“One woman can change anything. Many women can change everything.”
Well, no one would tend to disagree with the fact that we thrive in a society that follows the patriarchal system. A family is headed by a male and it he who is considered as the ultimate ‘driving’ and ‘thriving’ force. True! It definitely appeals that it is the male who actually runs his family. However, our own social system tends to neglect the very fact that the same is the result of a powerful backing that each and every gentleman has on this earth – the strength, the patience, the dedication and the loyalty of a female with him, be it his mother, his spouse, his daughter or his sister. Not to refute, the vice-versa is hardly a reality. There are loads of ‘conceived and pre-notioned’ stereotypes that surround not only women but even men equally. The limelight that the sensitive Issues/social malaises like gender equality, female foeticides, sati and the like have garnered these days reflects the granularity levels these issues have percolated into the society and in the end, hindering our progress.
A baby is the most precious gift of God to a happy couple. Even in these times of technological revolutions and human progress, notions about a girl and a boy tend to divulge away as they grow up. While a couple may not differentiate much between a son and a daughter in their yester years, the distinction becomes prominent as they grow together in age. A boy is assumed to be bold and the forerunner of the family. On the other side of the coin, a girl is thought [and taught] to be submissive, shy and actually treated as a financial burden in our country.
There were times when women used to be confined within the four walls of the household and hardly educated. However, times have changed to the extent that our own organization boasts of approximately 33.3% female composition of the total workforce – a highly encouraging figure though! Women are no longer held back. They are up and going, making their presence felt in almost each and every field. Though the mindsets are changing with times, there is still a lot of thinking and revolution to be brought about. The gender stereotypes still haunt us.
A working women is presented with a lot of chores. The perfect work-life balance is what presents the most daunting and challenging task to a female associate. While a male is just held up with his ‘bread earner’ work all his way, a female is the one who goes through a series of phases;
From a lovely girl child to
A responsible daughter to
A responsible corporate employee to
A perfect wife to
A perfect mother
And.. The cycle continues.
Amidst this sea of responsibilities and challenges is where we females tend to lose sight of our own aspirations owing to the compromises life offers us, with the stereotypes tagged along by default.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” ~ Diane Mariechild
No matter what life has to offer, the above quote by Diane holds a lot of relevance in today’s era. The power of a woman is not one that is to be underestimated. A few excerpts [listed below] boost me to the core. These awesome ladies had almost nothing to start with, yet they went to pursue their passion and went on to achieve heights of success.
1. Meena Bindra, Founder of India’s largest readymade ethnic-wear brand Biba, grew up in Delhi but lost her father at a young age. She married a naval officer as a result of which she moved around across India, and got into the garments business only after her children grew up. She started off with a local block printer, initial sales to Mumbai stores, and then her own company-owned outlets. Her sons joined the company for a while as trusted managers, then struck out on their own.
2. Paru Jaykrishna, Founder of chemical giant Asahi Songwon, grew up in a Jain family in Ahmedabad. She lost her parents at a young age, and married the Patel son of a textile firm. She later moved into travel and construction, and then switched to chemicals. She expanded her dye business (resisting challenges of bribery and corruption), and struck good deals with Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese companies and investors.
3. Dipali Sikand, Founder of Les Concierges, grew up in Calcutta. She was active in politics, but then moved into HR. Her marriage unfortunately fell apart and she was left with a baby and no financial resources. Still she carried on with HR assignments in cities like Bangalore, and then discovered a need for personalized ‘concierge’ services for busy managers in IT companies. Customers such as Wipro and IBM paid well for these services, and Dipali also branched out to start music and dining venue Kyra in Indiranagar. The next stop for Les Concierges is Cairo.
4. Shikha Sharma, Founder of weight loss classes NutriHealth Systems, grew up in Delhi and studied medicine. She became interested in preventive health-care and rehabilitation, a huge gap in India. Resisting family pressure to go abroad or get married, she struck out on her own and set up a weight loss clinic. It did not work out, so she tried again with a rental unit in a hospital – and this model succeeded. Eventually she could strike out again, and hired a team of nutritionists and embraced ayurvedic methods. A proud moment was to be one day invited to treat the Prime Minister.
Reading these excerpts take me to my Initial Learning Programme [ILP] days when we used to be taught to ‘Realize Our Potential’ – to which I would like to add – ‘Realize Our Passion’ too, which is because passion is the ultimate driver. Pursuing a passion further requires a perfect blend of courage and dare to take risks associated – only when we experience success, come what may. Although these ladies are huge inspiration beings, each one of us is no less. We are unique in ourselves and carry tremendous aura to motivate others and keep ourselves energized. We just need to observe, recognize and unlock our potential!
A few witnessed attempts to boost female morale had been the Corporate’s Diversity and Inclusion and lately the SHE – Sustaining Her Excellence’ Initiatives launched at our account level. Such initiatives when propelled in the right direction would have a long lasting impact, only when we – women take initiatives at our end and do our part. Let’s not be the ones we used to be. Let’s break the shackles and become free birds. Let’s not feminism pose a hindrance. Let’s make it our strength, our tool to realize our dreams and ultimately transform the society and world!
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim!” ~ Nora Ephron, Novelist
PS – The mentioned excerpts have been taken from – http://her.yourstory.com/25-women-entrepreneurs-0714