Get All Access for $5/mo

Women Leaders Show The Way These women leaders believed in their capabilities and moved ahead

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Way back in 2001, Serena Williams struggled hard to cross the quarterfinals in the Grand Slams. She had lost four consecutive quarterfinals and was playing the fifth one in US Open. She kept building leads and was close to sealing the match, but the opponent was a former champion and kept demolishing the leads. Serena was not only battling a physical game of tennis but also an emotionally draining mental game. She was a former Grand Slam winner and believed that she could do it. She said to herself, she quotes, "I decided I can't pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it". Determination and sheer grit!

The Caliber

While it is true that leadership skills are essential equally for men and women, research shows that women adapt quicker than men in certain aspects of work. They exhibit those skills consistently and naturally. Mother Nature has created men and women in equal proportion to embody the fact that diversity is a natural phenomenon. So, we must take the cue from nature and ensure that diversity exists in all walks of life. An ecosystem becomes holistic and complete when we have diversity across genders, cultures and backgrounds. People will have their own preferences, unique personality traits and capabilities. We have to find the right people for each job that exists in the world. It is a simple postulate. But, then why do organizations across the world find it hard to keep up the gender diversity?

The Indian Context and Women Leaders

In India, social norms in the surrounding and the economic context of a family play important roles in the decision for a woman to pursue what she is passionate about. Her interest could be in any area from art, music, science, technology and travel to education, business, healthcare, community work, politics, sports, law or anything else. However, a woman's decision about her career is governed by a far larger number of factors than her male counterpart's.

We celebrate women leaders like Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, Naina Lal Kidwai, former Chairperson of HSBC India, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson of Biocon, Shikha Sharma, former Chair of Axis Bank, Sudha Murthy, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation and many more. All of them have beaten the odds to take definitive steps in their careers. Each one of them is immensely talented and at the same time, have been determined to create a greater impact over a period of time. They have kept growing in their stature and impact. Their ecosystem at work and home eventually comes together to provide them with all the support needed to deal with their personal circumstances.

Is it, Just Destiny

Someone could say, it was destined to happen that way. But, as the wise saying by Steve Jobs goes, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." All these leaders have seen the bright side of possibilities rather than getting bogged down by the social norms, the risks and the fears. They believed in their capabilities and moved ahead. Organizations find a shortage of women talent at the mid to senior levels because many talented women drop off the talent pool just to conform to the social norms.

Women leaders are known for their abilities in empathising with their colleagues at work, building strong relationships, fostering camaraderie, injecting a sense of balance and wholesomeness into the decision-making process. They make a management team well-rounded in its approach to evaluate risks and respond to opportunities.

Someone said the global financial crisis could have been averted if Wall Street was truly diverse. We see diversity being mentioned on an earnings call these days. Companies hiring a large number of woman interns and making pre-placement offers to women MBA students. We hope, they will be able to retain them and make the workplace holistic and complete. India Inc. has a task at hand to transform our beliefs at home and build the social infrastructure that facilitates women to keep working through their life stages of marriage, childbirth to raising a child. We have to get over it as Serena did in the quarterfinals of US Open in 2001!

Aditya Narayan Mishra

Director at CIEL HR Services

Social Media

Five Indian film producers are exploring business beyond cinema

Very recently, the Ahmedabad-based ice cream brand Hocco raised funds, and among many, they have two angel investors from Bollywood: Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. From Karan Johar to Alia Bhatt, Rana Daggubati to Ronnie Screwvala, there are film producers who are expanding their horizons as business visionaries by investing in different sectors. Here we take a look at some of such personalities.

Growth Strategies

AMD Confident About Increasing Market Share In India

The semiconductor company is positive about the business environment in India on the back of growing investments in data centers and AI, Cloud repatriation, as well as technology refresh taking place across companies on both server side and client devices


Yahoo Unveils AI-Powered News App

Yahoo has unveiled a major overhaul of its Yahoo News app, introducing a suite of advanced artificial intelligence features designed to enhance user experience on its platform.

News and Trends

Remembering Cherukuri Ramoji Rao: A Pioneer in Media and Business

Ramoji Film City, under his guidance, became a hub for Indian cinema, hosting numerous iconic films like 'Leo' and 'Ponniyin Selvan.'

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

News and Trends

Work With AI: LinkedIn Debuts Suite of New AI Experiences

In a blog post, LinkedIn chief product officer Tomer Cohen shared how the company observed a remarkable trend of a 5x increase year-over-year in the number of learners engaging with Al courses and content on the platform