Ritu Madbhavi, Group CIO, FCB Ulka Advertising
Q. As a Woman Leader, how challenging has it been for you to succeed in your chosen field?
Surprisingly, I have never experienced gender bias of any kind. The challenges that I have faced are similar to any other male colleague. Given the dynamic nature and the speed at which technology has been evolving, one has to keep abreast with the latest developments in the IT field and identify ways to fit technology to your organisational needs.
Q. How have you been able to convert obstacles in your career path into opportunities?
My success can be attributed to being passionate about what I do, attention to details, and proper planning.
Q. Tech industry is dominated by male leaders. How women can excel, assume leadership roles, and make a mark for themselves?
Again, I would like to emphasise that I personally have never experienced gender bias. I do feel that women workforce has to stop thinking of the women versus men comparison. They just need to work without expecting special treatment and deliver results as any other colleague. The recognition will be purely on merit basis.
Q. How can we create a culture of inclusiveness and diversity at a workplace?
I think there is a need to develop a culture of tolerance and empathy. It is extremely important to make people comfortable at a workplace. As a leader, you should be approachable, and your team members should feel comfortable discuss anything with you.
Q. Any interesting anecdote that you would like to share that has inspired or kept you motivated in your career?
Many moons ago, after my son was born, I was freelancing and doing corporate IT training. Almost 2 decades after that, a CIO walked up to me in a conference and said that he had attended my training sessions, basis on which he was promoted to the position of the CIO. It was a very special moment for me.
Q. Which is one woman personality you admire the most and why? Your message to the aspiring Women Leaders?
Rather than naming a famous personality, I want to give an example of a friend. She lost her father at a young age and was brought up by her mother who did odd catering jobs to make ends meet. Unfortunately, soon after marriage she lost her husband and found herself in a difficult position of supporting her old mother and young daughter.
Leveraging her mother’s contacts and cooking skills, she started a catering business, gave her daughter a good education, and sent her abroad for higher studies. Today, she runs a flourishing business and has a team under her. She is a living example of a woman who beat all odds and succeeded in life.
My message to aspiring women leaders is that please look ahead calmly and plan meticulously. Do not get discouraged by the difficulty that life throws at you. Carve your own path.
“My success can be attributed to being passionate about what I do, attention to details, and proper planning. Women professionals need to work without expecting special treatment and deliver results like any other colleague. The recognition will be purely on merit basis.”