More women than men start out in Financial Services but, as they progress, the majority fall out, especially at middle management level, when other priorities like family and kids beckon. This leaves almost all of the top jobs in the hands of men. According to a PWC global report in 2013, women comprise nearly 60% of employees in the financial services industry, but only 19% progress through the leadership ranks to senior level roles.
The few that do break through and assume senior leadership positions usually take the firm to new heights of success. Meet the top three most influential women that are at the helm of India’s leading banks.
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Arundhati is Chair-managing director of one of the Big Four banks of India, State Bank of India, and listed as the 30th Most Powerful Woman in the world by Forbes in 2015. Arundhati has been with SBI for over 4 decades, and her loyal services was rewarded when SBI made her the youngest and the first female chairperson She also introduced a two-year sabbatical policy for women in the company, which will help women at SBI have a better work life balance. A true role model for all.
Wise Words: The greatest lesson I have learnt is that you have to create a good reputation for yourself for people to appreciate you.
CEO and Managing Director of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar is one of the success pillars of the retail business of the bank in India. Under her watchful eye, ICICI Bank has grown in scale and has won numerous awards including Best Retail Bank in India, thanks in no small part to the many initiatives she has taken to simplify and diversify banking.
Forbes listed Chanda Kochhar as 35th most powerful women in the word in 2015. She has been with for ICICI Bank for 30 years and has proved herself as a strong leader not just in India, but also globally.
Wise Words: I chose to be a working wife and mother. Why should I compromise on either?
Shikha is CEO and Managing Director of India’s largest bank (assets) in the private sector, Axis Bank. With more than three decades of experience in the financial sector, she has worked for big institutions including ICICI Bank and JP Morgan & Co.
As Shikha joined Axis Bank in 2009, the bank’s stock upsurged by 90% and its assets grew by 30% in the financial year 2012-13. A leader adept at dealing with change, she has focused on transforming Axis Bank into a bank with strengths across a wide range of Corporate and Retail Banking products.
Wise Words: You should do things that you believe in. There has to be a fine balance between listening to people and taking decisions.