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#ProgressiveWoman: Let’s appreciate all the hard work it takes to be a woman

Being a progressive woman requires sacrifices and breaking through several barriers that have been in the society for long. Women’s Day this year is about #BalanceforBetter – a strong call for building a gender-balanced world, be it in the boardrooms, governments, media coverage, wealth, opportunities. 

This year, Adgully, through its special initiative of Twitter Panels, have been highlighting various issues that women face in all facets of life through the uplifting thought of #ProgressiveWomen. Spread over three days, the Twitter Panels have brought together high achieving women leaders of the advertising and marketing industry. 

For our Twitter Panel today, taking place between 4 pm and 5 pm at @adgully, we have an interesting mix of women achievers. The panel will be moderated by Preeti Nayyar, COO, Universal Music Studios, and esteemed panellists include:

The topic of today's discussion will focus on the Contribution expected of Women in Society.

  • Sapangeet Rajwant, Senior Vice President, Viacom18 Media
  • Divya Dixit, Senior Vice President & Head - Marketing, ALTBalaji
  • Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery Communications India
  • Deepa Sridhar, Director - Corporate Communications, Turner International India
  • Varsha Ojha, National Head, Brand Marketing & Corporate Communication, Radio City India

Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery Communications India, commented, “I believe every day is Women’s Day. Womanhood should be celebrated in its true sense – 24x7 and 365 days.”

Commenting on the difficult, yet successful journey that women have traversed, Sapangeet Rajwant, Senior Vice President, Viacom18 Media, observed, “Over the last few years, people have been recognising women for the work that they do rather than the gender they represent. Women have been given opportunities to come to the forefront and have been given leadership positions. There is a long road to travel, but the journey has begun.” 

“As women, we need to celebrate ourselves every day and give a pat on our backs for all the hard work it takes to be a woman (just like men 😊),” quipped Preeti Nayyar, COO, Universal Music Studios. She added that it takes courage to be a woman – or for that reason anyone but a straight man in this world that’s driven by patriarchy. 

Varsha Ojha, National Head, Brand Marketing & Corporate Communication, Radio City India, too, believed that women should celebrate their achievements, their failures and their every day endeavours to balance professional and personal commitments. 

According to Nayyar, “All those days are Women’s Day when a woman gets the same opportunity as her male counterpart. And all those days aren’t when a woman is refused an opportunity that she deserves because of her gender. All we need to do is to keep having these debates, not only on Women’s Day but otherwise as well, keep raising our voice and concerns. More voices, more ears and bigger impact.” 

While earlier there were certain sectors and roles especially for women, now we see women empowered and supported by colleagues to take on various streams and activities. Today, employers are conscious of equal opportunities and their responsibilities towards women employees, said Divya Dixit, Senior Vice President & Head - Marketing, ALTBalaji. 

Meanwhile, referring to ancient scriptures, Deepa Sridhar, Director - Corporate Communications, Turner International India, noted, “Women, as God created them, are meant to be celebrated every day. Ancient Hindu scriptures have from time immemorial placed women and men at par. There is no Shiva without Shakti and no Krishna without Radha. We don’t need a day to appreciate and recognise what women bring to the world.” 

Women – A formidable workforce 

Preeti Nayyar pointed out the positive shift in representation of women at workplaces as more and more organisations are realising the benefits of embracing gender diversity. Citing a recent study by Morgan Stanley, she said that a higher ratio of women in an organisation could translate to increased productivity, greater innovation and high employee retention. 

“In last 10 years, I feel primarily three things have changed: Representation of women across levels and industries; Women becoming more vocal and less fearless about what they feel at work, including issues of equal pay, work place harassment, etc.; and I very clearly see men accepting women as natural leaders, at least, in urban corporate setups,” Nayyar emphasised. 

Divya Dixit added here, “From a personal point of view, I have always chosen to consider myself as an employee, gender not being the criteria. As part of the leadership team at ALTBalaji, I can safely say that the question is not about will women be able to do it. We have clearly proven it otherwise.” 

“What is more incredible than to see women following their dreams head on, is to see the world around them, worrying, what if she did!” exclaimed Deepa Sridhar, adding, “A beautiful thing that one has witnessed over the decade is women standing up for other women and building a tribe of stronger, happier, successful women.” 

However, on a different note, Megha Tata observed, “When I look around in the media and entertainment industry, barring a few notable exceptions, I barely have companionship of fellow women leaders at the C-suite level. This dire situation, according to me, is a direct replica of how women professionals are been treated in this industry. What else could be the reason that none of the big networks have managed to cultivate even a single woman for leadership role in the last 30 years? What else would be the reason why many alleged cases under #MeToo movement are from this industry? I hope Women’s Day of 2020 will see us moving closer towards a world where women and men are valued equally.” 

Ojha, on the other hand, remained more positive. She said, “Today, women are standing out and getting recognised in management and technical areas, including in the STEM realm! Today, women are optimistic and self-assured as the landscape around them changes slowly but surely. Today, women are confident and are finding their voice publicly.” 

Her parting note sounds the bugle, heralding the changing scenario, “Here’s a big shout out for these Progressive Women of today!”

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