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BW Businessworld

How Can Women Transform The Male Dominated Operations Industry

Businesses are a new leading-edge looking to secure the benefits of digital transformation and analytics across the entire value chain – within the organization but also across their vendor partners and the entire ecosystem.

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With women leaders like Nirmala Sitharaman, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Smriti Irani in charge of important portfolios of the country, the current government shows how far we have come in recognizing the contribution of women to every field. Another great example that made history was the non-stop 17-hour Air India flight that was flown by four women pilots from San Francisco to Bengaluru.

While we excel at everything, we put our mind to, there are a few societal shackles that continue to hold us back, making 2021 another year, where we need to continue to break the glass ceilings and fight our way to success.

Despite having several supporting views on the need for women in the operations industry, the truth is that women are still not looked at favourably to drive the operations function of a company. For example, working with men day-in and day-out, I realized that while the ride-sharing industry addresses the needs of their customers generically, there are very few companies that actually bifurcate the gender-based needs from a service or address them correctly. This can be attributed to the lack of differentiated views or even stem from the lack of women leading the operations team or sitting at the board table. According to a report by Mckinsey, ‘Delivering through Diversity’, executive teams of outperforming companies have more women in line roles versus staff roles.

A recent survey titled ‘[email protected]’ reported that the pandemic impacted women the most, especially with the long work hours, child or elderly care, and constant financial worries. Most research shows that job losses due to the pandemic were more adverse for women than men. In such a situation, employment opportunities that drive to reduce the gender gap in the industry only come as a blessing in disguise.

Businesses are a new leading-edge looking to secure the benefits of digital transformation and analytics across the entire value chain – within the organization but also across their vendor partners and the entire ecosystem. The transformation will take precedence and it will be inevitable to have more women to take the lead in these important line roles.

Here are four ways in my experience that women can apply to uplift themselves in the operation management industry and break the glass ceiling to achieve success:

1. Making your voice heard

In any industry, it is vital to project your ideas visibly and clearly to showcase the potential of the ideas. Women in executive and leadership roles bring a diverse perspective to the table that can help any industry tap an underserved segment. Companies can gain a competitive advantage by introducing policies that empower women and gain insights to acquire a new and unexplored set of customers.

2. Be confident in the value you bring to the table

Historically, women who contribute successfully to innovations are capable to drive successful ventures to create a difference. But the most common thing among all was the confidence that their thoughts are the need of the hour. Women should confidently table their ideas and work towards their success. Their environment of colleagues and bosses also plays an important role in encouraging and motivating their female counterparts to come forth with their suggestions and giving them a respectful seat at the table.

3. Networking with women in the industry

Gone are the days when trade secrets were kept close to the heart. Today, we don’t just talk about our success, we also share how we achieved success among our network circles. So why, should it be any different for women. Women leaders should reach out within their network circles and share success stories to empower and inspire other women to follow suit. Sharing of knowledge and information will give others a perspective to drive success within their organizations as well and bring out differentiated ideas that can be the next innovation in the gig economy.

4. Enabling Inclusivity

While the scarcity of women in the operations management could be attributed to the lack of role models or the nature of the job and its convenience, the crux of it is opportunities were never made for women to make their mark in the industry. Organizations are considerably inclusive now but still need to change their opinion on what an individual’s choice of work should be based on their gender. Women who have already set foot in the industry need to promote a healthy inclusive environment that supports and encourages other women to join the team.

Many opportunities are cropping up to enable women to make their mark and perform successfully maintaining a balance of discipline and risk-taking drives. With constant encouragement and support, we can not only drive organizational success but bring in the next big wave of innovation that transforms the way any male dominated industry is looked at.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Shravya Reddy

VP, Rapido

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