Not getting enough number of women for leadership roles: Shaw

MUMBAI, Feb 22: Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar

Shaw has lamented that she is struggling to find enough women

to play leadership roles, even though there is a significant

rise in their number in junior management roles.

The comments come in the backdrop of the continuing

calls for empowering and encouraging more women to take up

leadership roles in companies and many other walks of life.

This is reflected in the very low number of women on the board

of companies.

“Over the next five to ten years we will hopefully see

many more women playing leadership roles. Yes, things are

happening but not at the pace that I want,” Shaw said without

offering an explanation for the same in the sense that is it

lack of adequate talent or the result of covert gender bias.

Addressing the annual Nasscom leadership summit here

Friday, she also rued that regulations are not keeping pace

with technological developments leaving companies unable to

adopt them in smarter ways.

“For many traditional businesses, the existential

question is how do we embrace and leverage technology to

secure our future. One of the reasons why traditional

manufacturing industry hasn’t really been very smart about

adopting technology is because of regulations which haven’t

kept pace with what is happening in the technology world. This

is our constant complaint and they are very very slow to

move,” she said.

“So I think it’s very important that companies are

ahead of the curve and become strongly focused on how to

leverage technology better,” she added.

Shaw admitted that setting up the Bengaluru-

headquartered biopharmaceutical company was an uncalculated

risk on her part as she was treading into an uncharted


“My life and my journey has been about taking risks,

most of them have been calculated risks. But the first risk

that I embarked on was to start a biotech firm which was a

completely uncalculated risk in many ways because I didn’t

know what I was getting into,” she said.

However, but once ventured into it there was no going

back and she learned to the nuances of risk-taking, and

understand the probability of success versus the risks.

Observing that our culture prefers success and not

risk-taking, she said, “I believe because we are culturally

attuned to lower risks, we tend to focus on services rather

than products. Products is high-risk and depending on the kind

of innovation you start assessing what that risk is.”

Stating that she has taken risks with very high

probability of success as well as with very low probability of

success, she said “and many of the ones that had very low

probabilities of success haven’t worked. Maybe that’s what I

call failure.” (PTI)