Easier for women to have their voices heard if there's female leadership: Manmeet Sandhu

Manmeet Sandhu, Head of HR, PhonePe, delivered a keynote session on women in leadership and the company’s efforts to change the equation at Women Achievers Summit

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 3, 2021 9:33 AM
Manmeet Sandhu

The second edition of e4m’s ‘Women Achievers Summit’ celebrated the spirit of womanhood and its relentless contribution in the field of public relations and corporate communications. This is exchange4media’s one-of-a-kind initiative to salute the women leaders in the communications industry.


At the event, Manmeet Sandhu, Head of HR, PhonePe, shared her insights and experiences about women in leadership and what measures have been undertaken at PhonePe in order to help change the system and make a more equitable world. 


“For centuries, the survival and success of the outsider, whether men or women have been dependent on the ability to follow instructions, work hard, and gain trust. But trust is not just about competency and credibility. It is also about being able to figure out what the unwritten rules are, knowing what to call them, who to go for advice, what questions to ask, and what topics to not bring up. This is what culture is. The better you understand the culture, the more you fight.”


“When PhonePe decided that we wanted to focus on developing better gender balance, the goal was to make the place a little less foreign for women and make it a place where they felt they could genuinely belong. Hence, our starting point was having more women in leadership. This was not just about creating role models. It was also about ensuring that women were in positions of power and influence. We believe that if a quarter of the leaders in the organization were women, it would help create that critical mass, which will make it easier for women to have their voices heard,” she said.


“In order to get more women into leadership positions, we decided, that we would make sure that all external hires that we made for our senior positions in the organization would only be women. We took whatever time it took, we worked hard, as hard as it took, to ensure that all of those positions are filled by women leaders. We just stuck to the principal. And slowly it has begun to give us the results that we wanted. Not just the fact that we have more women, which is also happening slowly, but also in a way that the leaders in the organization have begun to take responsibility and ownership of creating more equitable cultures . Just knowing that this was an organization that felt strongly about women leadership meant that I wanted to be a part of the story that helped make the change.”

She further added, “The fact is that we want more women because we believe that we bring a different perspective and a different lived experience. But we will only be able to leverage this experience if we don't first require the women to change who they are. If people believe that they are valued, and they have a voice, they will fight to make things happen.”

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