My colleague and I received the opportunity through TVS Next to attend the NASSCOM Women Product Champions Summit (NWPC). As a product owner in the product space, developing roadmaps and ensuring value delivery, I did not want to miss this opportunity. Women leaders from different sectors were present there to exchange their stories. Seeing these women leaders come together to share their journey and give their time to our questions was very inspiring.
Research shows that 33% of women are in entry-level positions. Yet, as we climb the ladder to c-suite positions, women’s representation is less than 10% in India. NWPC aims to build a community of women in product and nurture women professionals pursuing a career in product. Several organizations have come together to make this program run.
The event touched on our need to learn and upskill in emerging technologies such as Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security, Blockchain, Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing.
Speakers from different areas of expertise shared their experiences of their journey up the corporate ladder with insights into what worked for them. Education, Exploration, and Exposure are the three essentials in one’s journey.
There were entrepreneurs for niche products who addressed us. For example, there was an entrepreneur of healthcare product focusing on women’s health issues like PCOS, menopause, etc. It connects people with similar issues, building a forum for them to discuss their problems. It connects them to doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists, etc. A founder of a popular job portal that focuses on mentoring and placing women who wish to return to work after a career break shared her bit. They have some bridge programs and also part-time employment opportunities. It was interesting to hear about a cab service exclusively for women in Bangalore with women drivers. They empower women with driving lessons and encourage them. The cabs service primarily started for the safety of women travelling alone by cabs. Listening to each of them bring forth their experiences and outlooks was exciting. It was eye-opening to hear their stories and achievements.
NWPC focuses on training, mentoring, and creating a network for opportunities. This insightful day got me pondering about my life and career. The understanding I gained from this day is practical, but there are a few things I will need to figure out.
Women are natural multi-taskers, better communicators, and more empathetic because of our various roles. Despite this, we hesitate to take risks and often prefer to keep ourselves reasonably low in the corporate hierarchy. We fear failure and disappointment. Even if we are 50% confident, we should take that leap!