The Mahindra Group prides itself on equality and inclusion in the workplace. There are many women occupying senior positions, and we had the pleasure of hearing from one such leader, Suman Mishra, VP – Capital Allocation from the Mahindra Group who spoke about her experiences to an engaged online audience of 61 Mahindra Susten women employees.
Suman spoke particularly on the topic of Women Who Rise and Centered Leadership, sharing how important it is for women to know their strengths, be engaged and back other women as they rise the ladder.
Some takeaways from the session
During this 1.5-hour session, Suman interacted with women from Mahindra Susten, sharing her thoughts on the concept of Centered Leadership, peppered with examples from her journey. The young audience was enthralled with her knowledge, particularly happy to learn such pragmatic and valuable lessons from a senior woman leader.
Suman spoke of the need for women to learn optimism and practice it daily, and understand how to prioritize goals with the ability to say no to non-priority items. She spoke of the importance for women to manage their energies as they balance different priorities in their lives, whether professional or personal. With respect to career growth, Suman highlighted the need for women to lift each other up as we go further in their careers, paving the way for those coming after us, and she also spoke on the importance of having mentors who can guide you.
Other great pointers for women, shared by Suman, include:
- Have a strong desire to lead – you have it in you
- Inculcate the capacity to change – don’t wait for change to happen
- Mind the story you tell yourself – own your narrative
- Take ownership of what happens to you – You direct your life
- Back other women publicly and verbally – we have to have each other’s backs
- Focus on your strengths and not just your weaknesses – practice optimism
The Session was rated highly, at 4.8 stars out of 5. Please find below some of the responses received to the question “What did you like most about the session?”:
- To be optimistic, independent and rise at work.
- To prioritise our work. We are not super women. 😉
- I liked that the session was very interactive and Suman very candidly shared through examples from her own life about taking chances, speaking up for yourself & leadership journey. Biggest takeaways – 1) The secret Mantra to work-life balance is no real balance exists all the time, so just try your best without burning out. Prioritise and use your support systems well to manage personal & work life balance. 2) Be ambitious but in your daily lives, small habits of learning to pause, reflect & recharge regularly can ensure we deliver our best. 3) Take chances & don’t lose sight of opportunities because of temporary setbacks or personal plans.
Background on Ms. Suman Mishra
Ms. Suman Mishra is Senior Vice President – Capital Allocation at M&M Limited. Her key focus areas are shaping and implementing capital allocation recommendations for the various businesses in the broader group. Her role includes helping businesses achieve a clear path to profitability and working with high potential growth businesses in the group for faster scale up.
Prior to this role, she worked on strategy development and implementation of a wide range of business strategy and transformation projects in the group across multiple sectors. She was recognized as Economic Times 40 under 40 business leaders and Economic Times Woman Ahead in 2019. She is part of the Group Corporate Office Leadership Team and Group Diversity Committee.
Prior to joining Mahindra, Suman was Head, Corporate Project Management at Cipla and was responsible for global product launches. Prior to joining the corporate sector, Suman had a long consulting stint in McKinsey & Company and Accenture. In these roles she has worked on large scale performance transformations at several Fortune 500 companies in USA, India, and Singapore across multiple industries (pharma, automotive, chemical, retail etc.)
Suman is an MBA from University of Michigan, Ross School of Business where she graduated with high distinction. She is a Computer Engineer from NTU Singapore where she graduated with First Class Honours.