Founders of Mumbai-based Aara Health discuss being mansplained as women entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs Pragya Saboo, Navya Nanda, Ahilya Mehta, and Mallika Sahney, who founded Mumbai-based healthtech platform for women Aara Health, spoke on being mansplained at work, body positivity among girls, and insecurities during an Instagram live session recently.
“Whenever we are put in the spotlight like talking to a vendor, doctor, or whatever… all of us have been in situations where somebody, most likely a man, who is mansplaining and talking to us in a condescending manner,” said Navya, who is also the granddaughter of Bollywood megastars Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan.
She added, “It is those situations where you feel like you need to prove yourselves… like why is that person talking to me like I am stupid... and especially because we are in a largely male-dominated space.”
Her co-founders agreed in unison and seconded that such cases happen all the time.
“It is an offence. At that point, you are offending me by thinking that I don’t know something because I am a girl, and singling me out with my gender. And, it is so sad all of us have gone through this as a team,” Pragya added.
Speaking on dealing with insecurities, Ahilya shared body image issues as one of her greatest insecurities while growing up, a problem, she believes, is a common experience for most girls.
The team of Aara Health also dwelled on imposter syndrome, striving to achieve in a hyper-competitive world and battling self-doubt.
“Even with Aara, there’s always this self-doubt whether it is going to work? A lot of competition within startups, people, and our mind is ingrained and taught to be successful, and it takes a toll on what you think of yourself and self-belief,” Navya shared.
Founded in March 2020, Aara Health aims to bridge the gender gap in healthcare by building an inclusive, sustainable, judgment-free platform for women in India.
Edited by Suman Singh