The Catalyst is a team of only women, not by design, but by chance. I have really introspected about whether there is a preference that I operate with, whether there is a subconscious bias I have for working with women. But no, time and again, I have found that I am equally comfortable working with men as well as women. After all, I started my career in FMCG sales where I was one of the only 3 women in the entire region – I worked with no qualms or pressures and was very happy working and performing with my male colleagues (some of them happen to be my best friends even today!).
Then why has it happened so? I guess it has something to do with how we share common values. I have interviewed men and women with equal zeal but have found women to be able to connect with our values at a much deeper level.
Why? I guess for women, ‘purpose’ spurs them more than ‘passion’! At some level, passion becomes self-centered (about I want to…. With the I being the center-piece), but purpose is more about impacting others. And aren’t women natural at that – reaching out, being perseverant, making a difference, embracing others – having a purpose which is not just about them but about a community. And that sits beautifully with Catalyst – we are passionate about making learning fun for ‘learners’, taking learners back to the times when they ‘loved to learn’, the time when they were ‘curious and open’ and learnt just for the sake of learning.
What also makes us fit better with women is our ability to pause, reflect, think and then act. Inspite of being a growing org (and having our own pressures to scale up), we do like to pace ourselves in such a way that allows us to reflect and ask ourselves – are we making sense? This does not make us slow and easy-going, rather it makes us steady and full of essence. Maybe this pace agrees well with women, who pause, think and pick naturally, and are purposeful without being hurried.
I am sure as a community, we miss out on a lot of values that the other gender can add, but diversity (of the other kind) is not on our agenda right now. If it happens by chance, well and good, but there is certainly no conscious effort to alter the state of affairs as of now.