Highlighting the role of women leaders in business, a study and mentoring based program for women in business is being organised by UCCI in collaboration with IIMU. For the past two to three years, there has been a lot said about the role of women in business. Many issues can be discussed, one was raised by an entrepreneur in Udaipur. If we allow women to work as equals in business, would we not be able to increase the productivity of the nation. Conversely, by not using half our potential workforce, are we not halving our productivity.
Another point worth thinking about is why women progress more slowly in business than men. Often the reason cited is that women behave differently at work. It is hard to get examples of how both genders communicate to illustrate this point. All of us have experiences that we can talk about, none is serious research material.
A study conducted by a team at Harvard for a client shows that this may not necessarily be true. Using the recent proliferation of digital communication, and the use of badges that record communication patterns using sensors to indicate who is talking to whom, where and how they were able to study the difference, if any, in the interaction of men and women. Stephen Turban, Laura Freeman and Ben Waber used this information, duly anonymised to see if women do behave differently. They found that this was not true. In their words, “The hypothesis that women lacked access to seniority, in particular, had little support. In email, meeting, and face-to-face data, we found that both men and women were roughly two steps, or social connections, away from senior management (so if John knows Kate and Kate knows a manager, John is two steps from a manager). “
If the behaviour was no different then what explained the difference in the percentage of women starting out in work (35% – 40%) and those that reach top management (20%)?
The conclusion of the study is what we know instinctively. Bias and women dropping out of work at some stage to raise their families are possible reasons for the slower progress. Bias lies in the way women are treated and how conversations with women are viewed, often women feel they are not heard, or that they have to speak louder to be heard.
So how can companies compensate for the bias and for the time women have to take off when they want to start their families?
In the study, the authors say, “Companies need to approach gender inequality as they would any business problem: with hard data. Most programs created to combat gender inequality are based on anecdotal evidence or cursory surveys”. But to tailor a solution to a company’s specific problems, you need to seek data to answer fundamental questions such as “When are women dropping out?” and “Are women acting differently than men in the office?” and “What about our company culture has limited women’s growth?” When organisations implement a solution, they need to measure the outcomes of both behaviour and advancement in the office. Only then can they transition from the debate about the causes of gender inequality (bias versus behaviour) and advance to the needed stage of a solution.”
A study and mentoring based program for women in business is being organised by UCCI in collaboration with IIMU.
Objective of the program:
This program aims to transform the roles played by women participating when in family businesses. It will help participants enhance skills, capabilities, and most importantly adaptability of the individual to deliver business growth and sustainability. It will enable women to:
- take strategic roles in family businesses,
- develop leadership capabilities for larger and meaningful roles.
Business professionals, owners, aspiring leaders (from small, medium and large businesses). The 2019-20 program will have a special focus on women in business.
Program participants will include:
- women who wish to contribute, and enhance their role within their family businesses
- women who intend to start contributing to their family business
- women entrepreneurs and professionals
Apply for the program:
To ensure that we have a group of serious participants in the program, we request everyone who is interested in joining to submit a write-up on what they want to achieve from this program. The write up should be submitted by the end of day, Monday, 9th September 2019. It can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing about an ongoing challenge in business that the participant would like addressed during the program, would increase the chances of selection.
The program will have a maximum of 30 participants who will be selected from those who apply based on their write up and problem definition.
The Udaipur Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UCCI), a multi-district apex body of trade, industry, mining & tourism and partnering industry and government alike through advisory and consultative processes, works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in Southern Rajasthan.
UCCI is a non-government, not-for-profit industry-led and industry-managed organisation, playing a proactive role in Rajasthan’s development process. Founded over 47 years ago, it is Southern Rajasthan’s premier business association, with a solid membership of over 400 industries/entrepreneurs from the private as well as public sectors.
Located at Udaipur, Rajasthan state, India, the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur (IIMU) is a premier management institute offering post graduate courses in management. The courses at the institute includes its flagship program, Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) as well as other programs including the Management Development Program (PGPX), and the doctoral program, Fellow Program in Management (FPM).
As enunciated in its mission statement, “Values-based and application-oriented management education”, IIMU is a faculty-governed institute with a culture of academic excellence fostered by rigour in teaching and research. Most of the permanent faculty is made up recent doctoral graduates of leading schools in India and abroad who show potential for research of the highest quality. IIMU currently has 36 full-time faculty members all of whom have earned PhDs or are Fellows at top schools in India, Europe and North America.
IIMU pulses with the energy of a start-up while building on the prestigious accomplishments and traditions of the IIM network. It aims to set a new benchmark in the field of management education by combining excellence in both teaching and research. The Institute strives to make a real difference to the region, forging strong relationships with local NGOs and government and working closely with industry on live projects, internships, guest lectures, faculty research, and many events throughout the academic year.
Please visit UCCI’s website for more details:
 A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work by Stephen Turban, Laura Freeman and Ben Waber
 Editors’ note: We have changed some details to anonymise the company studied.