‘A leader should possess the ability to convert an obstacle into an opportunity’

Sharmistha Ghosh, Vice President of social impact at Avian WE, talks about her big win at the e4m PR and Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards 2020, thoughts on female leadership and more

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 30, 2020 12:14 PM
Sharmistha Ghosh

Over the last few weeks, we have featured some of the best women leaders who have made immense contributions to the PR and Corp Comm industry with their leadership skills and critical decision-making qualities.

Today we bring to you one such thought leader who was felicitated at the exchange4media PR and Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards 2020 — Sharmistha Ghosh, Vice President of Social Impact at Avian WE.

With a special interest in social and behaviour change communications, digital advocacy and corporate social responsibility, Ghosh is a purpose-driven PR professional with more than 17 years of experience of having worked for corporations, not-for-profit organisations and associations across public health, environment, human rights and education.

Apart from instituting the ‘Social Impact’ practice at Avian WE, Ghosh and her team have undertaken award-winning campaigns around health and women. In the rights space, she has worked on programmes around gender, women in sex work, disability and human trafficking.

In the last edition of this daily feature, e4m caught up with Ghosh on her big win, thoughts on female leadership, inclusivity, future goals and more.

Edited excerpts:

How do you feel about being the winner of the Women Achievers initiative?

I am delighted to be chosen as the winner of the ‘Most Innovative Women Leader of the Year’ by this prestigious platform. Recognition is a great way to look back and assess the opportunities that you have received, the challenges you had to overcome and the inner strength that one built by learning from one’s mistakes.

What are the attributes/ qualities required to be a leader in the communication industry?

According to me, a leader should possess the following qualities, irrespective of the industry working in:

  • Empathy
  • Ability to convert an obstacle into an opportunity
  • Collaborative
  • Deep subject matter knowledge
  • Strong sense of responsibility towards your colleagues and partners

What role have women played in the restructuring of the industry and how has the communications industry changed over the years for the women workforce?

The communications industry has undergone a colossal change in the last few years and women have been the growth driver. However, I firmly believe that everyone who has been a part of the industry, regardless of one’s gender, has contributed towards shaping it.

Why do we need to have more leaders at the helm of organizations in today's scenario and what value do women bring to the table?

A good leader, regardless of one’s gender, has inherent multitasking skills, a deep understanding of complex situations, an ability to assess risk and opportunities, and above all, listens more and talks less.  

What are your future goals? What initiative will you like to take as a responsible woman leader for the industry/society?

Among the initiatives I would like to take are embedding social responsibility and sustainability into our industry’s value system and creating a culture of collaboration and learning by putting people first.

How do you see the PR and corp comm industry shaping up in the years to come and your message to the future women leaders.

Communications has always been a driver of change. In these uncertain times when our lives have been upended like never before, PR and corp comm professionals will have the opportunity to harness the power of communication to bring hope and fuel progress.

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