Marg Launched Its First Round Table Event on “Women in Change” in India

Business Wire India

Marg Business Transformation is at the forefront of solving problems for organizations and leaders through Change Management and Leadership Development. Their focus on understanding the “why” in an organizational context has led to impactful solutions. As the authorized affiliate of Prosci Inc, a global leader in change management, Marg explores the dynamic realm of “Women in leadership” – how women approach issues, how they choose their priorities, the balance of the big picture and getting into details to get the job done etc and “Leadership during change “– what qualities a leader should display to mobilize people during change. The logical intersection presented itself as how women deal, lead, drive and manage change.

In line with Prosci’s initiative of “Women in Change”, Marg in India launched its first Round Table Event on “Women in Change” in December 2023. It was a fabulous experience for the entire Marg team to get together and host this diverse group of firebrand women leaders who exactly know what they are doing and go beyond to create an impact on people and change.

‘Women in Change’ was hosted face-to-face at the MARG office and participated by:
Nirguna Tilwankar– Head HR JC Penney. Nirguna is an experienced leader having expertise in various facets of HR – Business Partnering, Talent & Development, Talent Management & Performance Management including Rewards and setting up COE. The word “Multi” is associated with her – she is often seen managing multiple functions. She now manages multiple stakeholders in a multicultural setup in a global landscape. The promise she brings to the table is to add quantifiable value to the organization.
Nithya Subramanian – Head of Analytics, Kellanova. Nithya is adept in data science, AI, business intelligence, ERP (SAP), and product management, with a focus on strategic alignment and collaboration. She passionately speaks about Data Literacy, Data Accuracy, and Data Governance with the goal of enabling “data-driven decision-making” for organizations. No wonder her signature reads “In God we trust, rest must bring data”.
Shalini Gupta – Awarded one of the top 50 marketers by Businessworld, she is responsible for Marketing, Category, Design and Supply Chain. Mandated with hyper-growth of the newly formed business unit for Sarees and other Indian wear brands Taneira, she is the General Manager of Taneira, Titan Group. With everything that she does, wonder what makes her say “Don’t be a perfectionist”. 
Sruthi Kannan – Head Cisco for Startups Head of Business Development- Digital Native Enterprise – Awarded as one of the top innovators in the country, Sruthi holds an interesting responsibility of bringing together Cisco-tech, deep tech, and the start-up ecosystem of unicorns and soonicorns, co-creating end-to-end digital solutions and opening joint go-to-market opportunities. She is instrumental in following on funding in partnership with investors as well.
Moderator: Sudeshna Basu Roy, CEO, Marg Business Transformation
The session was kickstarted by Michelle Haggerty-Mackay, Prosci COO and President, USA who remotely addressed by welcoming the group of leaders and underlining the importance of change and women leaders in change.

The group of women leaders hit it off instantly with informal discussions which paved the way for the structured “Women in Change” discussion. It was such an immersive and amazing discussion that it continued for some length of time even when the camera said “cut.”

The main crux of the discussion on change and women and leaders brought forth the following points for us to ponder on:
Mindset: The women leaders felt strongly that their mindset attributed to what they have achieved:

  • Growth Mindset – constantly believing that things can be done if properly focused on.
  • Solution Focused – what can be done differently to solve the problem rather than focusing on the problem but not losing sight of the problem.
  • Emotional Intelligence – understanding where the other person comes from is very crucial.
  • Continuous Learning – There is never a time when women leaders know it all so be open to learning.
  • Customer Centricity – Have the customer as the focus and divert all efforts towards the same.
  • Eternal optimism – Things happen for a reason. Believe that and not become a victim under any challenge.
Leading & Managing Change: Anyone can land a change effectively as a leader with having the following as north star:
  • Clear vision of the leadership intent as to the future state, is the starting point.
  • Involve stakeholders well ahead in the game and make them a part of the change process.
  • Involve the teams and keep them informed.
  • Start small, see the impact, learn from it and scale.
  • Overcommunication is vital during change – the more the better.
  • Be transparent.
  • Have Fun in the process.
Women as change leaders: Women possess attributes that make them naturally lean into change like:
  • Women are more empathetic, the desire to be a HERO in a tough situation is low – in a change trust can be built easily with that trait.
  • Women are naturally associated with colours and diversity – they can make the change journey more lively adding that different perspective.
  • Women are more adaptive and collaborative which are key during times of uncertainty.
  • Agility comes naturally to women, and their proactive approach in navigating change can turn the entire situation in their favour.
  • Attention to details and ability to listen are how one picks up the pulse of the organization.
  • Intuitive nature of what will work or not work is high with woman – can be an asset during change.
However, just being a woman does not mean that the above will happen on its own. Taking the initiative, leading from the fore front and making full use of the above attributes and making decisions based on data shall make a change successful and establish women as leaders.
Observation on what can be done better to equip women as leaders:
  • Mentorship or advice received early in life helped this group of leaders excel in what they do. So having a structured support with mentors can enable more women leaders.
  • Constructive feedback is always a “gift” and can enhance the ability of high-performing women.
  • In the experience of the leaders, women second guess themselves despite the same qualifications and ability as the opposite gender. Self-doubting is more with women. So, women professionals must make that extra effort to guide women to be confident.
  • Networking with the right set of people can be a huge catalyst to career growth.
  • Women are always torn between being the persona in office and the persona at home – bridging the same and enabling a workplace where they can be their authentic selves may prevent dropouts which are observed in the mid-management level especially in STEM as proven by data.
  • Men around these professional women, both at office and at home should be aware of what role they can play in making those women become successful leaders.
Leaders become leaders because people find value in following them. The ask of being authentic leaders who may not be the person knowing everything in the room now seems to be the definition of a more real leader.

Leadership attributes can be masculine or feminine. Being hierarchical, aggressive, and autocratic may be required in times of crisis but the changes around us are a little different. The changes which are happening now like digitalization, automation, sustainability efforts, etc. require people to unlearn, upskill, and reskill i.e., demand a complete change in mindset. To make this happen, organizations must ensure that the change lands successfully. This is achievable only by fostering a more intuitive, empathic, and collaborative approach because organizations don’t change; individuals do.