Women's Day Special Feature: Tanushri Nair, Associate Vice President- HR & Admin, SAGE Publications India Private Limited

Associate Vice President- HR & Admin, SAGE Publications India Private Limited
Tell us about one of your superwoman moments:
I have always believed that the bigger the challenge, the bigger is the opportunity to grow. In one of my last organization when employee morale was down and ‘Communication’ was seen as a major concern, using Edward de Bono’s lateral thinking technique, we devised a strategy that helped organization-wide communication to improve and gave a platform to employees to freely express themselves. This consequently improved the employee engagement score and resulted in the organization winning ‘The Great Managers Award’. We even submitted a white paper on this to FICCI where we won the second prize under the category of ‘Innovation in Design Thinking’. All of this was time and energy consuming, needed a lot of research and had to be driven by collaboration. I was leading this mammoth exercise and simultaneously on my personal front we were shifting house and my son was preparing for his final examination. It sounds really simple now as I look back but the tremendous pressure I was faced with coupled with the zeal to excel in each task I had in-hand, I did feel like a superwoman at the end of it all - satisfied with all the end results completely. It definitely is not a myth - women really are better than men at multitasking, which actually makes each one of us a superwoman in our own ways as we really do find our ‘eureka’ moments, come what may.

You ensure work-life balance by:
Prioritizing, Planning and Communicating. While ‘we’ women try to conquer the world, taking care of our household and family never ceases to be a priority. Thus, I find immense solace in playing on my strengths, prioritizing my time and being aware of my peaks and troughs. Creating a timeline for activities and setting worktimes helps. One must, however, be realistic. Also keeping my line of communication open has always helped me with all- be it my family/ friends or seniors/colleagues. A call for some adjustment/ help at times is certainly not a sign of weakness as long as you know and are focused on your end deliverables.

You spend your weekends doing:
By mostly spending time with my teenaged son and trying to understand his world of music and studies, consequently learning new things along the way. I also try and catch up on my reading during the weekends.

A piece of advice to increase women empowerment in the workplace:
Personally, I have had the fortune of coming from a liberal family who enabled me to have a good education. I have also worked for a few progressive companies where the number of women has almost been at par with the number of men. In fact in my current organization- SAGE, gender diversity and inclusiveness is given utmost importance. However, there is no denying that at large an imbalance against the women in the corporate workplace exists. Not only is the ratio of working women to working men shockingly low, pay scales for the same job between men and women have also been famously known to differ.
A few steps I always encourage to increase women empowerment at the workplace are:
a) Consciously hire more women
b) Take steps in ensuring their safety- POSH Policy in place, travel during late hours etc.
c) Have policies in place to help women overcome domestic barriers- for instance during maternity or giving greater flexibility of work time
d) Foster a friendly, inclusive and interactive culture where the co-workers share easy relationships, work closely with each other, and interact both on a professional and personal level. This shall include involving men at work for initiatives to deconstruct the social norms and rebalance gender equality. 
e) Investing and grooming women in Leadership roles- Women have tremendous potential to transform our economies, societies and businesses. 

Few words of wisdom for the women reading this:
No matter what changes you decide to do in your everyday life, start small. If you try and do everything together, you will burn out fast. Take time out to schedule work at home and workplace and never compromise on the special ‘me’ time that you will always need. Also never stop learning. Keep time for yourself, read and network to understand what is happening in the world around. The quest for knowledge shall always give you an edge.

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