Changing The Narrative: Panel Discussion Rising 2020

Analytics India Magazine has brought analytics industry leaders on to the same stage through the Rising conference to discuss and address the key challenges looming the industry with regards to women. Last year’s panel discussion at Rising helped expose the underlying belief systems and stereotypes prevalent in the industry and how one can address them. 

This year too, Rising hosted a discussion amongst elite panelists that included Anshu Sharma, MD, Global Head – Retail Banking Technology at Standard Chartered Bank, Aashti Chopra Chief Credit Officer at American Express Bank in India, Harshit Desai, Head – Customer Experience, Alliances & Automation at Aditya Birla Finance, Pooja Malhotra Vice President at Royal Bank of Scotland and Sayani Nag General Manager, Data & Analytics Solutions at Aditya Birla Group.

Moderated by Anshu Sharma, the discussion started with Anshu straight away addressing the underwhelming numbers of women in the Indian ecosystem. She questioned why only 6% of CEOs in India are women. Anshu spoke about how important it is for the women to have career intentionality and how deliberate they have to be about their careers. Anshu opened up the discussion to other panelists by asking them to share their own experiences and how they have charted their journey so far. Resonating with Anshu’s thoughts on careers, Sayani Nag of Aditya Birla Group spoke about how treating her career as a project helped her in structuring it. 

 “Children grow much more confident when mothers are working.”

Anshu Sharma, MD, Standard Chartered Bank

Talking about the challenges one faces in the industry, Pooja Malhotra of RBS doubles down on time management and the art of delegation. “We tend to overextend ourselves and we cannot do everything by yourself. So, learning the art of delegation is important,” explained Pooja. 

Reiterating Pooja’s opinion, Anshu spoke about the importance of letting go. She shared her own experience of being a working mother and how children grow more confident when mothers are working. “We have self doubts and that’s why the role of a mentor is important,” opined Anshu. 

Harshit Desai of Aditya Birla Finance, who happens to be the only male panelist, shared his experience of mentoring more than 500 women in his career. He revealed that he found no difference between the ventures managed by men and women. He is optimistic about the future of women and explained how digital transition has been a great enabler for everyone by making the industry a level playing field. 

“The art of delegation is very important.”

 Pooja Malhotra, VP at RBS

Aashti Chopra of American Express who joined late due to an unfortunate technical glitch spoke about the pros and cons of networking for a professional seeking growth in career. 

The discussion concluded with the panelists taking questions from the audience. This panel discussion even though titled ‘Changing the Narrative’, was centered around being more assertive than being an alarmist. The panelists discussed a variety of issues and potential solutions that can be quite significant for professionals who are looking to transition to leadership roles in the analytics industry.

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Ram Sagar
I have a master's degree in Robotics and I write about machine learning advancements.

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