Family support key to women becoming good leaders: Haley

Mumbai, Nov 20 (IANS): The support of family members, including parents and spouse, play a key role in helping a woman attain confidence which is an essential quality for effective leadership, South Carolina Governor Nikki Randhawa Haley said here Thursday.

Acknowledging her husband's support in her leadership journey, Haley said that "family comes first for me and assuring my family's well-being helps me in becoming a better leader".

She was speaking at an interactive session on "Women In Leadership" organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Indian Women Network, a special CII initiative to promote the cause of women.

Discussing her Indian roots and the experience of being in a neighbourhood where they were the only Indian family during her childhood, Haley said her parents encouraged her to blend with everyone around.

"Women must push their way out instead of pulling back when they are scared or nervous. This is the only way they can discover their true potential and be an inspiration for other women," Haley said.

"It is important for women to take a firm stand in trying circumstances. It makes a difference not only to the women who take a stand but also paves the way ahead for other women," she said on challenging situations for women.

Haley spoke of an instance when self-belief and persistence helped her overcome resistance and negativity in bringing about a positive change in some legislation in South Carolina state in the US.

Maharashtra Minister for Rural Development Pankaja Munde-Palwe said that leadership is not about gender, but about inherent qualities in an individual that need grooming for women to transform them into future leaders.

"Although my entry into politics was accidental, my ascent to leadership was not. I worked hard to prove myself to reach my current position. My father's support (the late union cabinet minsiter Gopinath Munde) was there," Munde said.

According to her, leadership qualities are not gender-based and could be found in any individual - but, the family support and encouragement extended to women right from childhood play an important role in transforming them into future leaders.

Comparing women to a sponge, Munde said that she had derived a lot inspiration by absorbing learnings from the society and environment.

"I feel women make better leaders as they are ethical, principled, result-oriented and adept at multi-tasking - Women must work hard not to prove others wrong, but to prove their own capabilities," Munde said.

Both Haley and Munde shared their perspectives on women as natural leaders, why they should be included in leadership positions, transformative global trends, inclusive leadership and women empowerment for taking the next step.

The CII Western Region has launched a special initiative for women in the corporate and business arena to bring together women throughout their careers, to empower them, engage with them and enable them achieve their best capabilities through training, mentoring and creating an associative model for other women to benefit.



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