hav­iour and the ex­pected traits of suc­cess­ful lead­ers. For ex­am­ple, in many cases women them­selves do not con­sider or are not con­sid­ered for op­por­tu­ni­ties that in­volve a lo­ca­tion change while it is more ef­fort­less and ac­cept­able for men in par­al­lel sit­u­a­tions. Sim­i­larly, so­cial norms or ex­pec­ta­tions of a woman’s role in the fam­ily of­ten re­sult in them com­pro­mis­ing their ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions with­out a fair eval­u­a­tion of op­por­tu­ni­ties.

What is your ad­vice to work­ing women?

Do not rel­e­gate ca­reer and growth at work to a sec­ondary po­si­tion of im­por­tance. It is of equal sig­nif­i­cance as our var­i­ous other roles of daugh­ter, wife and mother. It is very im­por­tant there­fore to have ef­fec­tive sup­port sys­tems both at work and home that will help bal­ance and pri­or­i­tize based on im­me­di­ate re­quire­ments.

What are your hob­bies?

Mu­sic, cy­cling and other recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties with my son.

Men­tion fu­ture plans.

I don’t be­lieve in mak­ing plans for the fu­ture, I choose to make the best of op­por­tu­ni­ties that arise.

One Lin­ers.

“You don’t have to watch what you say if you watch what you think”

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