A teacher by passion and choice since 21, Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder of Byju’s shares her more than a decade long journey in the industry.
With a belief in the power of women in organisations, Divya Gokulnath shares her two cents as the co-founder, Byju’s. In an exclusive interview with Social Samosa, Gokulnath talks about the relevance of mentors and unity amongst female workers to fight the systemic patriarchy at the workplace.
How would you define a Superwoman in today’s day and age?
Over the past few years, especially after becoming a mother, I have realized that as women we hold immense power from giving the best to our children, to managing family as well as work. There is a superwoman in all of us. She is a nurturer and someone who brings things together, and multi-tasks to achieve personal and professional goals.
One quality that you think every superwoman has and that helped you win Social Samosa Superwomen?
I think juggling multiple roles is every woman’s natural ability and this has helped me play the role of a teacher, mentor, friend, leader, mother, and wife – all at the same time.
Balancing out all of these roles has helped me become stronger and more resilient over the years.
How successful have women been in shattering the glass ceiling? What are the key changes this industry needs in order to make workplaces gender-neutral, safe, and nurturing?
Today, we’re at a point where there is almost no industry that has not seen women’s participation or representation. Women are increasingly embracing their ambitions, unapologetically.
In Deloitte’s analysis of nearly 7,000 companies in 60 countries, women held 15% of all board seats globally in 2017, up from 12% of board seats in 2015. While it is certainly a strong sign of the progress we have made, there is still a long way to go before equality in every form becomes the norm.
Whether it is women in tech or women in leadership roles, the representation is still skewed. Today, only 24 women are in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies, making up 4.8%, according to a report by Fortune 2018.
In my experience, nothing brings about a stronger, mutual and more long-lasting impact than women supporting women. They understand their ecosystem struggles and can inspire and motivate each other in a way no one else can.
If there are women in senior leadership positions, then it sets off a chain of events, that they can also do it. Corporations should build a system of checks and balances that support diversity and inclusion at all levels, including engaging in conversations with women during the initial stages of their careers to establish their long-term aspirations and goals.
Also, women employees should have mentors and sponsors in the top-level management who advocate for them and back them on their journey to the top.
One tip to women out there attempting to scale heights
A lot is expected out of women both personally and professionally, but I strongly believe that we have the natural ability to multi-task and make the best of the situation.
I personally urge women to proactively support other women in their everyday life because the reality is that we are all stronger in numbers. The sense of gender-triggered competition must be crushed to usher in the desire to collaborate and grow together.
It’s only as a community that we can fight the systemic patriarchy and unconscious bias that exists in our culture and workforce.