On International Women’s Day, 8th March 2011, Newgen’s Women’s Forum held its first session. Established to facilitate a congenial work environment for women, the forum provides a platform for women where they can discuss relevant issues related to their personal as well as work life. It was started with a vision to create sensitivity and awareness about gender issues and to create a work environment where diversity is treated with respect & equality.
Women form a critical part of Newgen’s workforce, holding key positions in top Management and technical departments. The forum strives to complement these women employees’ work life by creating a platform to discuss anything and everything. Sessions are conducted every month in which a number of different topics are discussed. In the past, sessions have included awareness on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) policy, managing work life balance, health, marriage life, etc. Guest speakers and experts are often invited to discuss sensitive topics. The existing strength of women employee in Newgen is 18%.
In Conversation with Neeta Singh,
1) How has your journey with Newgen been?
My journey with Newgen has been a wonderful learning experience and very enriching and winning. I have been very lucky to have had the unique opportunity to work with different leadership at various stages of my career all of whom have had such great vision and passion for their work. I am very grateful and would like to thank them for the confidence they have reposed on me and their ever inspiring leadership.
2) Please comment on the role women play in Newgen?
Women in Newgen play an important role in the ongoing success of Newgen. At Newgen, women have always had tremendous opportunity and active participation at all levels with diverse roles and responsibilities. They play key roles and hold important positions and have been making contributions to the company’s advancement navigating their careers through challenging positions with panache while remaining focused on work-life balance.
3) Tell us something you like most about Newgen?
I like most the work environment and culture at Newgen & its continuous endeavor to promote & cultivate innovation. Irrespective of whether you have joined fresh out of college or an experienced professional, Newgen provides you with an excellent platform and support system to cultivate your expertise, use your knowledge to its fullest extent, or simply re-invent yourself.
4) Any mantra for new joinees?
Be yourself, believe in who you are, aim high and put your heart into it. All of us have tremendous potential in us to achieve anything we ever wanted. All of us have the capability to do whatever we wish to do. What’s important is trying to be the best and working passionately to get there.
5) What would you say about the current situation of women in India? Please specify.
The economic, social and cultural landscape of India is changing rapidly. In tandem with this change, India is witnessing enormous social transformations like never before. This change has increased the significance of educational and economic empowerment to women. India is a force of reckoning in the global economy today and educated Indian women are a key and vital source for its ever increasing demand for talent. These changes have allowed an increased acceptance for giving education to girls and enabling greater opportunities and higher participation in diverse sector previously unseen or unheard for Indian women. Indian women have learnt to balance their family and work and have developed courage to act independently and take decisions of their own. They play key roles and hold important positions and more and more women are able to reach higher management levels leading their organizations from the front. Many Indian women personalities are recognized globally for their contribution and play an important role in shaping India’s political and economical landscape.
I would like to end with this famous poem, quoted by Nelson Mandela in his inaugural speech in 1994, taken from his biography.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are we not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
Won’t feel insecure around you
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us
It’s not just in some of us
It’s in everyone
And as we let our own light shine
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same
As we are liberated from our own fears,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”
6) Do you have any suggestions for Newgen Women’s Forum?
Newgen’s Women Forum is a unique platform for women in Newgen and gives a wonderful opportunity for learning from our shared experiences and strengthening our bonds. It gives a platform for expression of concerns and challenges unique to women and finding solutions.
I would like to suggest that in addition to the regular learning workshops & fun events we should utilize this platform to regularly come out with what are the challenges and concerns we are passionate about at our workplace that are unique to women. Concerns that find resonance with other members could be selected and smaller discussion forums could be setup to discuss the concern and seeking solutions for it. It could be a powerful way in which women can have “say” in what matters most to them and come out with solutions for them. This forum could play a pivotal role in encouraging more and more women to come forward and express their concerns.
The forum could have workshops focused on some of the key leadership challenges for women. These sessions could take up the challenges that are very unique to women, where usually women require more mentoring & guidance compared to her counterpart for their advancement.
I’ll also like to take this opportunity to say to all members of the forum that this is a great platform for all of us and we should make the best of it. It takes continuous efforts of lots of individuals who are giving their best to make this endeavor truly meaningful and enjoyable for all women in Newgen. All its members should take it as a privilege to work for it and should come forward and actively participate in the programs.
7) Tell us something about your family?
I was born and brought up in Varanasi, which is also known as the City of Light. We are a very close knitted family and with me being the eldest, I have been very lucky to get the most of their attention and affection. With both my parents working, I had spent most of my childhood times with my maternal grandmother who had been a great source for inspiration for me. Being born during the British rule to a father, who was a freedom fighter, my grandmother’s stories from her life experiences had a deep impact on me during my growing up days. My father’s sides of the family are into farming and we belong to a small village near Moradabad in western UP, where I spent most of my summer vacations in the Farms learning to appreciate all the little things life has to offer.
8) Are you happy being single, or any plans for settling down?
I would answer this by saying that I am not unhappy being single. It is not what defines me but has rather provided me with opportunity and time to get to know myself and others surrounding me in a better way, work on becoming the person I want to be and enjoy life on my own terms. It has given me a sense of self-confidence that most people strive for their entire life.
9) What are your hobbies?
I devote majority of my free time to what I love most: Reading. It started as a hobby and has gradually become a habit and has changed my life and my way of thinking in many ways. There’s no specific genre that I follow, just anything that intrigues me or catches my interest. It usually varies between philosophy & religion, spiritual & motivational, biographies, pure technology to fiction, adventure, drama, humor or the classics.
10) Do you watch television? Which Program do you like most?
I do not watch much of the television. On weekdays after office, I usually tune in to the evening news or news shows or just tune in to some music while working at my dinner and house chores. I am not very particular about or follow any specific program but I enjoy watching some of the comedy shows such as Family Guy, Friends & AFVs. I also enjoy watching some of the programs broadcasted on TLC & BBC on the diverse food cultures and habits across the world or travel & adventure shows.