Based on research and experience, this book moves from summarising the problems and challenges faced by women AT WORK to offering a flexible framework to create solutions and progress – for women to lead and succeed as the best they can be. An essential resource for female leaders to reach their full potential.
Cosette Reczek, Group Head of Organisation Design at HSBC
The benefits of a more diverse workforce are well supported: greater diversity of thinking, better decision making, more innovation, and better engagement of our increasingly diverse customer bases.
But diversity does not automatically yield benefits. We need to enable diverse talent to bring their different perspectives, life experiences and values to the table. Only if this authentic self can emerge, will benefits follow. Being authentic means that we can invest our energies on furthering the causes of our team or customers, rather than wasting energy on hiding who we are and being side tracked by conforming to traditional definitions of success. Without this enablement, diversity can lead to ‘us and them’ thinking and create fault lines in our organisations. Diverse organisations need leaders who understand the value of diverse thinking and who have learned how to bring everyone around the table into the conversation and into the decision making process.
But authenticity is not only a matter of being given the license by others to be who you are at work. Often, we have not worked out for ourselves what career goals are meaningful for us. Instead, we have internalised our parents’ aspirations for us or followed traditional definitions of success. For women in particular, knowing what we truly want out of our careers is not always easy to separate from masculine organisational norms on the one hand, and societal expectations of women and mothers on the other.
Authentic.You is a coach in a book. Ishreen’s reflective inquiries, inner power exercises, strategy gems and top tips will give you great structure as you explore for yourself what you want from your career and enable you to make it happen. The book focuses on three core aspects: purpose, promise and proposition. This is not a ‘fixing the women’ book that tells you how to behave in order to succeed in a man’s world. Far from it. It is a book that invites you, and then guides you, through a challenging yet supported journey of self-discovery to define your own career goals. It will help you to reaffirm your ambitions and strengths, help you to recognise the road blocks and ultimate get you closer to meeting your goals.
Based on insights from a dedicated research survey of over 1,000 women, 150 in-depth interviews and a series of thought-provoking case studies of female leaders, this book provides many facts and figures, practical tips and real life application. Ishreen’s in-depth understanding of the authenticity, gained through personal experiences as a young woman in a male dominated industry and from working with female leaders for well over a decade, shines through on every page in this very inspiring book.
While written with women in mind, many of the exercises in Authentic.You are equally applicable to men. As women’s roles change both at work and at home, so will men’s and as a result everyone will benefit. With broader definitions of success available to everyone, we will all have the opportunity to find our unique and authentic definition of success.
Dr. Ines Wichert
Head of D&I Centre of Excellence, Smarter Workforce at IBM Europe
Author of Where Have All the Senior Women Gone? 9 Critical Job Assignments for Women Leaders.