Women to Watch: Ekta Sahasi
Here at Eunré, we know women can change the world! And each month we will honor one of those women you may or may not have heard of.
Our first honoree is Ekta Sahasi. She was Vice President of the North American Business Innovation Center (BIC) and Managing Director, Research for Konica Minolta. BIC partners with technology companies to create new software, services and portfolios of new business capabilities for Konica Minolta. Previously, Sahasi spent 10 years at eBay Inc. where she co-founded and led both eBay and PayPal’s Research and Innovation Labs before joining BIC.
Sahasi is interested in empowering women in leadership, helping people build startups in Asia and closing the gap between North America and Asian companies.
She has written for Entrepreneur, focusing her features on these topics.
Currently, she is an avid investor, and an active founding member of FirstBoard.io, an organization of diverse female executives in the technology field who aim to get more women in Board of Director’s chairs and at the highest level of corporate governance across the world.
FirstBoard.io was founded in 2020. In 2018, Women on Boards (Senate Bill 826) was signed into law to advance equitable gender representation on California corporate boards, yet in March 2020, 43 California companies had yet to add any women and 300 failed to disclose.
This flies right in the face of the mission of FirstBoard.io and the words of founder Rita Scroggin, “I believe that diversifying Company Boards and Leadership teams will be one of the biggest transformative energies to make the world a more equal and just place.”
The women at FirstBoard.io are experts in technology, scale and operating leadership.
Sahasi on Women Leaders
In her article “How to Succeed as a Female Leader Anywhere in the World”, she begins by acknowledging the projected statistic by The Economist that “the number of women in the workforce can boost a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by as much as 25 percent” and by recognizing that the struggle for women in the workplace is real from harassment, to wage gap to the glass ceiling (despite the cracks we have made in it).
Sahasi has been a woman in power in Japan and the United States and because of her experiences, she believes she can offer women some guidance.
Be versatile, deliver on details, be innovative, have hard proof for your recommendations and be confident!
Sahasi on Leadership Development
Sahasi writes in her business.com article “3 Scientifically Proven Ways to Inspire Your Team” that leaders can be made despite the popular belief they must be born leaders. Hard work and proven methods are all you need to be a successful leader.
States that a leader’s job is to bring out the best in each member of the team, and this will in fact make the team more effective and happier.
Here are those 3 ways:
Give less power to your higher performers. Collaboration makes teams stronger and a lack of balance will ruin a team. Citing a phenomenon called Escalating Citizenship, Sahasi says “For the individuals who have come to be relied upon for doing the lion's share of the work, the unintended consequences may be exhaustion, increased stress, and work and family conflict. The research also indicates that these individuals experience the lowest engagement and career satisfaction scores, which ultimately increases their chances of moving on to another organization”
Tone Down Positivity- this sounds counterintuitive, but here she means there is such a thing as too much positivity that workers begin to think everything is perfect and lose motivation to become better. Constructive criticism is needed for people to improve.
Connect Team Members with Your Companie’s Mission. This does not sound new. We have all worked for companies that review the mission statement each year at the retreat and have you do some activity around it. But that is not exactly what this means. Research shows that employees who are taught new skills on the job are more likely to understand the mission of the company and feel connected to it.
Sahasi lives in the Bay Area.