Jijy Oommen, BFSI Technology Leader
Q. As a Woman Leader, how challenging has it been for you to succeed in your chosen field?
The technology leadership role, especially in the financial services industry, is extremely demanding, regardless of gender. You are thrown with new challenges every single day and it is up to you to either get bogged down or leverage them as stepping-stones that help you grow stronger. I chose the second path. This needs a lot of courage and resilience, which one should consciously work on building as a personal strength.
Q. Tech industry is dominated by male leaders. How women can excel, assume leadership roles, and make a mark for themselves?
True. The absolute number of women in the technology leadership space is very few. It is mainly for two reasons – one being very few women take up technology as their mainstream career choice; and secondly, many couldn’t stick to it and grow beyond certain stage.
Unlike many other professions, this is a 24×7 role as the technology being a key enabler for most businesses. And since it is constantly evolving, one has to learn, unlearn and again learn endlessly. Women by nature come with many family responsibilities that can become a lot tougher when you are at the peak of your career, where you got to juggle between personal priorities and professional aspirations.
Here, you need to work on building a strong support system around you consciously. Frankly speaking, it wasn’t easy for me too to navigate through that phase of life.
Q. How can we create a culture of inclusiveness and diversity at a workplace?
According to statistics, the women workforce participation in India is less than 20% whilst the women count is 48% of our country’s overall population. However, we see a huge surge in gender diversity in the IT workforce and a recent survey reported that 34% of the tech workforce in India is women, and most are below 30 years of age.
Retaining and growing the talents require the organisations to build the right environment for women to work and grow so that they can reach middle and senior management roles.
Time and again, it has been proved that organisations with greater workplace diversity achieve better results, as women lead with empathy and make better decisions faster, which gives organisations a serious competitive edge. As a result, companies with diversity in the workplace achieve better business results.
Q. Which is one woman personality you admire the most and why? Your message to the aspiring Women Leaders?
I admire all women who walked the path that many haven’t been before and some of the names coming top of my mind are Ms. Sudha Murti, Ms. Kamala Harris and Ms. Indra Nooyi who have created unique identities for themselves.
My message to the aspiring Women Leaders – Decide for yourself who you are and what you want to do in life. Don’t give up in the mid-way. Your passion and endurance will help you achieve your goals and realise all your dreams.
Happy Women’s Day!
“Organisations with greater workplace diversity achieve better results, as women lead with empathy and make better and faster decisions that give companies a serious competitive edge. We need to build the right environment for women to work and grow in their professional lives.”