Yes, The Era of Women CEO has arrived and from the looks of it, it is here to stay. Now, women have been there and done that at the positions that matter for quite sometime. But the last decade or so has seen a drastic change when it comes to the participation of Women at the pinnacle of organization hierarchy – specifically MD & CEO positions.
Fortune 500 often publishes the list of most powerful women around the globe, and it sure is heartening to see. Infact, India Inc. has every reason to be proud of the kind of talent that its women have demonstrated at the top.
Indra Nooyi being one of the most powerful women CEO in the world serves the right testimony.
Though there is no hiding the fact that the Indian women have risen from nowhere to reach the top. They have despite all the odds matched the opposite sex inch by inch in each and every sector. But, there is one sector however, that has been long considered the forte of MAN. Yes, you got it right.
BANKING AND FINANCE INDUSTRY
Not trying to be gender biased here, but Banking and Finance (BFS) has been at the disposal of the so called ‘Pants Of The House’ (no pun intended). But switch to the present and the same sector has been shaken upside down by the oh-so powerful Women.
Here are some of the leading ladies at the leading banks functioning in India,
Ms. Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer –
She needs no introduction. From a management trainee with ICICI in 1983 to the CEO now, it is no surprise that she knows the pulse of the Banking and Finance Industry.
Ms. Shikha Sharma, CEO of Axis Bank
Another Industry veteran coming originally from the ICICI stable. She was the managing director of ICICI prudential life insurance. She has been one of the driving forces behind the Life Insurance Council.
It is interesting to note that Shikha Sharma was the front runner for the ICICI CEO post along with Chanda Kochar. But then, ICICI’s loss turned out to be AXIS Bank’s gain.
It is also noteworthy that AXIS Bank has been named the Best Private Sector bank by Duns & Bradstreet. Given the talent and experience of CEO, Shikha Sharma, AXIS Bank might just do it again and again.
Naina Lal Kidwai, CEO of HSBC
Ms. Kidwai has a flair for being the ‘First’. Her tryst with the finance world is not without it either. Here is the list of the First’s she is associated with,
- She is the first Indian women to graduate from the Harvard Business School.
- Naina Lal Kidwai has become the first women to head a foreign bank in India.
- She is first Indian on the Nestle AG board and one of the few Indian non-executive directors of a global MNC.
If these are anything to go by, they speak volumes about her acumen and talent.
The three banks mentioned are one of the biggest banks functioning in India. And with the baton now handed over to these powerful women, Sky seems to be the limit.
However, current global slowdown and economy downturn will be a true test of character. Will they outshine their male counterparts? In my opinion they will, even if we account for the Talent and Business Knowledge being same among both.
Women are better at handling pressures. Given the way The Indian women has been groomed over centuries, coming out of tense and complicated situations has been their forte. Moreover, given the gender bias they are subjected to, they overcome it with intensity and dedication which only helps them become better leaders.
People management is one of the most important challenge in times like these. And it is not secret, that women are intrinsically better at handling people than most men are.
Often overlooked and refuted, Finance and Banking is one sector that comes naturally to Indian Women. No matter what, it is the women who handles most of the household finances. So, even in families where the men are Bread Earners, it is the lady of the house who gets the best bread at the best price.
The world is surely taking notice of the prowess of Indian Women, and the finance industry is leading the pack. The private sector banks have been rather prominent when it comes to acquiring the women talent as and when available. It’s about time that the public sector banks catch up.
What saddens me is the fact that despite all the achievements, the Indian Women still does not enjoy the same liberty and rights.Why can’t we come out of shackles and acknowledge talent and good work without getting blinded by Gender Bias
On a side note, to the people who think that a Women should not be allowed to go to a bar/pub for a drink, she might be running the same bar and the bar you people go to in not so distant future. So, instead of deciding and imposing what the women should and shouldn’t do, go get a life because the Tide is Turning.
The Indian Women is getting far ahead in the race to top.
This guest post is written by Ankit Agarwal, an ERP Consultant by profession, a wannabe entrepreneur and stock market stalker by passion