Powerhouse Pairings: How The Right Partnerships Propel Women Forward

The Power of Support: How Partnerships Propel Women Forward

Sangeeta Saxena, the Marketing Head for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence in India.

As part of our ongoing series highlighting women leaders making a mark in their industries, we sat down with Sangeeta Saxena, the Marketing Head for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence in India. With many years of experience navigating the corporate landscape, Sangeeta has a wealth of wisdom to share about what it takes for women to thrive professionally. In this candid Q&A, she shares her insights on the power of cultivating supportive partnerships both at home and in the workplace and offers practical advice for building a network that will help you soar. Whether you're just starting out in your career or are a seasoned executive, Sangeeta's perspective is sure to resonate and inspire. Let's dive in.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your professional journey and what has equipped you to thrive as a woman leader?

A: Certainly. Over the past 20 years, I've had the opportunity to work across various roles and industries, from my early days as a business planning executive to my current position leading marketing strategy for a global tech company. Along the way, I've learned that success is not just about individual skills and dedication, but also about the strength of your support system. I've been fortunate to have incredible allies at home and at work who've empowered me to take risks, bounce back from setbacks, and reach for my highest aspirations. Their partnership has been instrumental to my growth as a leader.

Q: Why do you believe it's so crucial for women to have supportive partnerships in order to thrive professionally?

A: Having a strong support system is absolutely essential for women to reach their full potential in their careers. When we feel genuinely supported and empowered both at home and in the workplace, it gives us the foundation to take on challenges, pursue growth, and accomplish incredible things. Knowing we have allies in our corner cheering us on and advocating for us makes all the difference.

Q: Let's start with the home front - what does a supportive partnership look like there? 

A: At home, having an equal partnership where responsibilities are shared equitably is key. When a woman feels her ambitions are valued and her partner is committed to managing the household and caring for family jointly, it alleviates so much pressure mentally and practically. Having that stability and peace of mind allows a woman to dedicate her best energy and focus to her career, secure in the knowledge that things are under control at home.

Q: And in the workplace, you've mentioned the importance of mentors and sponsors - can you elaborate?

A: Absolutely. Mentors and sponsors play critical but distinct roles in supporting women's career advancement. A mentor is a wise guide who offers advice and perspective as you navigate professional challenges and decisions. A sponsor is a powerful advocate who uses their influence to open doors and actively promote your abilities to key stakeholders. Building relationships with both, and also being a mentor and sponsor to others, creates an ecosystem of support and growth. Their backing is invaluable as women push themselves to new heights.

Q: What about the role of female networks and communities - why are those connections so impactful?

A: Having a strong network of other professional women is nourishing on so many levels. When we come together to share experiences, counsel each other through challenges, and celebrate successes, it creates a real sense of solidarity. These relationships offer sustenance and inspiration, and help women feel part of something bigger as we navigate our journeys. Lifting each other up and championing one another's goals is incredibly empowering. There's nothing like being surrounded by amazing women who get it and have your back.

Q: How can women go about building this multi-faceted support system? What's your advice? 

A: There are many ways to cultivate these meaningful partnerships. At work, joining or starting an employee resource group for women is a great starting point to find mentors and peers. Attending conferences and events focused on professional women is another fertile ground for expanding your network. It's also powerful to organize regular meetups with women at various career stages to swap stories and advice. The key is to be proactive, generously offer your own support to others, and stay open to authentic connections. When we all extend a hand, the rising tide lifts everyone.

Q: Any final words of advice to leave us with?

A: At the end of the day, when women feel truly supported, there's no limit to what we can achieve. By intentionally building partnerships, lifting each other up, and paying it forward, we create an unstoppable force. Together, we have the power to shatter ceilings, redefine norms, and change the game. So let's champion one another, celebrate each win, and keep rising to new heights, hand in hand. When women thrive, the world is a better place for all.