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Walk the Talk

Walk the Talk
Women, Work, Equity, Effectiveness

First Edition

August 2017 | 356 pages | SAGE Response

2nd prize in the DMA-NTPC Management Book Awards, 2018

Shortlisted for Management Book of the Year Awards 2019 by Chartered Management Institute, UK.

If we recognize that economic growth requires the efficient allocation of resources, then how can half of the world’s population be prevented from making a full contribution?

We acknowledge that women are different, yet fail to realize their potential as equals. We accept that women need to be empowered, yet debate who should take the lead and who the stakeholders are.

This book grows directly out of the personal challenges the author grappled with, the conversations she has had with women in a variety of settings, and the constructive debates with corporate representatives and policy planners on how the process of change should be initiated. It asserts that the responsibility of enhancing gender diversity at the workplace does not lie entirely with the companies, although much work needs to be done by them, but with several stakeholders—the government, NGOs, men, and women themselves—all of whom need to work together to bring about an equitable environment for women at the workplace. When these stakeholders operate in isolation they are less effective; they add greater value when networked.

This book is a must-read for those who would like to walk the talk and suggests how together we can ensure equity with effectiveness. It provides ideas and agenda for action to create an ecosystem of empowerment.

Chapter 1 Equality with a Difference
The Complex Scenario with Vast Contradictions
Two Models Based on Two Assumptions
Why Differences Will Make a Difference?
Redefining Leadership
Chapter 2 In the Shackles of Stereotypes … Even Today
Gender Stereotyping and Its Impact on Women’s Careers
Encountering Glass Ceilings and Walls
Myths about Women Executives
Implications for Corporate Performance
A Virtue of Necessity
Chapter 3 The Tyranny of Invisible Barriers
Will She Fit in? Challenges of Fitting in the Organizational Culture
Career by Chance
Is ‘Ambition’ a Bad Word?
The Tight Rope Circus
How Can Dreams Be Realized?
Chapter 4 Networks as Catalysts for Change
Reflections on Formative Years of Women’s Network
Fundamental Interventions That Made an Impact
Collaboration with Other Agencies
The Struggle for Sustainability
The Power of Intercorporate Network for Change
Lessons from the Intercorporate Initiative
Chapter 5 The Skills for All Seasons
Is the Cream Being Pushed to the Top?
The Strategies for Success
Understanding the Culture and Politics of the Organization
Seeking Mentors and Role Models in the Organization
Being Open to Constructive Feedback
Developing Ability to Take Initiatives
Building Resiliency and Change Readiness
Honing Influencing Skills
Dealing with the Challenge of Being Yourself
Defining “Work–Life Balance” for Yourself
Chapter 6 Coaching in the Rush Hour of Life
Leadership Transitions
Five Signature Themes in Live Action
Managing Emotions
Standing up to Be Counted
Ability to Deal with Trouble
The Pitfalls of Overcommitment
Developing a Strategic Mindset
Chapter 7 When the Boss Is a Woman
Ambivalence Is Everywhere
What It’s Like to Work for a Woman Boss?
Resistance to Women’s Leadership, Authority, and Expertise
Reclaiming One’s Own Power and Authority
Crystallizing Leadership Identity
Developing Leadership Brand
Is It Worthwhile Being on a Board?
A Case for Diversity on Boards
Chapter 8 Creating Sanctuaries in Workplaces
Jumping-off the Career Ladder the Only Option?
Level the Playing Field
The Power of Small Change
Making a Business Case: Customer Focus
Different Strokes for Different Organizations
The Best Practice Organizations
Chapter 9 The Ecosystem of Empowerment
Harnessing the Ecosystem
How Can Government (Policy Makers) Make a Difference?
How Can Employers Make a Difference?
How Can NGOs Make a Difference?
How Can We—Men and Women—Make a Difference?
How Can Civil Society Make a Difference?

Anjali writes with passion, knowledge, and experience. Her book is a must-read for professional women—and men. Achieving true gender equality isn’t an impossible dream. This incredible book shows us how. From the role of government and civil society to actionable steps corporate leaders can take today, the book is a crucial, definitive read. 

Marshall Goldsmith
The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Though half a century has passed since women first forced open the boardroom doors, it is indeed disappointing to see gender stereotypes hampering the recruitment, promotions, and succession process for women in the corporate world. An expert on leadership development and organizational change, Anjali Hazarika in her book provides priceless insights into how a truly inclusive and empowering organizational culture allows merit to be recognized irrespective of gender. 

Kiran Mazumdar
Shaw Chairperson and Managing Director Biocon, Bengaluru

From demanding electoral reservation in the Parliament to assisting victims of sexual violence on the streets and homes, the women’s leadership has played a significant role in increasing women’s visibility, voice as well as validity of their economic participation. However, it is a long way to women’s leadership building a constructive peaceful society. Anjali has done well in articulating possibilities of filling this gap. I hope this book will draw more women into active leadership roles at all levels of the society. The book gives hope that the civil society and public sector will play a positive and partnership role in making this possible. 

Ela R. Bhatt
Founder Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad

Anjali Hazarika’s book is a meaningful effort in sensitizing all stakeholders to sit up and take notice of the lacunae in achieving gender neutrality at workplaces. A book like this if read by all members of the civil society could start a revolution. Women’s role in the growth of organizations has largely been unheralded and I think it’s about time that we acknowledge and embrace the idea of women empowerment in all walks of life. 

Dinesh K. Sarraf
Chairman and Managing Director Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Dehradun

The book Walk the Talk: Women, Work, Equity, Effectiveness by Anjali Hazarika navigates through the challenges and stereotyping faced by women at their workplaces. Drawing attention to deep-rooted patriarchal mindsets, monocultural paradigms, and complexities women face in their leadership roles, the book provides insights and strategies to help women in their career progression. The quantitative data and the qualitative material of the book provides a way forward to nurture an ecosystem to enhance collaboration among various stakeholders for achieving equity and efficiency. Scouting through the years of development of women empowerment in the country, this book is no dry academic treatise or self-help book but referral material to sustain women’s development in the country. 

U. D. Choubey
Director General Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), New Delhi

Walk the talk by Anjali Hazarika describes what it is like to be a woman professional in a male-dominated corporate world...Refreshingly, Hazarika does not limit herself to documenting myths and stereotypes about women's productivity. Instead, she outlines constructive ways in which women can overcome the hurdles in their professional lives.

The Telegraph

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 3 The Tyranny of Invisible Barriers

Anjali Hazarika

Anjali Hazarika is the author of the award-winning book Daring to Dream: Cultivating Corporate Creativity Through Dreamwork published by SAGE (1998). On the basis of extensive research, Anjali developed a unique program of rediscovering creativity through dreams, with a focus on developing individual/organizational creativity and innovation. This has been introduced to executives from diverse sectors and government institutions in India and around the world in Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, the UK, and the US. She has been the Honorary Vice President (APAC) of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, USA. She has been... More About Author

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