Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
11,910.1553.35
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Startups offer mentoring to women staffers for leadership challenges

Startups are prioritising gender diversity in leadership. Other newage companies including Jombay, Healthians, Bigbasket, Uber and Byju’s are stepping up their efforts to nurture future women leaders who can drive growth, product innovation and pr...

Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 09.39 AM IST
0Comments
BCCL
women
Mohit Gundecha, co-founder of Jombay, said potential women leaders in the company are involved in product innovation and invited to attend and present their findings in board meetings.
Once every week, Riddhi Nagpal, director of customer relations at CashKaro, has lunch with co-founder Swati Bhargava.

Over the meal, Bhargava asks about Nagpal’s work, challenges she may be facing and how she can be more cognisant about them. Nagpal is among seven female employees that Bhargava is mentoring.

The objective: to give personal attention to those with the potential to become women leaders.

Startups are prioritising gender diversity in leadership. Other newage companies including Jombay, Healthians, Bigbasket, Uber and Byju’s are stepping up their efforts to nurture future women leaders who can drive growth, product innovation and profitability.

These organisations are conducting sensitisation workshops to challenge biases, providing crossfunctional career opportunities and inviting them to board meetings.

Murali Talasila, partner and innovation leader at PwC India, said a lot more needs to be done when it comes to nurturing entrepreneurship skills among women. “There is no dearth of talent — it’s just that we need a focused effort,” Talasila said. Industry experts said Indian women face challenges because family members are often opposed to long working hours, which is a necessity at many startups.

Mohit Gundecha, co-founder of Jombay, said potential women leaders in the company are involved in product innovation and invited to attend and present their findings in board meetings.

“Access to board members generally is restricted to the top leadership team of an organisation and we have democratised access to them for budding women leaders — it improves their big-picture thinking and executive presence,” said Gundecha. The firm’s brand and design lead and assessment practice lead have risen through these projects to become part of the leadership team, he said.

At Byju’s, co-founder Divya Gokulnath is focusing on promoting women rather than hiring laterally and encouraging women employees to take up challenging and senior roles.

CashKaro’s Bhargava hand-picked some female employees recently for a series of leadership training sessions. They were taken through lessons on channelling strengths at the workplace, handling team dynamics and conducting competency-based interviews while hiring for teams.

“Understanding each woman employee’s unique set of circumstances and then tailoring the approach for her has worked better for us than rolling out blanket initiatives,” she told ET. In the past year or so, 11 women have been promoted to leadership positions, she added.

Uber has 6-12 month engagement programmes for junior-level female employees, where a leader initiates discussions and action planning. Uber’s regional HR director - APAC, Vishpala Reddy, says it’s a research-proven programme that helps in career growth for women and underrepresented members of their teams.

At Bengaluru-based bigbasket, 6-7 women employees in functional head roles are mentored by the top leadership, said Tanuja Tewari, vice-president of human resources.

“Over the last year, we have stepped up efforts to give potential women leaders more challenging assignments as well as set them up as speakers at external events,” Tewari told ET.

At Healthians, four of the nine leadership roles are headed by women, said founder Deepak Sahni. The company has created an entrepreneur-in-residence initiative for budding entrepreneurs to work on new projects and drive them as business units, where women account for half of the staff hired, Sahni said.

Also Read

For startups, cash is king (again)

Edtech startup Lido Learning appoints new CTO

ePharma startups ‘sensitive’ to data Bill definition

Cybersecurity startup Lucideus raises $7 million

Airtel launches program to support startups

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service