Friday, February 12, 2016

The trials and triumphs faced by women in the workplace are very much common. This was the topic of emphasis by Anuranjita Kumar, Chief Human Resources Officer of Citi South Asia during the panel discussion hosted by the School of Business on 11th February 2015 and moderated by Assistant Professor Ms. Khyati Shetty.

Kumar has not only had a career in banking for twenty years, but she has also worked across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and USA. The whole experience was a cultural assimilation for her and additionally, it helped her note certain observations. According to her, the reasons for less number of women in the field of investment banking, is two fold.

“One is that the kind of culture that operates is more conducive to men, be it the working style or leadership style. The second is also extraneous because sometimes when you look at the clients, they’re uncomfortable dealing with women and it isn’t easy for women to deal with the clients,” said Kumar.

Khyati Shetty, Assistant Professor (left) in conversation with Anuranjita Kumar, Chief Human Resources Officer, Citi South Asia (right). Source: Javed Roshan
Though she admitted that there are instances wherein stereotypes impact women and there are unconscious biases at play, Kumar pointed out that a woman is not there at the workplace to please everybody. Rather, the individual should start with herself first, instead of letting the negative aspects get to her.

When asked to comment about the fact that men head 95% of companies worldwide, Kumar said, “I don’t know how comfortable women are with power. Having power is a heavy experience and you have to know how to leverage it properly.”

Kumar also spoke about her book, ‘Can I Have It All’ as it reflects the three crossroads in a woman’s life; marriage, mobility and maternity. “This book is not about an extraordinary journey, it is about an ordinary one. It is not my story, it is the story of other people I met along the way as I transcended my journey.”

By Revathy Rajan 
The writer is a final year Media & Communication (Journalism) student.