Business Case Studies, Executive Interviews, Shahnaz Hussain on Women Executives

Tell A Friend
n Women Executives

Executive Interviews: Interview with Shahnaz Hussain on Women Executives
July 2007 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary

Shahnaz Hussain
Pioneer and Leader of herbal care in India
She is also a pioneer of Vocational Training in Cosmetology in India.

Download this interview

    A few decades ago, when I started my career, women were stepping out of their homes, but mainly into careers which were supposed to be bet ter sui ted to women, as secretar ies, recept ionists or teachers. The barriers they had to surmount were both at home and in the workplace. At the personal level, the main issues were in trying to get husbands and families to accept her career ambitions and desire for financial independence. Issues like management of home and career were at the core of the problems and they still are.I remember writing an article on the double standards that the career woman has to contend with. I had written, "How can a man benefit from preventing the emergence of the

    pearl from the oyster? It is bound to happen. That is the law of nature. When all safety valves are smothered, the outcome will be a violent, emotional explosion. A woman was created to bloom and blossom, establishing her own identity, her own colour, quality and f ragrance. The way an unwatered plant gets parched and dies a premature death, so does the personality of a woman who is struggling to break through the shackles of social conditioning, to achieve recognition of being a separate individual with a separate ident ity. The change wi ll be complete when society recognizes that it cannot benef it f rom preventing the emergence of the pearl from the oyster".

    The life of a career woman can be very demanding, made worse by guilt feelings of neglecting home and family. To me, the woman who manages home and family and is also a successful career woman, is nothing short of a phenomenon. She is a superwoman. This itself proves that she is certainly not the weaker sex. I was married at the age of 15 and became a mother by the time I was 16. As a wife and mother, I know what it takes to start a business and to extend it the

    way I have. But, what is important is that it is possible, with sheer hard work and faith in one's own abilities. I am a first generation woman entrepreneur and have managed my own business. I have also employed mainly women in my organization. I can honestly say that sound management and business acumen are without gender. There is no hard and fast rule that a man is a better manager by virtue of being male. Given the same opportunities, a woman can be equally successful. In fact, having a woman manager can be an advantage. It is not a question of reservation of opportunities, like the reservation of seats. Rather, it should be a question of opting for a woman in any position if she is qualified to fill it. We have to accept that she can be as effective and successful as a man in that position.

    As managers, women do have fitting qualities. The biological factor of the woman being "the gatherer" makes her good at being able to integrate and nurture. She can be good at dealing with people. Indeed, women have better communication and people skills. Modern research says that a woman's brains may be more efficient with regard to verbal ability. Their social conditioning and inherent nature can make them good managers. They, in fact, manage their homes, their children and their family budgets. They know how to adjust the family income to the family's needs. They juggle their different roles efficiently. They maintain the delicate relationships and bonds within the family and the extended family. Women are also good at organizing and time management. Where soft-core incentives are concerned, I definitely feel that women are better at motivating and encouraging their juniors. They are certainly more tolerant, understanding, tactful, cooperative, consistent and sincere. And they do not have ego problems, the way men do. In fact, they are adept at dealing with the male ego.

    To the new age woman, my advice would be "don't to try to be a man in a man's world." Be a woman. Men and women are biologically different. Recognize this and recognize the fact that the different strengths of men and women actually complement each other. As a manager, give your juniors the general guidelines and also the freedom to be creative and to express their views, but within the parameters of your expectations. Be sure to take charge of yourself, your health and your own stress management. Have regular medical check ups, learn about nutrition and take daily exercise. There is nothing like daily exercise for staying youthful and active. Believe in yourself and your own abilities. Keep learning. Have the courage to say "I don't know this, but I can learn it".

1. Women Executives/CEOs Case Studies
2. ICMR Case Collection
3. Case Study Volumes

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9  10  Next

Contact us: IBS Case Development Centre (IBSCDC), IFHE Campus, Donthanapally, Sankarapally Road, Hyderabad-501 504, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.
Mob: +91- 9640901313, Phone: +91 - 08417 - 236672, Fax : + 91 - 08417 - 236674

©2003-2010 IBS Case Development Centre. All rights reserved. | Careers | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Disclosure | Site Map xml sitemap