Write to us
Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
Purna Chandra Mahato
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Linda Palus served as Former Global Vice President, Digital Marketing & Ecommerce at NewAge Inc., a global organic healthy products company. Linda leads digital marketing and social media initiatives to develop and grow direct consumer relationships and eCommerce sales. Prior to NewAge, Linda led global digital and data marketing and eCommerce initiatives for a range of lifestyle and consumer goods companies including SC Johnson and E&J Gallo. In her free time, she enjoys stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, wine tasting and — in pre- and post-COVID times — adventure travel, including rappelling down waterfalls and hiking glaciers.
Interviewed by Ritu Josan
// In a recent research study conducted by Grant Thornton, it was reported that only 29% of senior management positions in companies are occupied by women. What are your thoughts on the gender gap in the corporate world?
Although this is a discouraging statistic in 2021, I am hopeful that companies have become more aware of the barriers to entry and are committed to implementing productive and consistent initiatives to remove these barriers, train people and actively support diversity across their organization. An encouraging example is Goldman Sachs declaring they will not bring any companies public without at least one diverse board member, noting that over a four-year period, companies with females on their boards outperformed those that didn't. However, simply installing a female or diverse board member won't solve the systematic and enterprise-wide challenge of more proportionate female representation across organizations and in leadership roles.
It is very important for companies to look at their entire talent pipeline and culture and implement specific, ongoing strategies and tactics to improve both.
// Have you faced any challenges as a woman in a senior leadership position? How did you overcome them?
The most common challenge I've faced is getting into and being included in the informal male leadership network within an organization. This informal network is critical to gaining influence and exposure to key stakeholders and the C-suite. The tactics I have found to be effective are to build 1:1 relationships with the key male executives through informal coffee meetups and lunches to get to know them on a more personal level and build trust. After building trust and relationships, I would start to ask them for their advice and insights, offer information and ask to be included in other networking and mentoring opportunities with key leaders and the C-suite.
// What steps can organizations take to improve gender diversity across all levels at the workplace?
First and foremost, companies need to consistently educate EVERYONE on the positive impact that gender (and all) diversity has on business results versus merely promoting the need to hire/promote women unilaterally. All employees across the organization, especially leaders, also need to recognize when they may be applying subconscious bias and learn effective tactics to offset this to ensure logical and objective interactions, performance reviews and promotion evaluations. Next, companies need to proactively match and facilitate prospective female leaders with both female and male executive mentors to build those critical relationships and networks.
// How can companies change their work culture and processes to enable more women leaders in senior management?
In addition to the suggestions shared earlier, I would recommend that companies facilitate an annual survey (offering people the option to be anonymous) to measure employee sentiment on gender and other diversity issues. The survey and metrics should determine how employees feel a sense of belonging, whether they feel that promotions are based on fair and transparent criteria and if they have access to leaders that could help them with their professional development. The survey results, and most importantly, a plan developed by a diverse and cross-functional team to address and improve the sentiment and actions, should be shared across the enterprise. The progress of the actions/plan and requests for additional input should be shared, adjusted and optimized regularly.
// How has COVID-19 affected your work-life balance?
The boundaries between work and personal time/life have certainly become blurred during the COVID-19, full-time remote era. I have found that I need to consciously take a break for meals, and take a walk to recharge and unplug, which ultimately leads to greater productivity. In addition to this, even though I was in meetings most of the day in the office, I had more movement when shuttling between conference rooms than when sitting at home with the computer in meetings all day long. Using a standing desk and taking short walks a couple of times a day helps to clear my mind and increase the blood flow!
Although my daughters are independent adults and do not live with me, which allows me to focus on work while working full time at home, I am very empathetic to those who have to juggle the needs of children and work during these unprecedented times. Unfortunately, the responsibility of child and house care often falls disproportionately on women, and the pandemic has magnified this imbalance. Over 2 million women have left the workforce since the pandemic began. Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, warned that this will set back efforts to increase female representation in leadership roles for years to come. She recommends that companies and the government offer tangible and structural changes such as affordable daycare and paid family leave for all employees.
// If you could share one piece of advice with other women in the corporate world, what would it be?
Be confident! Be confident that you know your ‘stuff’. Be confident that your opinion matters. Be confident and prepared in responding politely but firmly to comments that are biased. Be confident in sharing ongoing concerns and instances of bias and/or discrimination to leaders and HR so it can be addressed and improved for all. Both women and men should anticipate and be prepared to react to inappropriate or discriminating comments in whatever way they are most comfortable and confident with (through humor, seriousness, questions or in some other way) to reinforce to all that these biases, comments and behavior are not acceptable.
// Is there anything you would like to bring to the attention of your male counterparts in the corporate world?
While overt sexual harassment is a real problem, women often have to face sexist microaggressions every day in the workplace, many of which are the result of subconscious biases that people don't even realize they have, Tiffany Eckelberg, director of public relations at The Muse, states.
Men hold a powerful responsibility to recognize and call out other men directly when they see these instances happening. As I do for women, I also recommend that men be confident and prepared to respond when they hear/see instances of gender or any other kind of bias/discrimination. Further, men can offer subtle but strong ways to support women every day. For example, when you're in a meeting, especially video meetings, don't talk over anyone. Acknowledge points and opinions specifically made by female and diverse participants to bring added emphasis and support to them. When you're planning meetings or setting up new task forces or teams, ensure that you have proportionate (not just one!) diverse perspectives and participation. These are ways that may seem small, but if implemented broadly and consistently, will make a big difference.
Acknowledge the problem and be open to learning
Roopal Shah, Vice President of Distribution Enablement, Salesforce.org
Equality needs to become a pillar of company culture
Michelle Chiantera, Vice President of Americas Growth Marketing, Global Segments and Industries, and Global Partner Marketing, Cisco Systems
Facilitating gender equality in the workplace
Lucille DeHart, Former Director (CRM, Marketing Strategy & Business Development), Bed Bath & Beyond
Eliminating gender bias starts with children
Nicole Summitt, Vice President, Field Marketing & Events, Sprinklr
Women need to be forthright about their achievements
Danita Belcher, VP of Global Contact Center Sales, RingCentral. Inc