Hyderabad: Echoing the theme of International Women's Day, Youngistaan Foundation's Gender Program hosted an exclusive panel discussion with elite panelists to spark conversations on the topic 'Women in Leadership - Enabling Young Leaders' on Sunday, March 7th.
This panel discussion is part of the month-long workshop that is ideated by Youngistaan Foundationwhich aims towards enabling, orientating and sustaining aspiring women in leadership roles.
Renowned women leaders such as Sumathi Badugula, IPS, DIG, Women Safety Wing, CID, Telangana State Police, Upasana KamineniKonidela, Founder of URLife, Managing Director - Family Health Plan Insurance TPA Ltd, Vice Chairperson CSR - Apollo Hospitals Group, Supriya Yarlagadda, Executive Director at Annapurna Studios, Akhila Yadav, Sarpanch of Madanapuram village in Nalgonda district in Telangana, KausambManjitha, CEO of Kubricwere part of the panel. Over 700+ young women audience attended the session on zoomto understand issues of entrepreneurship, leadership, social service, personal motivation and more. The event was also live streamed on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
The 1 hour 30 minutes panel discussion was moderated by Uma Sudhir, who led an interactive discussion and incorporated the participants' questions into the session which reflected the young audience's interests and concerns on mentorship, community development, innovation, success and impact.
On the importance of selecting mentors, Sumathi Badagula shared, "It is not merely a person who will be a mentor, but a value system which serves as a foundation - and this makes us choose the mentor."
When asked about the best way to deal with criticism, Upasana KamineniKonidela shared- "The simplest way I deal with critics is to show my strength in what I can execute with my skill - that is what I want people to speak about. While it is hard to stop criticism, the way to deal with it is to turn it into motivation. I believe that behind every successful leader, there are both fans and critics, it all depends on what is focused on more."
When Supriya Yarlagadda was asked about her motivation to push forward when challenges arise, she shared, "You are going to face tough times for sure and each one of our challenges are going to be unique. But you may find some solace in knowing that you are not the only one who has been through this."
While speaking to Akhila Yadavon more young people entering politics, she said- "Politics is the biggest platform for social service. Youngsters can do wonders, and it will be a revolution if more youngsters, especially women, come into politics.
When a recurring question on the theme 'Women in Leadership' was asked to KausambManjitha, she said-"There is a huge difference in the leadership styles of women and men. Women leaders come with more of a collaborative and nurturing style. While men will be looking at how to lead, women leaders will be looking at how to collaborate to find solutions."
Speaking about the month-long campaign, Mr Arun Daniel Yellamaty Kumar, founder of Youngistaan Foundation said- "All the 700+ young women who joined us today will be a part of our month-long campaign where they will be learning about leadership, entrepreneurship and listening to stories from different inspiring people. The purpose of the event is to enable more young women to not only dream but also aim to be real leaders and entrepreneurs real life."
Overall, the speakers were engaged in robust and meaningful conversation throughout the panel discussion.
K Deepika, a student of a Government college said "I have learned a lot from the session. The first thing is how to come up through life by leaving all the criticisms. No women are week than men, they are equally competitive to men. If you leave your goals and aspirations in the middle, we can't come up through our life"
V Divya, a student pursuing her BBA said "I learned to believe in myself, have self-confidence because hard work is the only path to become successful in our life. Being bold is not being bossy and to choose a mentor based on the value system is important."Youngistaan Foundation encourages aspiring young women in leadership to be a part of the 4-part webinar series by signing up for the next webinar on March 14th with trainers from Telangana Academy of Skill and Knowledge (TASK) who will facilitate a workshop on leadership and followed by a session on third Sunday on Entrepreneurship.