‘Of course, women can have it all but it really depends on your outlook’

By Ayush Sharma|8th Mar 2015
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As we celebrate the 107th annual International Women’s Day, we at HerStory dug in and collected some quotes from women entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and social activists. While the significant barriers to women advancement in our country still remain, these women have redefined the role of women in our society and are today, an inspiration to all of us. We hope their stories will inspire you as well to even greater heights of excellence. Wishing all our readers a very Happy International Women’s Day.

Wipe out any guilt today. Even if you have an iota of it, you will hesitate.

“There is no glass ceiling. It is a myth. If it exists, it is in your head. I have worked in the IT industry for the last 27 years, and I know it doesn’t exist. Our growth rates are so high; our industry is so hungry for talent, why would there be any discrimination? Get over this. – Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India


 “Keep learning continuously, work on your skill-sets and follow your passion” – Sukla Chandra, PACE (Patents and Analytics Center of Excellence)


We need to create a society of more equality so let’s find ways to do it. Just earning well, spending on your own family and having a good time is not enough. It is also very important to know and appreciate one’s roots, taking the good from there and building on it. – Jonali Saikia, Heeya


“In the workplace, don’t desexualize yourself. But don’t be overtly feminine.”

Every year on your birthday throw out one emotional baggage you are carrying. Never think of that again. Life will become better. Apurva Purohit, MBPL


 Just letting women work outside home does not mean that society treats men and women equally.

Change is necessary if you want to grow and challenges, I believe, are the harbingers of this change. Winning and losing have never been a part of my big picture, but challenges have always been my driving force. They are my greatest source of strength too. If it were not for these challenges I would be stuck in a rut, following the same old mundane routine and learning nothing new. Sneh Sharma, Ittisa


Zarina Screwvala

 “It is not going to be easy, there are many challenges, but I am working to find a way out, I know I will succeed.” – Zarina Screwvala, UTV


“Getting out of your comfort zone will take you through the best of learning experiences. So work towards making your dreams come true and have conviction. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and stay focused as your long term vision may get bruised by your short term goals but you have to stay on course.” – Pramad Jandhyala, Latent View


“It’s up to people whether they want to find inspiration in what I do or in my gender, but for me it is important that they acknowledge the quality of my pictures.” – Rathika Ramaswamy, Wildlife photographer


“Startup spaces too are predominantly male; for example startups pick up foosball tables, console games and shiny cafes to nursing rooms and child care centers.”

Ask for a nursing mom’s room and make them realize they weren’t empathetic towards working moms at their workplace. Ask for a child care section at a tech conference to make them realise they didn’t consider working women who also have children to care for after 7 pm. Ask to move a hackathon from a 48 hour all-night event to a day time event. I will not stop asking. – Ashwini Asokan, Mad Street Den


‘I can’t stay inside a box.’

Why do we have to be only a doctor or a filmmaker or a lawyer? We can be many more things. Just because I am an actor does not mean I can’t be a filmmaker or any other thing I wish to be. – Dia Mirza, Model, actress and producer


Ashpi Gupta


 “Of course, women can have it all but it really depends on your outlook.

The world is male dominated, and the venture space is no different. Gender does not matter. Life is no different for men and women. Everyone gets a chance sooner or later. How prepared you are and what you make of it makes all the difference.” – Ashi Gupta, Mumbai Angels


“If you’re young, you have that much more time to make mistakes and learn, unlike us who were older when we started off because we spent most of our youth working. Do not give up your drive or your aspirations unless you’ve really tried to the core because if you’re persuasive and have confidence in yourself then there’s nothing that can come in your way.” –Ratna Chadha, TIRUN Travel Marketing


“Keep it real, keep it ethical, try very hard to create value that is sustainable, and never look for glory.” – Anu Vaidyanathan, Sportswoman and entrepreneur ‘PatNMarks’


The work culture here is very different from the US, there I did not feel the gender bias as strongly as I felt it here. In India, factors like marriage and children are assumed and you are not given that much responsibility. If you get an appraisal it is attributed to the fact that you are a woman and not because of the work you do. Fortunately in the past few years, things have changed and will continue to change. – Arundhati Balachandran, Urban Tryst


 The biggest thing holding women back is women themselves.

While there are differences, there are parallels also that can be drawn in both cases – women in general tend to second guess themselves – all the time and across the globe. I guess it’s inherent in our nature. Anisha Singh, Mydala