Women poised for corporate leadership, need to innovate constantly

'Women poised for corporate leadership, need to innovate constantly'Veteran journalist Parul Sharma has had a long and eventful innings of 45 years in journalism and PR and she is uniquely equipped to offer a refreshing perspective on how women can shape the future of the profession in a fast-changing world amid technological and societal churn. Drawing on her wealth of experience, Parul believes that women with their emotional intelligence and fortitude are set to play a critical role in an evolving corporate landscape.

Q1: How have you observed the PR and communications landscape evolving in recent years, particularly in terms of digitalization and technological advancements. What implications does this have for professionals in the field?

Ans: The evolving PR and communications landscape in recent years, particularly in terms of digitalization and technologies advancements is indeed an important development. Functioning of every sector in the world depends majorly on technology, it makes more sense to the younger generation who are remarkably tech savvy. They have the knowledge of computers and digital skills, and are fully dependent on it. Being tech savvy not only helps in all professional work but the technological and digital know-how enhances the skills, speed while staying updated in the competitive work environment. PR communication skills are the need of the hour. .

Q 2:.As a woman leader in PR and communications, what are some of the key challenges you’ve faced, and how have you navigated them to succeed in your career?

Ans: I started my career as a print journalist in a mainstream media house, The Indian Express. Almost 45 yrs back when I started my career as a print journalist my generation was in the habit of doing everything on paper. It was therefore a big challenge for me when computers got entry in the media industry. After 20-25 years of working with pen and paper, shifting to computers was indeed a daunting task for composing, writing, downloading matters, news , features stories, photos ,pagenations etc. There was no choice as the media houses were becoming more advanced, modern and it was also important in order to survive in the market as well as in the profession .

It was an ordeal initially to navigate with the computer software, to operate while coping with the technology. Retaining the password was one big task initially. Forgetting the command buttons led to struggles of rewriting the story as we would delete the text using the wrong button instead of saving. It was a gradual and slow learning which followed our transformation into a new for my generation of Journalists. Being a Hindi journalist brought more challenges of different keypads and hindi matras.

Now as I look back, my journey of switching from manual to the digital world makes me feel more confident as a professional. It not only enhanced the speed but aided our skills of writing.

I wish to share one of my experiences when I worked for the European Union for a project “Building Paths to Equality in Journalists”. I was selected as a coordinator for the Indian chapter. As a Hindi Journalist it became an arduous task as the work demanded not only to focus on the study of the counterparts of working women journalists but rigorously required to work on computers which included the extensive use of emails as a mode of communication. Keeping record of workshops which I organised, travel to European countries and facilitating the travel of more than 45 women journalists to Europe to know and study the life of women journalists, then invited european women journalists to study the condition in my own country. Knowledge of computers came handy in creating handbooks, souvenirs, and newsletters in seven Indian languages . It was difficult and challenging but the technology and computer skills helped me in great lengths in accomplishing the task.

Q3 :In your opinion, what unique contributions do women bring to the PR and communications industry, and how do you see their role evolving in shaping the future of communication strategies and campaigns?

Ans: The world belongs to Women. Power of the women workforce is acknowledged in every field including media ,PR and corporate sectors. Education and skills have made women more confident and independent and they are ready to take any challenge. Financial independence has empowered women more. If given more opportunities women, with better skills today, have abilities to perform at important positions in the PR, communications and media industry .

They should be given the space in higher positions with more decision making powers. Percentage of women in Media ,PR and communication sector is not more than 20 percent. If given opportunities women can do wonders in the area of communications and PR.

Q4 With the rise of social media and online platforms, how do you believe PR and communications strategies are adapting to engage diverse audiences effectively, and what role do women leaders play in driving this adaptation?

Ans: Role of social media and online platforms can be like blessings for those who know how to use it and also benefit to get views ,news and PR and to take help to communicate.Corporate , media, PR sectors are becoming more dependent on Youtube, online and multi media to reach people.Informations, Knowledge for every sphere of life ,required by the people are reaching to them. The world is just a click away. News is flowing everywhere around us, which has empowered not only urban but rural people as well in terms of knowledge.

Women leaders can play an important role in driving new technology as they are generally good communicators, with a good understanding of human physiology.

Q5: As the PR and communications landscape continues to evolve rapidly, what advice would you give to aspiring women professionals looking to establish themselves and thrive in this dynamic industry?.

Ans: In order to thrive in the competitive world of PR and communication, knowledge is the key. For this it is extremely important to read and keep learning everyday. Most important is to learn to listen rather than to speak. Try to follow the leaders in the industry to have a better vision and be confident to take on the challenges on the way.


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