Mrs. Poonam Barua – There is nothing wrong with women, please stop fixing them!

“You don’t reduce the barriers by making the women feel defunct or disabled or inferior in anyway. It is time to start mentoring the men, let us start fixing the eco-system first!” – Mrs. Poonam Barua

Poonam Barua is an Economist and Founder Chair, WILL Forum India. She has mentored more than 650 WILL Mentees and is now committed to mentoring 10,000 women online.

Q1. As a founder of WILL Forum India and a visionary yourself, you have mentored more than 650 WILL Mentees and changed their lives remarkably, how important is “Mentoring” in terms of career advancement?

The first thing, I want o say about ‘Mentoring’ is that – it a cliché and a highly used term which has become fairly commercial today. We need to understand what exactly is mentoring, and how has it become such a huge term when applied to women — why is the same amount of mentoring not being applied to children, to other human beings, or, to the men in the workplace. I also, think that the problem with “Mentoring” — is that it implicitly gives someone power over you. My job is to empower you — not to give someone power over you!

I would like to quote a small portion of what have written in my recent Book – Leadership by Proxy

“Mentors are those who can re-shape your thinking; take your mind to a higher level; put some nurturing into your soil, into which you will plant the tree of life. They will show you the possibilities you did not see; they will release your boundaries and set your mind free. They will push the horizon of your sensibility; they will show you how to imagine, inspire, ignite and indulge yourself. Mentors are not teachers, they are not coaches, they are not preachers, they are not guides, and they are not role-models. Mentor are the oxygen of life itself”

Do not ever use mentors as proxy. Mentors demonstrate, they show you ‘how-to” If, they preach you or take you for long talks, then, they become your psychiatrists or counselling chair. I have 650 mentees and I am continuously spending time with them, but, I never talk to them for long hours. They watch me, they see my videos, they see me continuously upgrading myself and talking about the ‘Power of Self’. They take my sound bites and use them. I am constantly mentoring the corporate India with my sound bites. That’s how mentoring works – it is strategic, not linear!

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