Diversity & Inclusion
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Vijayan Seenisamy

ASPL #WeLead Campaign  |  Vol.

36
Vijayan Seenisamy
Vijayan (VJ) Seenisamy is the founder and CEO of Lead Agile. He has 16+ years leading in both Business Management and IT Solution transformation environments across many multinational companies. In 2020 VJ wrote and published the Amazon bestselling book “Unlocking the Science Behind Agile” providing further insight into what makes Agile and Lean practices so successful. 
“Equitable employers outpace their competitors by respecting all of their team members’ unique needs, perspectives, and potential. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees.” — VJ Seenisamy

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

I am the founder and CEO of Lead Agile, specialising in the Scaled agile framework (SAFe) implementations and training. I have 16+ years leading in both Business Management and IT Solution transformation environments across multinational companies. I have spent many years practising Agile philosophies and lean practices as a Business Intelligence consultant, Solution Architect Lead, Infrastructure Delivery Lead, Transformation Lead and Lean-Agile trainer. In 2020 I wrote and published the Amazon bestselling book “Unlocking the Science Behind Agile” providing further insight into what makes Agile and Lean practices so successful. Based in Melbourne, Australia, I am a prominent speaker who specializes in using science to advance an organisation’s agility. On the personal front, I am a loving father of two adorable daughters and believe in youth empowerment to make the world a more prosperous place to live.

2. Who are the women who have inspired you the most in your life?

I have countless female role models who have inspired me from childhood through to the present day and continue to do so by their service to our communities. From Mother Theresa who devoted her entire life to helping those in need to Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only female Prime Minister. Sirimovo Bandaranayke, who was the world’s first female Prime Minister from Sri Lanka to the Iron Lady herself, Margaret Thatcher. The youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, and in the corporate world, Indira Nooyi the former chief executive officer of PepsiCo. While I consider each one a heroine, it is the lesser-known women of the world who continually inspire me. It is our Grandmothers, our Mothers, our Sisters, our Daughters, our Partners who although may not be as famous as some of the names I have mentioned are certainly no less important. For without their everyday sacrifice, diligence, benevolence, integrity, and reliability, the human race would not have advanced thus far. Therefore, I could not nominate two finer women than my wife and my mother, the two women who have given me everything, as the inspiration for my life.

3. Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

Whether we acknowledge it or not, human history’s fabric is changing profoundly due to prosperity and safety. As a result, according to the facts published in Forbes:

  • Women in the labour force keep increasing
  • Men’s employment rate decreased by 20% In the last decade
  • 40% of women already out-earn their husbands
  • 85% of all purchases and purchases influenced by women.
  • 50% of products that are marked to men that women purchase
  • 91% of women do not think advertisers and companies understand them
  • Women control 20 Trillion dollars of global spending
  • Generate 13 Trillion dollars’ worth of annual income
  • The structure of the workforce is changing rapidly too, five generations of people are currently in the workforce
The 21st century is the era for women. Why? Because as the preceding statistics demonstrate, adjustments taking place in our culture and workplace are moving to the women’s natural strength. Due to our different roles in the tribe species, women and men are different, thus we have inherent strengths and tendencies. Women are more natural communitarians, have natural empathy, are greater relationship builders, are more open, are more values-driven, and are more sharing. The shift taking place in our society is moving to the strengths of women. Women have an immense amount of control on the consumer side, allowing them to have a massive amount of leverage and influence within the marketplace. The above-said data speaks for itself as to why we need more women in business, particularly in leadership roles.

4. How would you describe your current thinking about diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion are more than policies, programs, or headcounts. Equitable employers outpace their competitors by respecting all of their team members’ unique needs, perspectives, and potential. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees. With this firmly in mind, workplace diversity brings different perspectives on how to approach varying tasks. Diverse senior management teams are far more likely to focus on innovation and be more likely to introduce product innovations than homogenous ones.

5. Would you like to tell us a bit more about your thoughts/ comments?

Women in leadership positions are something I touched upon in my answer to question #3. In today’s society, I feel more and more leadership positions are becoming available for women to make their own. Statistics show that 40% of private businesses are owned and operated by women while in the corporate world, 40% of all new directors at the “C” level are women. It is not an opinion but rather a fact that women are driving the world’s economy with the marketplace being strongly pushed by female influence. Companies around the globe are now starting to understand this new and exciting dynamic, and as such are actively seeking out strong and business-minded women to help drive their business to new and greater heights. Although in many aspects it has been a long in the making, I am genuinely elated to say women in leadership is happening now all around us which is something I am incredibly excited to be a part of.

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