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Dismantling The Dominant Narrative

Bringing forth the idea of breaking the dominant male narratives in workplaces, women leaders from various sectors discuss about the socially-conditioned idea of women being a caregiver but not a champion.

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BW Businessworld and Ask Insights hosted a unique event on Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Global Summit. The third panel on Dismantling the Dominant Narrative focussed on socially conditioning of the other gender. This panel discussion very significantly discussed about the dominant narrative that prevails in the workplace environment. As India will be one of the biggest economies in the coming decades, it is yet far behind in bringing the narrative of the ‘other’ to the forefront. The panel had some really interesting role models across different pioneer organizations including Papiya Banerjee, CLO and HR Head Market Operations, Airtel; Mansi Khanna, Marketing Lead, Nestle India; Kristin Envig, Founder and CEO, WIN Conference and Sakshi Kashyap, D&I Lead, RBS. The panel was moderated by Leslie Traub, Founding Partner, Udarta Consulting LLC.

Leslie commenced the panel discussion with questioning the dominant norm along with a sense of belonging in terms of gender, ethnicity or inclusion of other ideas which are often marginalised. Sakshi from RBS while taking the first lead in the panel discussion informed about her journey. She affirmatively said that the stories that we often hear are normally from the account of the dominant which doesn’t inform about ‘other’ side of the story. It is often from the male perspective and it is repeated because it is a traditional norm now. Gender is very much socially conditioned. Women from a very early age are told that they are the caregivers and have to make sacrifices. While describing through anecdotes of accentuating the dominant narrative especially of women coming back to office after their maternal leaves, Sakshi informed that communication and conversations should happen consciously to know about the views of women.

Mansi puts forward her views hailing through a decade of career in male dominating marketing career in Proctor & Gamble and then Nestle. Initially, in her career, she was asked to make a statistical record. She was often busted down on questioning her job role in a male-dominated stream.

Kristin further elucidates that coming from Norway, she believes that the only way to dismantle the dominant narrative is to continuously challenge yourself around situations while taking inspiration from art. A conscious choice should be made to make sure you are somehow dismantling the prevailing dominant narrative.            

Papiya as a learner and through her journey she has somehow regained her feminine power which was lost during in her journey. She informs that often to fit in to the environment in order to compete, we all tend to suppress our own inner traits. She said that the best of the leaders I looked up to, I appreciated their vulnerabilities, compassion and soon realised that I can be a leader with my best qualities as well.  

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