A few months ago I read Anne Marie Slaughter’s article in the Atlantic magazine, ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All’ (a must-read for both men and women), on how the structure and ecosystem of organizational life makes it near-impossible for a woman to have both a fulfilling personal life and a high-powered career. In many ways, her confession reminded me of the challenges that women face in terms of access to opportunities that traditionally have been dominated by men, performing within the parameters traditionally defined by male-structures and maintaining the proverbial work-life balance. It takes great skill and unparalleled drive to juggle conflicting priorities and emerge successful in patriarchal workplaces. To celebrate women who have achieved this, People Matters embarks on a new initiative, Power Stories of Power Women, where we highlight the stories, achievements and wisdom of women who have managed to “include” themselves into a group where they were once outliers. Women who celebrate their diversity and leverage their unique perspective and skills for maximum value addition to their organizations, in whatever role or function they operate in.
Power Women is not merely about success measured by designation or of perceived achievement; it is about the ability of these women to transform their ecosystem and then have their stories inspire more women (and men). It is about women who are determined to realise their dreams, who believe in themselves and their goals and who take ownership of their career and plan it in a focused manner. “Power Women” is a journey to transform the workplace; a belief that gender inclusion is not about working with women or men alone but about working with the culture of the organization.
This issue also features a special story on appraisals as it is that time of the year when office-goers everywhere are grappling with their annual performance reviews. Our story examines the annual cycle of appraisals and stresses the need of the hour to shift the model from episodic reviews to continuous feedback. This shift is not easy; it requires, like any change management process, the involvement of everybody in the organization. It requires a revolution and HR has the opportunity to innovate and turn this process around. Appraising the Appraisal has a combination of ideas on how companies are overcoming the challenges of appraisals, new technologies emerging in the cloud space to make your process more employee-centric and a quiz on how you are likely to fair in your appraisal conversation this year. On the lighter side, we’ve also included a fictional performance review for Albert Einstein, analysing his performance as a patent clerk.
Join us in the amazing journey of celebrating our power women. Watch and share the inspiring videos on our Youtube channel, attend our events and participate by sharing your best practices – it is time we celebrate talent of all hues and genders and create the best environment for success. I leave you to read our cover story on our conversations with the first 7 power women, with Tony Porter’s unforgettable words “my liberation as a man is tied to your liberation as woman”.
As always, we welcome your inputs, your participation and engagement. Do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback and suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.
Esther Martinez Hernandez