I have been a working professional for a few years now. I have had multifarious experiences with bosses, colleagues, teams and partner associates. The rarest of them is to find a company led, supported and celebrated by an all women’s team.
TrueBlue Advisory started small. I mean really small. A four-person team maneuvering through thick and thin of handling clients who trusted us despite not having a credible backing, figuring out the essence of the company we are trying to build, handling the ropes and building a company we all are proud of being associated with.
The societal and gender biases usually side with men when it comes to possessing traits of efficiency, aggression, and assertiveness. In our case, the women took charge of this and much more.
It didn’t even take us a year to move from a humble four to a ten-person core team. Some came and went, and others stayed. It was never our intention to build an all-women team. But as luck would have it, we found some gems to work with. (We do have an amazingly talented boy on our team as well. No intention of taking away the credit from him for operating with us all.)
I’ve read that it’s the top leadership who is responsible for everything. Be it the reputation of the company, setting an internal culture or bringing a sense of oneness to the team.
My experience with TrueBlue gave me my first insight into seeing this build gradually and so positively. To summarize my experience in the last year of working with my team, would be this:
1. Women leaders are ingenious, insightful and fierce. Richa Telang and Neha Jain are born leaders you want to sit up and listen to. Working with these two canons of intelligence, I learned the valuable lessons of humility, hard work, and most importantly, hustling.
2. They understand what it is to have a life beyond work. Never does that mean that you can slack away from your responsibilities, but neither do they have unrealistic expectations of you. We aren’t expected to ‘slave away’ but ‘own it’. Treat the company like your own and then make a decision in the best interest of TrueBlue Advisory. Trust me, they will trust you with it.
3. They understand that everyone has good and bad days. Either way, you will always have them by your side, rallying for you.
4. There’s no room for ego. We are honest, trusting and respectful of each other. It’s easy working with a team that knows when to joke around (and how!) and when to get its game face on.
5. We discuss! I mean we actually discuss things. There is no top-down communication. We work in a flat structure. Everyone is heard, everyone’s given new opportunities and everyone works as equals.
6. Our team is not ‘like’ family, we are one! You can count on them to have your back. They will celebrate your wins and back you up when things screw up (personally and professionally).
7. The team will stretch themselves thin to get work done, help out when required and take over when necessary, all without a moment’s hesitation.
8. You don’t have to exhaust your energy to be noticed. No one here indulges in office politicking, backbiting or seizing other’s opportunities. All that is expected of us is to work hard, be interested and stay consistent.
9. Each and everyone in our team brings something special to the table that has allowed our little company to bloom into something that’s going to change the industry in a big way someday.
Over the last year, our culture has been defined and entrenched into something truly exceptional. Even while interviewing new candidates, we have understood the importance of assessing their culture fit for our company. It’s qualities that complement an efficient startup. In my understanding, gender has little role to play when it comes to instilling a culture that’s inventive and deep-rooted, these terrific boss-ladies just showed us how to do it.