Now that we know it isn’t true, lets get to the point of what it is to be a woman in the finance industry.
Here’s a story I’d like to share-I was mentoring a teenage girl in my colony, once after returning from work. I was dressed in business formals. She asked me where I was coming from. I said I was coming from office. She further probed and asked where I worked. I said I work at PINC, in the Financial Services Industry. To which she surprisingly replied “ Don’t boys join the financial services industry. Papa is a boy and so he is in that industry.”
As stunned as I could be, I chose to not respond, but that forced me to delve deep into the recesses of my mind. There are cases in the BFSI industry where the finance domain is a rare career option for a woman. Additionally, cultural factors play a role in restricting female participation, as we move up the corporate ladder.
We all know, attributing set stereotypes pertaining to gender has been around for decades and centuries. Back in the days, Indian women have been primarily responsible for homemaking and childcare. Even in the Neanderthal ages, men were assigned the task of hunting or building structures, whereas women were assigned roles of caretaking and cooking, in most cases. Who decided these roles?
In my opinion, both serve the same purpose, both achieve similar goals.
However, today every woman including me dons the hat of a multitasker across several industries. I am a daughter, sister, wife and a leader. These roles that I balance daily, make me what I am. I walk into meetings full of men in the room, almost every day. But that has never restricted my willingness to contribute to business decisions. When I wake up every morning , I know I am making a difference to the world and in a way PINC empowers me to do that. My day starts with an exercise regime, followed by some home errands, before I leave for work . When in office , I am passionate about work and acknowledge the challenges that it brings to me. Similarly when I am at home, I am a homemaker, embracing my duties in that role.I firmly believe that we will get rid of external barriers only , if we assiduously motivate ourselves to continue with the same stride every day. Barriers in terms of holding ourselves back, lacking confidence at times and may be, not raising our hands to ask the right questions. Each of these barriers, I try and overcome, one thing at a time.
As far as my participation in the industry is considered, I’d like to say that it has been tough to leave a mark in the BFSI industry , but it has been fruitful. As a marketing leader, I’ve used the incredible power of communication to my stride. At PINC, we have 30% women employees, which is an amazing number compared to the industry average. Indeed, things are changing.
As we enter a new decade, let each one of us do those little things that make a difference for broader, deeper inclusion of women in the BFSI space.
Author – Neha Plasterwala