By: Jayata Sharma
Empowerment and strength come from within. At times, a little nudge from the outside helps us discover our inner value and potential. To enable this very light, we bring to you each month, a dialogue with a woman who stands as an example of ownership and standing tall. For all other women out there, to seek and discover their own amazing powers.
- What’s the best part about being a woman in a professional world?
Women are usually softer, more accommodating, especially for other female employees. There is less rigidity and more humane-ness. I have seen that most men are more focussed on following policies and procedures. While women are more flexible, as long as the work gets done.
- The 3 toughest challenges in your career that you faced & overcame.
I got married very young. In fact, was pregnant before completing my MD in Pathology. However, was back to studies just after 17 days of my C-section delivery. MD admissions are not easy to get and getting back was a priority for me. The second challenge was when we had started, global suppliers would not send pathology supplies to India; and introducing new tests in our country used to be tough. The third one was training for newer tests. We were pioneers back then in most tests, but providing and/or receiving training was a task. People equipped to train us and our staff, used to not give Indians importance at that time.
- Three things as per you that women colleagues should do for each other.
Fellow women colleagues should be supported and uplifted, wherever necessary. Respect the humanity. And lastly, appreciate other women; as they do not get their due in this world.
- How can we change the ‘abla naari’ perspective of our own selves?
There is no abla naari. This is a twisted image given by the society or maybe the men to women, over the centuries. Noor Jahan used to co-rule with Jehangir; and we all know about Rani Laxmi Bai. We should simply have confidence in ourselves and not let other people undermine us.
- Are we still in a man’s world, trying to fit in? How can we break this cycle?
The employee selection process in the working world is still lopsided. People prefer women less as they may take maternity leaves, and such. This needs to change. Plus, I am opposed to ideas like women wearing pant suits just to fit in. If you like the attire, it should be worn; but not to just “fit in”. Wear what you want. Do what you like. Do not change yourself just to fit. Your line of work is much more important than anything else.
- Your top 3 suggestions to fellow women professionals.
Work hard. Stay transparent; no cover-ups. Be honest; even in times of non- or late delivery of your work. Be upfront honest.
- The mantra that keeps you going all the time.
Continuous learning. Even at 63 years, I do high altitude trekking, I am learning German right now. Plus, I indulge in photography.
- Your secret of maintaining work-life balance.
Excellent time management. I do not watch TV; it is wastage of time for me. Instead, I prefer taking out time for the activities I want to do. I get all the time to do all that I want, simply because of acutely managing time.
- How do you unwind & relax after a long day?
I read a lot. In the car, at home, and all kinds of books, even on photography.
- Your favourite saying.
Teachings of Confucius – life is simple, but we complicate it.