Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling and Becoming Power Entrepreneurs

Motivated to become all-rounders, maintaining a healthy balance between their careers, family and health, we see women unleashing their true potential and arising as superheroes all around us.


BARBARA CORCORAN, Real Estate Magnate and ‘Shark Tank’ Investor, once said, "The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves." And the woman of today doesn’t know how to feel sorry for herself. That is exactly why she is breaking the glass ceiling and showing her superhuman side to the world.

According to Hilton’s Global Youth Wellbeing Index released in 2017 in partnership with International Youth Foundation (IVF), 36% of women report a fear of walking alone at night, and, at 27%, the female youth marriage rate is one of the highest in the Index. In spite of various challenges, the women of today in India have emerged as trailblazers, they are fighters and they take challenges head on! As their priorities have changed from being submissive housewives to expressing their entrepreneurial side, they have conquered every field. From being professionally qualified to having great skill sets, creatively and intellectually equipped, the urban woman has busted all stereotypes and has added way more value to her sheer existence.

Motivated to become all-rounders, maintaining a healthy balance between their careers, family and health, we see women unleashing their true potential and arising as superheroes all around us.

Survival in a male dominated society is difficult let alone emerging as leaders on the professional front. There are several challenges a woman has to go through every single day as she steps out to work. However, women entrepreneurs and leaders in India have made their mark and have been able to grow and flourish immensely over the years. The women of today are solution finders and with this new outlook, they are being constantly encouraged and empowered especially on the professional front which has helped them emerge as great leaders.

Furthermore, with the boom of social media, every traditional housewife dreams of starting her own business or venture that will bring her out of her cocoon and she will get a space to showcase her abilities to the world gradually treading the success graph, be it in terms of earning money, gaining popularity, being innovative or simply proving herself.

Women all over the world are redefining themselves and the way the world looks at them. Corporate is no exception. While there is an attitude shift where women of today feel more confident to achieve higher positions that were not even thought possible in yesteryears, the corporate world too is making efforts to create women friendly workplaces for their growth. We are seeing the change in every field including hospitality. Various companies have undertaken initiatives to encourage and motivate them for their professional and personal growth. To promote gender equality, they now provide team members with flexible timings that they can maintain work life balance. There is more time for women these days to focus not just on their jobs but attain flexibility to start their own businesses and emerge as leading entrepreneurs.

Not only this, transparent and collaborative career mapping is incorporated to make sure no talent or hard work goes unnoticed. Corporates have started challenging traditional views of merit in recruitment and appraisals. Employee sensitization workshops around forward-thinking topics like unconscious bias, leadership and mentoring programs for women are some of the many efforts to foster a supportive and positive environment. In order to strengthen the diversity and inclusion culture, organizations have introduced forums which strives to foster a diverse workplace by inspiring women employees through the creation of role models and sharing of inspirational stories of successful women in leadership positions.

Special Healthcare facilities have been made available to women to ensure proper healthcare. Maternity leaves have been increased in many companies and work from home policy has made work convenient as well as indulgent. Measuring targets and maintaining accountability by regular progress report is prepared to avoid gender discrimination. Fair evaluating and screening processes are done to hire women in leadership positions.

Even at Hilton, gender diversity is one of the key pillars and ‘women in leadership’ is a core subject of focus for us. Multiple activities like conferences, workshops on inclusion and diversity and recognition awards are steered throughout the year.

Even though the era for working women has completely evolved, a lot still needs to be done in order to support the multi-faceted and immensely talented women progress. There is no end to the talent and potential that they withhold but in order to unleash the same, organizations need to continue to undertake initiatives and encourage and value their women leaders and team members.

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. As I was moving up the ranks, sometimes I’d be in a meeting and think, ‘we really need a decision here,’ and realize a beat later it was me who had to take that decision. Leadership is about presenting confidence and decisiveness. Of course it’s best if this is how you’re really feeling at the moment but it’s possible–in fact necessary–to make decisions you’re not 100 percent sure of. The longer you do it the more natural going with your gut becomes. And then soon you start giving advice like ‘just go with your gut.’ “When it’s a smaller team, you can rapidly make changes because you’re all sitting in the same room together, looking at each other. In a leadership position, Pariva says you need to train yourself on “deep listening” so that you can really understand what’s going on. “You lead with much more true confidence when you understand how people around you–whether they agree or disagree with your decision–will react. In that way, you’ll be able to pull them along with you even if they don’t agree with you … by the way, this works in marriage too.”

Most acts of leadership happen behind closed doors. In that sense, a leader’s journey is actually quite private. It has to be. The conversations with an employee, the hard decisions at a review meeting, the thoughts in bed late at night. It’s counter-intuitive because we think of leaders as very public figures.”

“I think one of the biggest ways that I learned this lesson has been through personal relationships with other leaders. Specifically the relationships that have moved beyond business and into true friendship where there’s a certain level of trust and camaraderie,” she says. Siya, her daughter is a reflection of sincere and true leadership, as she looks up to a women who is “challenging status quo.”

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