This International Women’s month, six influential women across industries bust myths around womanhood.
We’ve all heard the clichés that feed the myths. Women don’t raise their hands, women don’t speak up, women don’t go for the big jobs. Women aren’t assertive enough, women don’t have what it takes to lead.
For International Women’s Month, Isharya spoke to six women across disciplines, who are inspiring change by busting these myths.
Research shows that women are less likely to consider entrepreneurship, largely because they don’t see other women entrepreneurs as role models. But, philanthropist and model Aarsha Mohan hopes to change that.
She’s the co-founder of Mayura Foundation, a non-profit which aims to socially uplift socially disadvantaged children through interventions in health, nutrition and education. “I just follow my heart and dreams without thinking about what other people are going to say. Follow your dreams because they’re yours,” she says. Her style mantra? “Less is more,” she adds.
Workplace prejudices do not make it easy for women to rise in their careers. According to Namita Thapar, Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals and Shark Tank star, this problem is even more prevalent for new mothers. And, as a woman leader and a mother, she wants to fight against them. How does she find inspiration?
“In good books and meeting smart and humble people,” she responds. When it
comes to fashion, she dresses up to reflect her mood. “There are days I wear very bright colours. In fact, I prefer wearing bright pantsuits, vibrant lipsticks and feel-good accessories. But, there are also days when I want to laze around in pajamas with my hair tied up,” she says.
Grammy-nominated rapper-songwriter and the founder of Godmother Records is an all-round badasss babe. Despite this, there are moments she finds challenging. “As women, we have to work harder, do more and be better so we can be accepted. But over time, I’ve learnt to let go of that angst and keep my eyes on the prize,” she says. On stage, she uses fashion to reflect power and creativity. “I love wearing Indian designers for all my big moments, whether it’s a performance or a red carpet moment.” Raja hopes to leave a legacy of a strong women community who can support and uplift each other.
Indira dons several hats — and she fulfils each role impeccably. She is a daughter, a mother, a wife and the founder of The Gateway School Of Mumbai, a not-for-profit school dedicated to empowering children with disabilities. “There’s a desperate need for change in the special needs world. We’re hoping to change the landscape of special education in India,” she explains. Her personal style is extension of who she is. “It’s effortless and chic,” adds Indira, who finds inspiration in women like Michelle Obama and Sudha Murty.
Aishwarya Avlani, the founder of digital media agency - Plane Crazy Studios, describes herself as a forever work-in-progress. She believes fashion is a form of self-expression. “It can help you convey your values, your personality and the way you feel,” she explains. She does this by wearing bold jewellery, prints and patterns.
What has helped Aditi Dugar move seamlessly from finance to food — both male-dominated industries? “Staying fearless and taking risks,” she answers. Aditi is the first Indian woman restaurateur on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards list and the owner of the extremely popular Masque and Sage & Saffron. On most days, she dresses casually and will be spotted in “sneakers and athleisure.” Her biggest inspiration? “My mother, who tackled several hardships and juggled between roles while being in a conservative family,” she says.