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Not a One-Day Thing: How o9 Solution's Intellectual Wellness Program Empowers Women Every Day

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Priyanka Suresh
Senior Employee Benefits Specialist + Intellectual Wellness Program Lead @ o9 Solutions

Early last year, my team and I were brainstorming ideas for Women’s Day.

We wanted to do something more than just gifts and activities – something that would leave a lasting impact.

We noticed that while many o9ers, especially women, felt good about what they've achieved, there's this underlying feeling, this sense they crave something more. And that 'something more' comes from within, right? It's about pushing yourself. It's up to you to decide whether you want to step up or just be content with what you've got.

Take me, for example. I love what I'm doing, but sometimes, I wonder, could I be doing it better? Maybe there's something out there that I haven't tried yet.

That got us thinking – can we do something to help women o9ers see beyond their current situation and get a fresh perspective?

We realized we wanted to go beyond the typical one-day celebrations.

We wanted a program for women all year round, offering continuous support and benefits.

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Our goal was simple yet bold - Empower our women o9ers to surpass daily challenges and achieve more than they thought possible, at work and beyond.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

From idea to reality…

Now that we knew we wanted to create something special and meaningful, the next question was what would this program be like?

It had to be something curated specifically for our women o9ers, keeping their realities and aspirations at the center.

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Because we have a lot of women o9ers who love to read, we realized books are the perfect bridge to connect them with powerful stories that'll help them amplify their voices, promote inclusivity, and encourage a deeper understanding of diversity. 

 

That’s how we founded o9’s Women Intellectual Empowerment Program.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

MyBookWorks was the obvious partner of choice…

We already have an awesome partnership with MyBookWorks through which o9ers get hyper-personalized recommendations and books.

So, it was easy to partner with MyBookWorks to design and launch our unique Intellectual Empowerment Program for high-achieving women o9ers so they could easily explore new spaces and aspire for more things outside their comfort zones.

Putting the program together was truly a collective effort…

I shared a couple of ideas with my colleagues Romila Kalyan and Sweta Tharad to get their perspective. They provided valuable input and suggested various genres.

We also continued to reflect on our individual experiences as well as conversations with o9ers.

For instance, one of my colleagues, who was going on maternity leave contributed a different perspective.

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We realized our program should focus on topics such as parenting, pregnancy, postpartum, relationships, and dating among others because not everyone feels comfortable discussing these topics openly.

You might confide in a friend, but discussing such matters in a professional setting can be challenging. But, these are the areas where a lot of support is needed, where people seek different perspectives without fear of being judged.

This became the basis for the genres we chose for the program.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

Unequivocal support from o9’s leadership gave us a huge confidence…

The entire management was very supportive, saying, "Wow, this is a nice thought, we should go ahead and do it."

This is also a testament to o9's strong learning culture, where everyone at the top, including our global CEO and our India CEO, are avid readers. So, they've always been strong role models for continuous learning for o9ers.

At the same time, we were mindful that…

We shouldn't fall into stereotypes.

We certainly didn’t want o9ers to wonder, ‘Why should certain things be exclusively for women?’, or ‘Why is the focus solely on us? Why not extend these discussions to men or others too?’.

I didn't want anyone to feel excluded.

Fortunately, we didn't face any such issues.

People were genuinely pleased that something was specifically being done for women.

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Something for Everyone…

In the process, we realized the program isn't just for women o9ers; it could also benefit men o9ers as well as be extended to include the family members of all o9ers.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

Overwhelming response from…

Both women and men o9ers.

Once we started it, o9ers just loved it!

There was a lot of enthusiasm, especially from new moms returning from maternity leave. They were seeking more inspiration to help them balance everything—work, life, relationships, parenting, and particularly mental health.

Many of them reached out directly to me saying, 'Thank you for having this. I was just on my maternity leave, and I could find excellent books with this program’ or 'I found great books that really helped me during a particularly challenging time'.

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There was also a lot of interest from men o9ers in genres such as ‘Parenting’, 'Fitness', and ‘Mental Health’. They shared how they read books together, as parents and as partners, gaining a better understanding from their partners’ perspectives as well.

These stories made this program even more special

That's also how the power of this program became evident.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

My 3 favorite genres from the program are...

The first one is leadership and management. I believe that is what will drive us to the next level. I get inspired by reading about the journeys of women leaders.

On a personal level, mental health is a priority. If you have a strong mental state, then you can do whatever you want. So, that's my second on the list.

And the third one is nutrition and fitness. Because staying healthy and fit significantly impacts my performance. It's about fostering a balanced lifestyle, which in turn enhances leadership skills, work-life balance, communication, and more. So, that's my third favorite.

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And if I could choose another one, it’d be personal finance because there is this outdated idea that women lack financial savvy. I don’t agree with that. We should be better at managing our finances. And yes, we should learn to do it ourselves.

 

For me, reading is the best way to learn from experts and get better at each of these.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

But to sustain a program like this requires unmatched support…

One of the biggest challenges to sustaining such a program is how to keep it fresh and relevant while catering to a broad spectrum of needs and preferences.

And that’s where MyBookWorks' hyper-personalized solutions stand out.

I believe what sets MyBookWorks apart is its commitment to go above and beyond.

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MyBookWorks doesn't stop at just providing book recommendations.

For instance, if an employee says, 'This isn't for me', MyBookWorks would dig deeper to understand what they truly need and what topics they're passionate about.

It even goes the extra mile to procure books that aren't readily available.

That's the kind of support I needed for this program. And MyBookWorks was a natural fit for this.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

Plus, the exceptional flexibility o9ers get with MyBookWorks helps them deal with...​

 

The challenge of time constraints.​

o9ers are super busy with their deliverables, projects, and meetings. It's often tough to squeeze in time for a workshop or session to improve their well-being.

However, with MyBookWorks’ intellectual wellness program, o9ers have the freedom to engage whenever they find the time.

This flexibility sets it apart.

You're not bound by specific time slots; you can access great books at your convenience.

Additionally, the option to keep a book for varying durations offers added convenience.

Moreover, regular reminders keep you on track, allowing you to assess your progress and decide whether to continue with the same book or explore new ones.

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Ultimately, MyBookWorks empowers each o9er to take control of their development journey on their terms and pace.

Priyanka Suresh | Intellectual Wellness Program Lead

One of the best programs in the industry…

I'm incredibly proud to lead the MyBookWorks Intellectual Wellness Program at o9.

The responses we’ve gotten from o9ers for this program are phenomenal.

This is one of the best programs, unique yet super relevant.  

I'm privileged to be part of this program. I encourage you to benefit from it too.

Priyanka Suresh

Hello, I'm a Senior Benefits Specialist (India & APAC) and I've been with o9 Solutions for over 1.8 years

I'm an experience collector who loves traveling, exploring, photography, and trying out different foods.

 

I'm also a dog lover and yoga enthusiast.

 

In my free time, I enjoy binge-watching and reading books.

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