Women To Watch: Accenture Interactive’s Poornima Mani

Women To Watch: Accenture Interactive’s Poornima Mani
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At B&T, We are staunch believers that every woman and her achievements should be celebrated, every day and always.

However, unfortunately, the achievements of women often go unnoticed. That’s why we launched our annual B&T Women in Media Awards – to recognise the amazing accomplishments of women across the marketing, communications and advertising industry.

In honour of our WIM Awards, we’re chatting to industry powerhouses; women we should all be keeping an eye on — women to watch.

Today we’re hearing from Poornima Mani who leads large scale eCommerce implementations within Accenture Interactive.

Poornima Mani

Women do not celebrate achievements – and they are almost never celebrated for their strong leadership or resilience. The B&T Women in Media Awards ensure that their contributions are up, front and centre for the world to take notice and give recognition where it is due.

The most influential woman in my life is my mother. Born into a conservative south Indian family, my mother ensured that it did not hold her back from pursuing higher education. Being the first doctor in the family, she managed night shifts at work, raising two daughters and other family commitments, and finally reached the pinnacle of her career by becoming the vice chancellor of a university. She set an example to both my sister and myself that there is no substitute for hard work, and no goal unachievable if you put your heart into it.

The most unexpected champion of change for equality in my life is my grandmother – She was married when she was twelve and had two sons and a daughter before she turned twenty. She was deeply disappointed that she did not get a chance to further her education or have an independent career of her own. With her fierce determination, she ensured my mother had the full family support to further her education and was given the same opportunities as her sons. Fearless, brave and adventurous, she still travels the world, and fulfills the dreams that she had in her youth proving that it is never too late to live life to the fullest.

If I was Prime Minister I’d offer guaranteed and free childcare to all parents. Women are often the primary caregivers for young children. The lack of affordable childcare in the system means that they are faced with an imminent choice at the time of returning to work, and are forced to choose family over career.

There is a huge lack of awareness that there is a business case for equality in the workforce – workplaces will have a higher rate of return on investment, higher profitability, lower costs and higher job satisfaction if equality is enforced. This will make it not just fair, but also a smart business move.

Quickfire questions

What’s a little something everyone can do today that could potentially make a massive change in the struggle for equality?

Banish thoughts which stereotype gender behavior. Setting notions on how each gender would behave, react or present themselves automatically limits women’s and men’s capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices. Creativity in the workplace is also severely impacted when roles are associated to gender.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Be kind to yourself.

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Poornima Mani Women to Watch

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