Successful Women Hr in India

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The women of India Inc. have proved in more ways than one that their sensibilities and leadership acumen are here to stay and pave the way for more women to make it to the top of the corporate ladder. On the occasion of International Women’s Day

Women In HR
As people management practices in corporate India come of age, organisations, today, are displaying a propensity towards employing more women in their HR departments as compared to men. After all, managing a large number of people, keeping them motivated and listening to their grievances are all a part of the modern HR manager’s job. And it’s a known fact that listening and empathising come more naturally to women, right? From home managers to human resource managers, these top women in HR have proved that there is no one who can do it better.

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Mandeep Maitra, country head-HR & corporate services (admin, infrastructure & CSR), HDFC Bank Ltd “Like everyone else, I had the same apprehensions, the same concerns about being accepted, heard and majorly, about work-life balance.” I was all set out to be a “shrink”…  

…and therefore had taken up Psychology Honors in college. One of my aunts was a clinical psychologist and her insights on people and ability to make a difference fascinated me. When I came to Mumbai from Delhi for my post graduation, I learnt about the Personnel Management and Industrial Relations Specialization (as it was known in those days). With my keen interest in people and psychology combined with a strong call to make a difference, I soon realised that HR and I were made for each other. It was the most natural choice for me and I must add here that I love what I do and haven’t looked back a day! I believe that empathy is the key to understanding people… However, I have seen some male managers who empathise very well and some women who can be insensitive. Equally true is the fact that some people relate better with women managers and others with male managers. I think we are moving beyond typecasting people into professions based on gender. It is especially true of HR where some of the leading HR professionals in the country are men. But looking at the large number of women opting for HR in recent years, I am confident we are likely to see many capable women in the country as HR heads going forward. Women are blessed with excellent multi-tasking abilities…

Most women are gifted with tremendous resilience and are equipped with a great quality to have to survive the corporate world. Two, they can empathise with people well and tend to collaborate more often than not. And finally, they multi-task with ease. And these are primarily the most essential personality traits of an HR manager. There are many challenges to being a woman leader…

Like everyone else, I had the same apprehensions, the same concerns about being accepted, heard and majorly, about work-life balance. Being a perfectionist, I strive for excellence in all spheres. I overcame it by being an excellent time manager and never being afraid to speak my mind. I lived by my convictions and went after my career goals. I learned about the business and worked so hard at everything I did that I became accepted as a business leader, not just an HR leader. My family means everything to me and I ensure I spend quality time with them. When my daughter calls, I take the call irrespective of who I’m with and people have come to respect that. It is not about whether the glass ceiling exists or not…

The truth is that more women need to pursue their ambitions and rise to the echelons in their career. You have to make sacrifices and invest the time and energy required to grow. There are women who have made it to the top and other women should interact with and learn from them. It is wonderful to see how the Generation Y speaks up and asks a lot of questions. I think they are a lot more confident of themselves and it will be interesting to see how they shape the HR arena. I would only like to say that...
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