PRESS for PROGRESS 0

renu-khanna-all-things-talent-july-2018

This article is a part of the All Things Talent Magazine (July 2018 Edition) – An Initiative By iimjobs.com | hirist.com

“The individual space is where the actual battle is being fought; this is where the first transaction is in action and a domino effect of that can be seen at the global level.” “Press for progress” is also about men celebrating the duality of roles and not being shy about it thereby celebrating ‘partnership’ in the true sense.

– Dr. Renu Khanna

You talk about Women in Workforce and “parity” finds a way to insert itself in, in that dialogue. These two terms woman and parity seem to have become mutually inclusive.

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings, gender parity is over 200 years away. This means that the current movement around parity and women empowerment is just a storm in a teacup, and the momentum carrying the Tsunami stature is still in the making.

“Press for Progress” is the 2018 theme as chosen by World Economic Forum to move this storm from the teacup into a full-blown Tsunami within the economic arena; in other words its time for ACTION.

Talent dearth forecasts, by the workforce industry experts, started way back in 2007 and maybe in some pockets even before that. Back then too, it was said: “the companies that integrate women as an important force into their talent pool will enjoy a ‘differentiation’ that will propel them into the success trajectory much faster than the others”.

Yet here we are in 2018 saying the exact same thing and still waiting for the D ‘Day to present itself. What’s baffling is that we know what will make a difference and yet there is an air of tentativeness around this integration. It’s like a painting that everybody loves, can write poetries galore to express it, can get emotional about it but nobody wants to take this painting home, its place for some reason is in the museum alone.

“According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings, gender parity is over 200 years away.”

With this as a backdrop I would like to zoom out of the global stage and zoom in, into, the individual space in the context of “Press for Progress” a place where the actual battle is being fought; this is where the first transaction is in action and you see the domino effect of that at the global level.

Even today there are far so many mothers (I am purposely not saying parents) who would give far more liberty to a boy child vs. a girl child and the child experiences and makes note of these differences. This same boy when he grows up no wonder he thinks what he thinks and no wonder we are faced with a challenge of parity today. On a different note, why are we surprised when we see this differential behaviour showing itself in the work arena; were the seeds not sown inside each home? “Press for progress” needs to be witnessed in our homes; no point in fighting this battle outside when the seeds are being nurtured at home.

In schools and colleges, girls are seen outperforming boys, which is further reflected in the initial years of their corporate life. Yet, as the years progress, you start seeing a dip in these numbers. Press for Progress needs to “Go Live” to boost these numbers.

Today most men when ready for marriage wish for working partners, yet partnership in the true sense is a term “elusive” to them. Whilst women have progressed at an accelerated pace, men at large, may not have evolved in their thinking at the same pace, courtesy the seeds sown at home. Whilst corporate women understand the duality of their role men have yet to take on that mantle.

“Press for progress” is about men celebrating the duality of roles and not being shy about it (home & office) thereby celebrating ‘partnership’ in the true sense.

The current phase of shift is an indication of the twisted evolution of the “society”, the shifts are being made to enhance a lifestyle or to enjoy higher income and it’s not about value & respect for that potential. It’s turning into a case of “I want my cake and eat it too”.

I see so many women wanting to break through the ceiling(s) that they face. Again look within and ask yourselves, truly who is holding “me” back, is it the men in my eco-system, is it the system itself, is it myself, is it my fears, is it my doubts, is it my insecurity, is it my lack of skills? In which areas of my life do I need to “Press for Progress”?

“The current phase of shift is an indication of the twisted evolution of the “society”, the shifts are being made to enhance a lifestyle or to enjoy higher income and it’s not about value & respect for that potential.”

The one that is within you is more powerful than that which is outside. How are you releasing that power into your life? Press for progress is really about releasing that latent divine force that is within you to truly make a difference at your thought level, at homes, and within your eco-system.

Whilst the world inches its way towards parity in the next 200 years few questions to maximize the moment that you have in hand: What does ‘Press Progress’ mean for me? What can I do differently to ‘Press for Progress’ NOW in this moment, not tomorrow or day after?

Work with the force within, be bold to push your boundaries, be creative about enrolling both men and women into your support structure, enjoy the challenges that this process of refinement will throw your way and more and before you know you would be able to give a tangible push to this elusive wall of parity.  Every time you break your own record you know that you have “Pressed for Progress”.

Good news is we do see this churn bring forth a breed of men that are emerging as true ambassadors of supporting, nurturing and appreciating this latent talent. Although, this percentage even today would be in the one-digit bucket. It would be great to see this wave of change, this breed of men, influence every stratum of the society. The true victory would be to see the domino effect of this appear as a differentiator at a national level, individual or corporate level and at an industry level. The longest journey begins with a small step are you ready to take the first step to ‘Press for Progress’.

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Dr Renu Khanna was heading the leadership centre at Tech Mahindra for 20 years. She is a well-known learning strategist and L&D Guru with over 25 years of rich experience in ITES/IT, Consulting and Manufacturing organizations. Founder and CEO of Humex, an organization that works towards building Human excellence through the holistic development of individuals in all walks of life. She is an ultimate authority in areas of Organization Development, Change Management, Leadership Development, Associate Engagement and Inclusion and Diversity.

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