TeamLease Education Foundation invited Dr Lopamudra Priyadarshini, a Certified Corporate Director, and Senior Management Professional to speak about her journey in the corporate social movement. She’s been in the industry for over two decades now and has worked with HRs and CSR representatives of various organizations.
Dr Priyadarshini has traveled extensively nationally and internationally for her work. Giving her an opportunity to explore and understand the dynamics of people and their living culture. The whole experience made her aware of the socio-economic conditions of the society we live in, especially for women.
Her journey has been very overwhelming and blessed her with enormous patience. In the last 27 years of her professional career, she had the opportunity to work with the sophisticated service industry and big organizations. Back in 2012-13 when Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) became mandatory in India, as the only country, companies had started to move their HR to CSR, Dr Priyadarshini immediately picked up the responsibility and started preparing for the laws and regulations related to CSR and updated herself with all the adequate knowledge required. Because she has always believed that life is a continuous learning process and it should never stop.
Challenges throughout the journey
As Helen Keller says, ‘life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all’. So, challenges are a part of everyone’s lives and are the greatest test of time. While managing external stakeholders, people with different backgrounds gave her all sorts of different challenges. But she tackled all these little bumps by unlearning and relearning a lot of things and starting everything with a fresh mindset
Key programs to make a sustainable impact on the community
Dr Lopamudra has been working with Aditya Birla Group for a while now. They are quite active in their community activity and always focus on sustainable developmental goals. They have worked with peripheral villages around big cities in providing financial strength and livelihoods. In one of their flagship programs, they created rural entrepreneurs in collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India. The goal was to identify the prospective people, both groups as well as individuals and make them aware of the government schemes to get into a business. In a way, they worked as a catalyst to the government schemes by providing seed funds to these entrepreneurs.
India is a huge market to carry out any business plan with or without a degree. Another flagship program was related to education. It was for uplifting all the government high schools in Odisha. Aditya Birla Group’s intervention is to bridge that gap in a very structured and strategic way starting from the baseline and then with the impact programs.
Women in corporate and leadership roles
Women are honest, and compassionate and come naturally creative as leaders. Indian women have conquered many roles but still, have a long way to go when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling, across various professions.
Dr Lopamudra has personally seen a remarkable transformation when it comes to women joining corporate leadership roles. There is a helm of affairs led with focus, kindness and empathy by women in top leadership positions. Empirical evidence has also pointed to the fact that there is a direct correlation between the number of women in the boardrooms of companies and other CSR performances. Companies that place a strong emphasis on gender-inclusive leadership are better positioned to drive social innovation. Enterprises actually motivate the community around them in building the nation. Hence, it's very important that organizations should focus on bringing more women into top leadership positions.