Not getting enough number of women for leadership roles: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has lamented that she is struggling to find enough women to play leadership roles, even though there is a significant rise in their number in junior management roles

Press Trust of India February 22, 2019 16:18:34 IST
Not getting enough number of women for leadership roles: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
  • The comments come in the backdrop of the continuing calls for empowering and encouraging more women to take up leadership roles in companies

  • This is reflected in the very low number of women on the board of companies

  • Over the next five to ten years we will hopefully see many more women playing leadership roles, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said

Mumbai: Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has lamented that she is struggling to find enough women to play leadership roles, even though there is a significant rise in their number in junior management roles.

The comments come in the backdrop of the continuing calls for empowering and encouraging more women to take up leadership roles in companies and many other walks of life. This is reflected in the very low number of women on the board of companies.

"Over the next five to ten years we will hopefully see many more women playing leadership roles. Yes, things are happening but not at the pace that I want," Shaw said without offering an explanation for the same in the sense that is it lack of adequate talent or the result of covert gender bias.

Not getting enough number of women for leadership roles Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

File photo of Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Reuters

Addressing the annual Nasscom leadership summit here on Friday, she also rued that regulations are not keeping pace with technological developments leaving companies unable to adopt them in smarter ways.

"For many traditional businesses, the existential question is how do we embrace and leverage technology to secure our future. One of the reasons why traditional manufacturing industry hasn't really been very smart about adopting technology is because of regulations which haven't kept pace with what is happening in the technology world. This is our constant complaint and they are very very slow to move," she said.

"So I think it's very important that companies are ahead of the curve and become strongly focused on how to leverage technology better," she added.

Shaw admitted that setting up the Bengaluru-headquartered biopharmaceutical company was an uncalculated risk on her part as she was treading into uncharted territory.

"My life and my journey has been about taking risks, most of them have been calculated risks. But the first risk that I embarked on was to start a biotech firm which was a completely uncalculated risk in many ways because I didn't know what I was getting into," she said.

However, but once ventured into it there was no going back and she learned to the nuances of risk-taking, and understand the probability of success versus the risks.

Observing that our culture prefers success and not risk-taking, she said, "I believe because we are culturally attuned to lower risks, we tend to focus on services rather than products. Products is high-risk and depending on the kind of innovation you start assessing what that risk is."

Stating that she has taken risks with very high probability of success as well as with very low probability of success, she said "and many of the ones that had very low probabilities of success haven't worked. Maybe that's what I call failure."

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