The Delhi-based Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, which offers an alternative, customised MBA for women, has shared two videos with SheThePeople.TV. Created by their students as part of a visual story-telling module, the students chose to address issues that they worry about — What holds women back at the workplace?
By Shreyasi Singh
At The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, we believe strongly in the power of communication – and its growing criticality for a successful 21st century professional. Contemporary management literature has also shown that communication is a crucial component of leadership. Ideas get translated into action and breakthrough performances are possible only when leaders are able to build trust and rapport with their teams. Being able to inspire and urge people to reflect, identify, acknowledge and transform are key skills future managers must have.
Our Thinking Visually module was designed to help students learn the tools of storytelling – and to do so, visually. We tied the visual communications course with the personal growth journeys of our scholars – through their first six months at Vedica.
We were staggered at the two themes that the Scholars chose to focus on. It couldn’t be more telling since these are the issues that hold women back — both at the workplace and in life at large. They are strong indicators of the psyche of young women – even the more independent and progressive ones.
For example, research has shown that the “impostor syndrome” (the fear of being found out to be not adequate enough) can be crippling for women at the workplace. It stops them from raising their hand up for demanding roles and challenging assignments. Catalyst, a leading not for profit that works to expand women’s role in business, has found that women question their eligibility and apply for rolesonly when they are certain they have the exact skill sets. Men, more often than not, aim for roles for which they have potential, not always the requisite experience.
The Worst Critic, the first video produced by the founding batch of Vedica scholars, touched upon this crisis of confidence that haunts young women. Through representational characters, the short film portrays how so often we trust our fears but doubt our abilities. It’s a call to action to help young women believe more – in themselves; and to overcome the blanket of fear that can threaten to shroud their ambitions and goals.
Speak Up, the second video, confronted the silence of complicity in our societies, homes and workplaces. It touches upon the urgent need and importance for young women to speak up and stand up, at home or at work. It depicts powerfully the impact that seemingly small changes and conversations can have, as we work to make our societies more gender balanced. The video has the first traces of young women learning to seize responsibility for their own situations; and to lead by example by being able to effect change.
Credit: Both videos by Vedica scholars
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