Whilst we chose the month of March to celebrate Being Woman, I have been scouting examples through daily life to see how diversity is doing beyond corporate boundaries. You did be surprised with the level of penetration it has reached an awareness which is getting created! Above is a photo of me recently at Delhi Airport, and I saw this big banner post! was very happy to see we are bringing the message closer to the masses. Another instance was when my wife Rakshita wanted a passport-size photo in Bengaluru, and we went down the by lanes to see in many years a female photographer clicking it for her and astutely delivering the prints.
Tell how many of you have got the privilege of getting yourself clicked by a female photographer for such a regular work?
The third instance was when we were flying out of Bengaluru to Delhi and were flown in by an all-women crew. All of these are amazing close-to real-life examples that are satisfying that we are coming of age and driving a cultural change to bring equality in what we do together not as what we do basis gender.
BUT still, there are personal instances that I did like to share with you from my wife’s Rakshita storybook. I would quote two instances that I distinctly remember and consider harbingers in promoting a culture of equality.
One incident date back to her professional days where-in whilst she was an HR Manager and pregnant but still harassed by the management in her last working days to complete work and do handover before leaving. This is almost a decade back. I told Rakshita we can engage for legal advice and take people to court for causing this kind of pain, but she advised against it and said this is my problem and I will deal with it. You need to provide moral support and stand by me. She worked twice as hard, at levels more than her pre-pregnancy period. The staff stood by, worked with her to create transition plans and she made it a point to go to the office every single day. Within 3-4 days from here last day, she delivered our baby! She held it strong mentally even if physically it was draining for her, but she waded through it!
I have seen things improve since then but our sensitivity to remove bias must be engrained in our mindset.
Another example is from her entrepreneurial chapter, where-in she was trying to collaborate with a few like-minded females to expand her reach but the response of family with the prospect was “if the male member was to spend that much time they would earn more”. It was like why are you wasting time running around for a small-time revenue, you would be better off just taking care of the child!
She confronted this topic through her women’s network and started an awareness campaign that following dreams, running an entrepreneurial venture is not always about setting up a money-spinning machine. You do this to satisfy your inner dreams, follow your passion and see how you are creating a positive impact on society. In addition to this as she had gone through the cycles of setting up the business, and it has come with ups and downs, she coached her fellow entrepreneurs not to give up too soon too fast. Continue to pursue the dream as it can take years before people start accepting the new normal. The outcome, the person in question today runs her venture and is proud to be a homepreneur!
Again, a problem of mindset! It is very necessary that beyond corporate awareness we ignite a culture of being a change agent at home from within ourselves, our family members. Providing support is not limited to physical or mental but extends beyond that in educating & making us understand that we are here to play a game of equals!!
I also dedicated a virtual half marathon to the cause and completed it on Sunday gone by ! I dedicated this to my sister in US for the tough person she has been living through this changing world and dynamics !!