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General Manager - SVP India | Swati Agarwal

Swati Agarwal

Swati Agarwal

"Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished." Swati Agarwal

My Journey While Moving Ahead In My Career:

It was a great opportunity for me to be independent financially and emotionally. My first company provided me with life changing opportunities. I made mistakes but learned a lot. My immediate manager and top management team was very supportive.

However, I would say that the overall culture was predominantly patriarchal. Our management team had no female employees, so the representation of gender was not equal. The organization was not used to seeing women rising, but they provided me with all opportunities equally. In fact, I was one of the first very few women who travelled to onsite locations, like to the US, working directly with clients. 


Challenges Faced:

I started my career with a very male dominated organization. They were not used to seeing women as a team lead or a manager or a boss. If there are some challenges that people from smaller towns face while making their mark in the industry, then for women those challenges are more complex as we are trying to move the same wheels in heels.

I didn't have many women role models growing up or even in my organization then. I felt bullied sometimes by my colleagues who probably didn't mean to hurt me but were just used to passing lewd remarks out of natural instincts. When I was in the US, I felt very alone. The work culture is very different in the West. Starting from how to dress to how to present yourself. I learned many things directly on the job. It was challenging yet I had a great time learning stuff on my own.


Words Of Wisdom To Restart Your Career:

I have switched career paths - I moved to social sector after working in the corporate for initial 4 years owing to my deep penchant for the. communities and children. I had me. apprehensions but I was young and with no. liabilities. My family & especially my brother. was supportive of my decision.

Now after. spending more than 4 years in the. development space, I am earning equal. to my peers in the corporate sector. So, I. would suggest if you were hardworking. and have the right intentions, you must. take risks and give your career a restartWe should be ready to face failures head. on, in case things don't work out. But we should have no regrets later in life for not trying at all.