March is Women’s History Month. All month long, we will be interviewing each of the talented, intelligent, and hardworking women in our office. Today, we’re featuring Nita Bhatia. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us something particularly unique about your background.
My background is in clinical psychology, specializing in pediatric psycho-oncology. I focused on researching long-term cognitive and psychological effects of pediatric cancer and was a child and family psychologist. I received a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine then went on to work as a clinical researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School for several years. I then went on to pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Iowa (a top ten program in the country). However, during my 2nd year in the PhD program I decided to pursue an alternate career path and switched my focus to Business Psychology.
I worked in the field of Organization Development for 2 years prior to my current role. I now work as an Executive for a Finance Tech start-up. What makes my background unique is that I have altered my path/trajectory several times but my background in Psychology has been extremely relevant and applicable and I attribute my success in the corporate world to my deep understanding of human psychology and behavior.
From your perspective, what are some of the main struggles women still face in the workforce, and how are professionals and businesses working to overcome them?
There are many struggles women still face in the workforce. During my time working in the Business Psychology/Organizational Development field, I did a lot of consulting work for executive teams, specifically team dynamics, workplace communication issues, and supervisory relationships with subordinates. An overarching theme was women’s inability to speak up for themselves or advocate for their needs out of fear of being perceived as emotional. These were successful, intelligent, executive females who felt the need to subdue their intuition and try and behave in a more masculine manner to prevent themselves from being perceived as weak.
There is extensive validated research on the positive effects of emotional intelligence, specifically in the workplace. Soft skills like active listening, open communication, compassion, empathy, are all proven to be traits of more successful leaders. Women are naturally more empathetic and open with their communication but for decades have been taught to overcome those ‘hindrances’ in order to be successful in the workplace. We are now coming upon a time of great and exciting change where women are dominating the workforce being of their emotional intelligence and ability to see others’ perspectives. Organizational Development, Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence — these are all new terms in the workplace but it is evident now that those companies that embrace, utilize, and integrate these concepts into their workplace are more successful, have higher productivity and engagement from their employees, and are more innovative in their business practices.
A West Point graduate where he served as captain and military aviator, John Bair continues his commitment to our country through his efforts within the settlement planning industry. He has represented families of victims lost in the Flight 3407 crash, offered pro bono services to the families of 9/11 victims and drafted the first consumer protection bill for plaintiffs (H.R. 3699).