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During a recent speaking engagement with a woman's cohort at a company in Bangalore, India, I was asked a thought-provoking question during the Q&A session, and the question was: while progress has been made in increasing women's leadership roles, gender diversity in corporate boardrooms remains a global issue. Why is this? Well, here's my take on this: many women let opportunities pass by them. The corporate world is full of possibilities, and I have witnessed how women are given opportunities, but they decline them.

So here are a few internal shifts every woman in the corporate world must bring about if we want to see them rising in boardrooms. Number one, make family your partner in growth. Talk to them about your growth plans and how everyone can be a part of them. Make your growth a family affair and let others know how keen you are and share responsibilities as much as you can. Number two, grab opportunities. Women need to focus on what they know, take the job, and then learn the rest.

Number three, learn the language of business. I think this is super important. Many women are technically skilled at their job, but they need to speak the language of business. Begin to take interest in the company's bottom line. Read about the company's PNL statements. Speak about business and numbers at the meetings. I have always believed that discrimination is more inside our heads than out there. So today, what is needed most is for women to bring about a change in their thinking and behaviors.

Your Good Friend and Mentor

Payal Nanjiani


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