Women in Resilience (WiR) Spotlight: Pompy Das

  • 15 Apr 2021

Pompy Das is based out of Chennai, India, and is currently the Head of Operations Resilience at Barclays in Asia.  She considers herself a generalist and an operational leader with a well-rounded experience and expertise in envisioning, strategizing, building, leading and executing priorities and projects in Service delivery organisations. She has led, influenced, and successfully delivered global customer and client centric projects. She thrives in a fast moving, change oriented environment using a direct and open leadership style. Pompy is also an engaged and active leader within gender networks.

What brought you into the industry?

I came into the industry by accident. I was really enjoying an operations role when this opportunity came my way. As someone who was based out of Chennai, I had seen the Chennai floods situation first-hand, and I was really inspired by how the crisis was managed. I saw it as an opportunity to pick up a new skill and to be part of a domain which is so fundamental to everything we do.

How did you reach your current position? What challenges did you face?

I have grown quite organically in my career. People may not believe me, but I have rarely planned my career moves. I have changed roles pretty much every two years; and almost every role has materialised by working on other areas on top of my existing assignments. So, if there was one thing that has worked for me, it has been the idea of being open to explore the “unknown” and not being afraid of a new opportunity. In that sense, I do not think there has been a challenge that I have not been able to work through. Every challenge taught me something new and I value those learnings.

Which specific skills do you think are needed to become a leader in your field?

My top 3 would be:

  • Stakeholder Engagement - Being able to convince top leadership about the inclusion of Resilience amongst the top three objectives in an organisation.
  • Having a 10X Mindset.
  • Solid awareness of the global security environment.

Do you think that the BCI WiR initiative will influence our industry? If yes, how?

A big and a wholehearted yes. Initiatives like Women in Resilience are crucial to ensure that more women participate in this domain/industry. Thanks to this initiative, I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful women in the industry, and when in doubt, I have benefitted from their views/guidance.

More women participation will most definitely attract diverse thoughts and views, which the industry will benefit from. And as a biproduct, more women colleagues across industries will get to know each other better and learn from each other. This will hopefully also inspire them to seek role models that will help them progress in their careers.

What changes would you like to see in the profession?

This is my personal view, and I hope people will understand where I am coming from. As someone who came from Operations into Resilience - and as someone who has been on both sides of the table -  I think Resilience professionals focus a lot on theory and documentation (sometimes by habit, other times by design and sometimes by error). There is the need to de-jargonise our communication, make solutions practical to apply, relatable and simple, so they do not seem like just another item in the checklist that needs to be ‘done’. Being able to clearly communicate, “What is in it for them can make a huge difference”.

In your opinion, why should more people be joining the resilience community?

Resilience is a life skill. In every sphere of life, being resilient means being able to remain stable and function despite all the disruption and chaos that may be unfolding around us. Just being a part of the community, can help really broaden one’s thought process - both professionally and personally. We are living in some extraordinary times and a more resilient person at home and in the workspace can make a huge difference to the outcomes we want to achieve.

 

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