Women Entrepreneurs Must Keep on Learning New Skills to Thrive in The Business World
By: Mamta Talwar, Vice President, Xceedance
Mamta Talwar is a digital transformation leader with over two decades of experience in successfully engaging with domestic and global customers for revenue-centric, time-critical, and resource optimisation requirements. She is a strong believer in innovation, with an eye for the adoption of new-age digital technologies and solutions to solve complex customer problems.
In conversation with Women Entrepreneur India Magazine, Mamta shares her views and thoughts on the top skills or qualities that women entrepreneurs need to cultivate to thrive in the business world
In your opinion, what are the key challenges that women face in leadership positions, and how can these challenges be overcome?
Women in leadership role face various challenges that can hinder their career progression and impact their ability to thrive in leadership positions. Some common challenges include:
Facing gender stereotypes and biases in the workplace. They are often underestimated and not given the same opportunities as men and may also get subjected to micro aggressions and other forms of discrimination. All this lead to unequal opportunities, lower professional support, and reduced visibility for leadership roles.
There is generally a lack of women in top leadership positions, which can create a "glass ceiling" effect and limit the number of female role models, mentors, and sponsors for aspiring women leaders which can make it difficult for them to get ahead.
Women may experience self-doubt and undervalue their skills and accomplishments leading to imposter syndrome, which can prevent them from pursuing or accepting leadership roles. And can also be victim of unconscious bias which can lead to them being overlooked for promotions or opportunities.
To overcome these challenges, the following steps can be taken:
Organisations should actively strive for diversity and inclusion at every level, including leadership roles. Implementing measures such as diversity policies, mentoring programs and unconscious bias training can help address gender bias. Also, women need to challenge this by speaking up when they see it happening.
At the same time organisations can offer targeted leadership development programs that help women build the necessary skills, confidence, and networks to succeed in leadership positions. These programs should focus on addressing gender-specific challenges and encourage Mentorship and Sponsorship programs.
Women need to be assertive and negotiate for themselves. They should not be afraid to ask for what they want, and they should not settle for less. They need to take their seat on the table.
Organizations can create an environment through above interventions where women are given equal opportunities to succeed and thrive. Both Organisations and women themselves must work together for this.
How do professionals stay informed about industry trends and continuously improve their leadership skills?
It’s very important for professionals to keep themselves updated with latest industry trends to ensure they stay ahead in league. Some of the below tips can help to continuously improve their leadership skills:
What are the specific areas of industry that they want to stay informed about? What are their leadership development goals? Once they know what they want to learn, they can start to identify the best sources of information by setting up the learning goals in areas of their interest.
Setting aside some time during the week to read industry publications, blogs, podcasts, attend conferences, online trainings, courses, workshops etc. They can also follow thought leaders in their field on social media. Along with this attending Industry events are a great way to network with other professionals, learn about new trends, and get inspired. There are lot of platforms available these days primarily catering to women professionals for networking, mentorship, specially curated courses etc. These needs to be leveraged.
Further, associating oneself with a mentor or coach who can provide them with guidance, support, and feedback and can be their sounding boards. It’s also very important to have sponsors in their organisation that can bring focus on their capabilities and strengths in right forums and open up more opportunities for them.
Self-introspection on your experiences as a leader gives great insights and can open further paths for new learning. What have you learned? What could you do better? This reflection will help identify areas where improvement is required.
Women can stay ahead of the curve by adopting above tips and continuously evolve as a great& effective leader and make themselves a more valuable asset to their organizations.
In your view, what are the top skills or qualities that women entrepreneurs need to cultivate to thrive in the business world?
Women entrepreneurs need to keep on learning the new skills to thrive in the business world:
First & foremost is to have confidence in oneself and one's abilities are crucial for success in the business world. It helps in making tough decisions, taking risks, and overcoming obstacles. Women entrepreneurs need to be willing to take risks. They need to be able to see opportunities where others see challenges and be willing to take calculated risks to achieve their goals.
Building resilience is essential for women entrepreneurs as they often face unique challenges and biases. Being able to bounce back from failures, setbacks, and criticisms is vital for long-term success. At the same time being adaptable is very important as the business environment is constantly evolving, and this helps to stay relevant and seize new opportunities.
Understanding and managing finances is critical for any business. Developing financial literacy helps women entrepreneurs make informed decisions, allocate resources effectively, and secure funding for future growth and made them self-reliant. This along with persistence can help building a successful business stay focused on their goals.
Being able to think outside the box and generate innovative ideas is crucial for staying competitive in the business world. Women entrepreneurs should nurture their creative thinking skills and be open to exploring new approaches and embrace critical feedback.
Running a business can be demanding and stressful. Taking care of one's physical and mental well-being is important for maintaining productivity, managing stress, and preventing burnout. Women entrepreneurs need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and be able to use them to their advantage. They also need to be aware of their own biases and how they might impact their business decisions.