Informing that women leadership in the corporate space was an evolving situation and indicating that the sector just had 19 percent women leaders, Dr Reddy said, “When I look at leadership in healthcare, I think that me and my three sisters were particularly blessed. I would say we worked very hard for it, but because my father (Dr Prathap C Reddy, the founder of Apollo) encouraged and put us in the company to look at it not as a job, but as a passion. If I look at healthcare per se, it is truly one of the most absorbing of women and adaptive because interestingly, in India, we have a very high ratio of female doctors. We have an extremely high ratio of female nurses. So the environment itself is very women friendly. At Apollo, about 62 percent of our staff are women.”
Talking to the global audience of the two day virtual event, Dr Reddy informed that she wants to avoid any female stereotypes.
“I want to bring that up front and kind of preface this by saying that we have all heard that women are good leaders, empathetic leaders and they’re good communicators. So that’s why I continue to kind of push to say that we are in a knowledge era, and science is changing so much of the world in the future, we must encourage young women to move into STEM education. So they come into the world equipped with the skill sets required for the future,” Dr Reddy added.
Highlighting that gender really should not be a question in 2021, Paul said, “I’ve never looked at leadership with a male or female gaze and I think that’s the way to take it. There are good leaders and poor leaders and average leaders, and fabulous leaders. I think a lot of people do say that. Women bring a little more heart and a little more emotion to their work and their workplaces, particularly when they’re managing teams and collaborating with people. But I think the management gurus, for the past many years, have been talking about EQ and emotional content and empathy. I think male leaders see the benefit of that too. Maybe the two styles are kind of converging to a new style of leadership for this post pandemic age. But certainly, I think both men and women have a lot to bring to the leadership roles, and I would not divide them by gender”.
“Inclusivity of all types of people really drives the agenda of an organization much more forward. It’s reflective of the world that we’re living in and it’s not so one dimensional. I work a lot in women’s rights organizations and the conversation there now is what is a woman? What is it girl? There are a lot of non-binary definitions of womanhood. When I see what is happening in the NGO world, I think that gives me a lot of lessons to look at whether corporate boards are really diverse? And are they really inclusive? And how do we make them stronger and more diverse and inclusive as we go forward?,” said Paul on the question of leadership adding that it wasn’t just about gender, and inclusivity or diversity for the sake of it—competence and merit was very important.