An equal world is an enabled world. 8th of March, marks the International Women’s Day & the theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual. It emphasizes the notion that equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Equality is essential for economies to thrive, communities to propagate & for the world to be a harmonious place altogether. We’re striving for a gender equal boardroom, government, media, workplaces & in almost every industry that exists.
Here are a few key highlights of women being a beacon of light in 2019.
- NASA Astronauts took part in the first all women spacewalk
- US Soccer team demanded equal pay
- Greta Thunberg sparks a global movement for Climate Action
- Indian Navy inducted it’s first woman pilot
- Finland forms government of five parties all led by women, with youngest woman Prime Minister in the World
So awespiring isn’t it?
Yet there are a few flawed facets that need a paradigm shift. In the millennial era, our society continues to view women through a lens tinted with misogyny, prejudices, stereotypes, biases & a constricted mindset. Be it any industry — military or media, fashion or finance, teaching or technology, ecommerce or education; women have, are & will be ( hopefully not?) sidelined, singled out & subjected to inequality ineptitude. Driving away the demons of discrimination almost seems like an impossible feat in this dystopian doom.
Non-receptivity of women in the corporate world runs in parallel with the flawed inceptivity of technology in the industry. From police stab vests that don’t account for breasts, to safety goggles too large for women’s faces, to boots that don’t fit women’s feet, to unfit spacesuits for women & designs in smartphones etc are all etched with the consideration & compatibility of men. It’s almost as if they ceased to matter? These are a few starking facts about the rampant & repugnant inequality that women continue to face in today’s era.
- Women are 47% more likely to suffer severe injuries in car crashes because safety features are designed for men
- 33,000 girls become child brides every day
- Only 6 countries give women equal legal work rights as men
- Women in rural parts of Africa spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water
In a reaction filled with shock & sadness, the latter emotion dominates with a pinch of nonchalance. Men are mostly unnerved by these revelations, tend to ignore & in fact implement unimaginable forms of patriarchal presumptions. At the end of the day, they’re just men right?
On the upcoming occasion of International Women’s Day, we interviewed a few upcoming women entrepreneurs who have imbued us with their resilience, determination & success. These stalwart women truly inspire us to achieve our goals, with their unending source of optimism & achievements.
Kamini Jha, Laalsa
A woman with myriad of tastes & transitions, Mrs Kamini Jha shares her insight & inspires us to overcome our failure & take a leap of faith. She’s had a stellar transformation in a short span of time in various industries from finance to food & social work to sales. After trying her hands at a couple more things, she founded her company based on cryptocurrency which faced an unfortunate shutdown due to the controversies & ban on the field. In the midst of all the chaos, she still managed to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, establishing her NGO for women & children. She’s currently working as the head of customer experience in Laalsa.
When asked about the hurdles she’s overtaken, she candidly replies with “The company I started was in a very very different industry, & when I go out there to meet people the stares that I get reflect their validation & vouching for my presence in this field. India has been a patriarchal society for a very long time & women have very recently started working.So it will take the industry time to evolve & think about it, as they’re not habituated to see women working & it takes them sometime to accept like who gets the work done anyhow at the end of the day. When you come out like a shark to eat the opportunities out there, people can’t take it. The kind of industry I started out in is completely dominated by men & when I’d approached a couple of investors for funding & investments they would leave snide comments like “You know what you’re a woman, I don’t think your company’s really going to work. You’re turning 30 take that sabbatical”. I would hear things like “You’re a crypto girl! That too in India, where no one else has divulged into this field. How will you manage your family? How will you survive in a room full of men?”; people would also throw taunts like, “I wonder how her husband is handling such a wife”.
She inspires us with her undying spirit & says ”Failures initially bog you down & we’re women so we overthink, get emotional, affected by judgment & things really get difficult. But that should never stop you from striving towards your goal.It does consume you, but you get over it & come out stronger. If you don’t fall, how will you rise?”
“Create your own bunch of advocates, who become your safety net who you can fall back upon.
Striking a balance between family & work becomes a tough task too. People are waiting for that one opportunity you miss, to judge you, comment on your career, lifestyle everything.The biggest plus point is my life partner who’s always been supportive and amazingly understanding. My saving grace is my family & my friends.”
Mamatha Kamireddy, Hydrilla
As the Co-Founder of Hydrilla, an Agro-Tech startup which offers farmers wide variety of Aquaponics & Hydroponics systems & solutions Mrs. Mamatha K shares her experience on her journey to entrepreneurship. She simplifies & signifies the importance of capitalising a straightforward opportunity & is completely self-made woman.
She says, “Whatever that takes to be an entrepreneur, I have learnt it by seat of the pants. I had no prior experience in business, finance nor the agriculture domain in which I am working. So, it is just solving problems as they come, plan and then replan. My biggest confidence is I let my work and achievements speak. I don’t go for paid promotions and heavy marketing ideas. Since the business is built on the foundation of research, skill and knowledge, clients come to me with trust. Problems can be solved when we have that confidence.”
When asked about how she manages to strike a balance between dual duties, she nonchalantly replied with “I don’t believe in discharging dual duties. It cannot be done perfectly. Things will go out of balance. There are a lot of days with dirty kitchen, hotel food and missed parent teacher meetings. A woman needs no crown for being a perfect multitasker. My husband always knew that I am uncompromising when it comes to my career. We are just equal partners. But hypothetically if he was not that type, I would have fought my way and made it possible, then maybe I would have got more to write about!”
The key takeaway would be “Don’t overthink. Even if you are facing issues, don’t let them clog your brain and cloud your decisions. More than anything, make girlfriends. Stop compartmentalizing fellow ladies into homemaker, housewife, work at home, career women. Recognize each individual has her own struggle and just stop judging.”
Dola Halder, PepsiCo
Known popularly as the ‘Corporate Diva’, Mrs. Dola Halder is of the most accomplished woman who adds flavour to not just food, but also to the entire female community. Her unique & ubiquitous insight, truly leaves the definition of feminism redefined. Zest & zeal are her weapons on her way to wonder.
When asked upon her opinion about equality, she gives one of the most sparking, yet simple answers replying with, “It’s not about equality, men & women cannot be equal, physically, biologically, mentally we’re not equal. It’s about being fair. Yes, there are differences but each difference has its own importance & we need to adapt & exist in that way. Women are generally more creative than men, & they have a lot more ideas; on one topic a woman can explore the world & come up with 30 different solutions & men’s advantage is that they can zero down. When you’ve those 30 different ideas, a man can cut them short & bring them to execution. A man & woman together make the perfect team.
Also, a woman is biologically wired to do five things in one go, she’ll wear lipstick with one hand, drive the car with the other hand, then again switch that hand to put a feeding bottle in a child’s mouth & still manage to concentrate to drive in between & take work calls. But men can’t do that. Men can’t multitask.” Highlighting her key strengths as “ My strength when compared to all the other men out there would be that right from childhood, I’ve worked extra to prove myself better, with multiple people saying you can’t do this & this is not the usual norm. That unintentionally in a far more way, adds on determination to do it. To go that extra mile, to work harder & push ourselves & keep excelling. It’s kind of a like a blessing in disguise, the way we’ve been brought up we’ve invariably become stronger, determined to prove people wrong. Instead of taking it in a negative spirit to prove people wrong, we need to work on how I need to excel to prove myself right.”
These are a few of the brilliant, brave & beautiful women out there who’ve battled bigotry & shined successfully. Every woman is impregnated with a seed of determination, an arsenal of strength & courage & finally a zeal to tackle every obstacle & transform it into an opportunity. With minimum to almost no support, women in business have proved that leading a company on their reigns is not beyond their ken.
To draw the upcoming women entrepreneurs a step closer & quicker to their dreams, we’ve prepared a small armoury which will serve as a source of their deliberation, defense & delivery. We believe that these products will help them in leaving no stone unturned towards achieving their goals.
So here’s delivering women the handbag they deserve, for the haven they’ll reserve.
- The Inception
As a woman when you single handedly start out with your idea/startup/venture, there’s a lot of apprehension in the picture; about your approach,the concept & it’s execution. A great hack for this is Lander app a temporary website, and is ideal for testing a project, an idea or a new product or service.It’s simple, effective, and free!
2. The Transformers
Constant Content — It’s a platform that allows you to buy high quality SEO wording & content customised for your blog targeting your product/service. Connects businesses with the best freelance writers nearby, so that you’ve the best material out there to broadcast your product.
3. The Social Network
Buffer- Tool that allows you to easily share content on social network & plan publications according to the user data. It’s the apt tool for building your audience & growing your brand on social media which will drive meaningful engagement & growth for your requirements.
4.Wolves of Wall Street
iFundWomen — Is a startup funding platform providing access to capital through crowdfunding and grants, expert business coaching on all the topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women business owners that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge, and ignites action.
5.The Elder Wand
Eli — Finally, this powerful presentation pointer allows you to cast any custom based spells of enchantment, while pitching to your investors & leaves them immersed & imbued in your ignition.It sets you apart from the rest of the entrepreneurs. It creates a memorable & mesmerising experience with it’s wizardly features like zoom, highlight, draw,lookup & gesture control. What more do you need to charm them with your magic?
So what exactly are you waiting for? Go get yourself started, you’ve everything you need to set your mark out there! Also wishing everyone a happy & harmonious Women’s Day!