Don’t many of us jump too quickly into addressing powerful and fiery women at leadership positions as ‘Bossy’? Let’s break this term up into what it actually means.
Bossy is a woman who wants to get work done without saying ‘please’ because she does not have to. Bossy is a woman who says no and means it, when she has to, without feeling bad about it. Bossy is a woman who will firmly put her point of view across because that is what her job requires her to do.
While if a man does all this, it is considered all right but when a woman has to deal with such situations and does the same, she is called bossy.
As much as it is sad to realise the stark reality of times, there are a few women who tackle such problems without breaking into a sweat. We spoke to some of them…
“I had to deal with the bossy-stigma during my career journey but I think the core of it was what I bring to the table in terms of my own competence. I mean the question is why am I here? I am not in a company because I am a woman, I am here because I am value adding in a different way,” says Anuranjita Kumar of Citibank.
“So when people start seeing you as a professional, it becomes gender agnostic,” she adds.
Anuranjita says that a woman at the leadership level doesn’t have to be aggressive and she does not have to behave like a man in a board meeting, but one has got to make an impact. You got to do what you got to do.
Lopa Shah, Investment Officer at IFC, says that she is often in situations where she is the only woman among a group of 30 men. “It is not so much in my office but with our clients. These are intimidating and complex situations but I think that the only way to navigate them is by really knowing what I am talking about and get very informed so when I make a contribution, people listen.”
“Often times, I find myself leading those conversations,” says Lopa about the times when she found herself in situations where there were more men in a meeting than women.
It is necessary to be sure of what you’re talking about because if you don’t, there are plenty of people already looking to pull you down.