'True empowerment begins with self-determination' — Bhavna Kapur | HCLTech

'True empowerment begins with self-determination' — Bhavna Kapur

Bhavna Kapur, VP, Strategic Deals Marketing at HCLTech, discusses how to take charge, break down stereotypes and drive diversity
6 minutes read
Mousume Roy
Mousume Roy
APAC Reporter, HCLTech
6 minutes read
'True empowerment begins with self-determination' — Bhavna Kapur

As we celebrate the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, HCLTech Trends and Insights had the privilege of speaking with Bhavna Kapur, Vice President, Strategic Deals Marketing at HCLTech and a remarkable woman leader whose journey is as inspiring as it is enlightening. "I've never felt any gender card being handed over to me in my 25 years of professional journey," she said, reflecting on her career trajectory that transitioned from a digital advertising agency to a corporate setting.

Kapur's journey exemplifies the importance of taking ownership of one’s path. “First and foremost, you need to take charge of what you want to do in life,” she said, echoing the sentiment that true empowerment begins with self-determination.

While Kapur’s words underscore the importance of personal experience in navigating the complexities of a professional career, she also recognizes the critical role of sponsorship in propelling women forward. "Sponsorship plays a big role," she noted, highlighting the importance of active support and championing of talent by both male and female leaders. The organization too plays a very big role. It's not just about a good salary, but by providing comfort, benefits, flexibility and a chance to be heard that organization must ensure a safe cocoon for individuals to truly blossom.

Fostering inclusion at HCLTech

At HCLTech, Kapur’s influence extends beyond her individual journey. She has been instrumental in championing initiatives aimed at nurturing talent and fostering inclusivity across the organization. Programs like Feminspiration and IMotivate provide platforms for sharing personal journeys and perspectives, creating a supportive community where individuals can learn from each other's experiences.

But it's not just about programs — it's about culture. Kapur has cultivated a culture of inclusivity within her team, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives. "Women bring diverse perspectives," she noted, highlighting the importance of embracing different viewpoints to drive innovation and creativity. Her approach extends beyond gender, encompassing all dimensions of diversity, including life stages and abilities.

“I have always felt that maternity is not to slow one down; it's a refreshing pause. It brings more maturity, more resilience to an individual. The second thing I would say is I have a team member with special abilities, but a mindset that can beat many others. I feel proud that HCLTech is making the effort to enable him in terms of the opportunities that he has experienced today, with so many roles that each one of us would never have imagined,” she added. 

The idea of inclusivity also extends to giving space to everyone in the team to express their ideas. Kapur recognizes the value of reverse mentorship, where younger employees bring fresh perspectives and insights to senior leaders. It's a testament to her openness to learning from everyone around her, regardless of their position in the organization.

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Words of wisdom for aspiring women

From embracing assertiveness to nurturing resilience, Kapur shared practical wisdom gleaned from her own experiences. "Don't treat success as a balance sheet that you have to maintain," she said, reminding us that true success is not measured in salaries and ranks alone but in character, heart and soul, so stay genuine, humble and transparent. “Know your strengths and weaknesses and work around them to build your confidence. You have your own unique style, and that’s great – don’t try to copy anyone except take inspiration.”

It's evident that Kapur’s approach to leadership is multifaceted and deeply rooted in principles of equity and fairness. Her emphasis on sponsorship and mentorship highlights the importance of creating pathways for women to thrive in male-dominated industries. By actively advocating for the professional development of women and providing them with the necessary support and guidance, she exemplifies the role of a true ally in the fight for gender equality.

Drawing from her own experiences of growing up in a supportive family environment, she understands the transformative power of a nurturing and inclusive upbringing. By instilling these values in her own children and leading by example, Kapur is actively contributing to the creation of a more equitable and inclusive society for future generations.

As we reflect on Kapur’s journey, it's clear that her impact transcends the confines of any one organization or industry. Through her unwavering commitment to empowerment, inclusivity and mentorship, she serves as a guiding light for women everywhere, reminding us of the limitless potential that lies within each of us to effect positive change in the world.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
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