Catherine Wolfram, Acting Associate Dean & Prof of Business Administration, Haas School of Business talking about Mentorship and Future Proofing Yourself at AIMA’s women-centric programme, PRAGATI 2019. Excerpts –
Catherine Wolfram, Acting Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration at Haas School of Business, University of California- Berkeley
I wanted to start by giving a little background on myself and then share a couple lessons. I’m an economist, I earned a PhD and I’ve been a professor for over 20 years. My research focus is on energy and I’ve done several projects in India, although much to my great regret I don’t have a current project ongoing in India. I’m moving into the role of associate dean which is about as close in academics as you get, to being in a management position. In general, academicians are kind of single-minded and they don’t have much taste for being managed. It’s a very non-hierarchical environment, but as I said the associate dean is kind of as close to management as you get. I wanted to share my experiences, though I know that since I’ve been in the US and I’ve been in academics and not in business my experiences have been different from yours, but I think there’s still some general lessons that I can share.
Skydiving is known as an extreme sport and we enjoy it to the max. I remember one journalist who was literally dying to ask me: Are you normal? To him and all others who wanted me to comment on why women are getting into this bizarre phenomenon of adventurous extreme sport , I want to say “Take Wings my friends and fly and you will discover the magic called life.”
The lady who is No. 1 in competitive skydiving is almost 50 years old and there’s nobody to take away her number one spot in competitive skydiving. In skydiving, like is relevant in every other field, one has to take that first step, that first plunge into thin air, the first step to do something. That’s when you find yourself sooner than later that you are really being reckoned in an elite group of path breakers like how I am standing out here in front of you. I have had a very short journey. I started skydiving in 2009. But October 8th 2011 was a big day for us because on the 79th anniversary of Indian Air Force we were launched as the first ever official women skydiving team of the Indian Air Force.
Sangeeta Talwar is the Managing Director at NDDB Dairy services & Former Executive Director at Tata Tea India – Tata Global Beverages
To move up the corporate ladder, you must be someone who’s “recognized and trusted”, than just being “the busy bee sitting in the corner room”.
According to popular study, it is believed that corporates with women have better profitability. But what is most important is how to recruit women talent, train them and most of all retain them!
Looking at how women are perceived in the corporate world today, we must first look at stereotypes. Pretty? Yes, also a mother. Proud? Don’t know, but should be perhaps. Accept some of the things about yourself. Yes, you do look pretty, presentable and value some of those good things that you bring to life. It’s even worse to try and do reverse on stereotypes, don’t try to be a super human being, you are not a super man or woman. However, there are certain irrational biases that exist about women. May be women are not good at reading maps and doing mechanical things, but they are wonderful team makers! They are better sniffers than men, that’s why they can prepare for the uncertainties of tomorrow. Continue reading →
I have been in Parliament for 6 years now and in the first 6 months that I was in Parliament I often was tempted to quit as the frustration gets to you because the things do not change as quickly as you would wanted to. That’s a reality, that’s part of democracy that we live in. I will touch a little bit more about democracy as I will go along but the reality is things don’t change. But one decision I made then was either I could be a wishful thinker or to decide to deal with the reality of the situation which is that things don’t change easily and in politics to bring about change is not easy and to try to make difference from within the system and that’s what I have tried to do.