International Women’s Day has been celebrated for many years to acknowledge the social, economic and cultural advancement of women. It is also a day to ponder upon the advancements women have made and at the same time be aware of the slowed down progress in many places across the globe.
On this day, Advaiya, organized a round table discussion to talk about what it means to be a working woman; the success stories and the journey so far.
The round table started with an advertisement video with the message-“Is Laundry Only a Woman’s Job?” Followed by a video of PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi where she says that she doesn’t think that women can “have it all”.
Ruchika Godha, COO, Advaiya, started the discussion with a question on the first video that while we highlight the gender stereotype inherent in ‘is laundry a woman’s job only’, empowerment can only be achieved by going beyond a truncated perspective. The meeting pondered upon how many still turn to their fathers/ husbands/ brothers to change the wheel of their vehicle or to fix a leaking tap! She steered the discussion by urging the women to get past the stereotypes and acknowledge that they are fortunate to have a choice. The discussion also brought to front that the acts of gender discrimination in terms of household responsibilities and having a career have substantially decreased.
The women present in the round table shared their views, stories of success and the journey so far, which reflected the proud feeling of how they have been balancing work and personal lives. Some girls also shared how they have developed mechanisms to deal with various situations – like training their dependent family members and/or children to take care of things in their absence.
Taking forward the story of Indra Nooyi, many women did confess to having the feeling of guilt for not being able to do justice to personal and professional demands. But having an understanding family goes a long way in ensuring professional success. Swati Trivedi, Solutions Architect, EPM pointed out, “It is also great to have an in-premises baby care facility as is provided by Advaiya, which allows us to work effectively, assured that our kids are just a shout away and we get to see them whenever we feel like.” Other working moms also echoed the sentiment.
The round table concluded with appreciation of all women and especially the working mothers for taking up responsibilities, living their dreams, and managing both professional and personal life. At the same time, the participants acknowledged the role of friends, family and colleagues, and society as a whole, which has enabled the choice that many women have today. It was highlighted that there are many women who still do not have choice and are constrained by uncooperative environment and stereotypes. The meeting was unanimous that there is a lot to be accomplished regarding progressive attitudes about individual choice, and realizing the benefits of empowered women for families, society and the nation.