Imagine your parnani or pardadi stepping out of the house to go to work, make a living, earn money. Even most dadis and nanis have successfully ruled households, only a few working out of the house. And even when they did work, it was limited to a few roles like teaching, working in factories or out in the fields. These women and the generations after that were brave enough to speak up about what they believed in and pave the way for equality. Today, women have progressed tremendously in their careers. From successfully running businesses to advancing their careers in various fields, women have and are showcasing their talents, wits and hard work.
And one major accomplishment is women entering arenas that were predominantly male-dominated and making their mark. Women representation in predominantly male industries and roles have increased significantly. In celebration of TC46’s week of International Women’s Day specials, we give a shoutout to all the special women who have defied societal norms and helped make our society a little more progressive.
Did You Know?
Since 1978, more women are entering the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) sector than ever before.
5 Roles Where Women Are Leveling The Playing Field
Remember old airline ads that featured women in figure-hugging clothes, holding trays of service and smiling ear to ear as flight attendants? And in the same ads, you would see the pilots, all men, standing tall and proud. Well, gone are those days of male-only pilots. Recently, Air India Captain Zoya Agarwal led an all-women cockpit crew for the first non-stop flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru. Today, the total number of Indian women pilots for airlines is almost equal to 13% of the total female airline pilots in the world.
Everyone’s heard of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher and the records they hold in the sport of racing. But do you know who Sneha Sharma is? Sneha Sharma is an Indian racing driver who competes in Formula 4 National Racing Championship. But that’s not all, she is also professionally a Pilot with IndiGo Airlines. When she was 15, she had her first shot at Go Karting at the Hakone track in Powai, Mumbai. Today, she is known as India’s fastest woman F4 racer. Alisha Abdullah, Aishwarya Pissay, Garima Avtar and Mira Erda are only a few names from a long list of women breaking stereotypes in the world of Indian motorsport.
Indira Gandhi, though was the first ever female Prime Minister of India, seems to be lost among the crowd of men that dominate this sector. Or so was the thought until a few years ago. From international figures like Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand to Kamala Harris, the VP of USA, the world is seeing what women in leadership roles can achieve. At home, we are changing the norms as well. Remya Haridas, Chandrani Murmu, Agatha K Sangma and Nusrat Jahan are some of the youngest women in Indian politics. Mahua Moitra is bringing light to a number of important issues, making her a shining example of women taking charge with wit and courage. The 2019 Lok Sabha elections paved the way for 78 women legislators to represent the Indian parliament.
4. Banking & Finance
While the first name that pops in your head when you think of women in banking is Chanda Kochhar, she is not the only one making waves in this sector. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson of The State Bank of India (SBI), Kalpana Morparia, CEO of JP Morgan (India), Naina Lal Kidwai, CEO and Country Head (India) of HSBC and many more are some of the most inspiring women in the Indian banking and finance sector. Today, there are a number of successful women professionals in the country who are playing key roles in shaping India’s financial sector, inspiring others to follow them.
From building smartphones to developing software, flying in Space to challenging the depths of the ocean, women in the 21st century of digital have successfully risen above every cliché not only in the field of technology and science but in every walk of life. Saloni Vijay from Vodafone, Meenakshi Agarwal of GVK Mumbai Airport, Mayurakshi Ray from GeBBS Healthcare Solutions and Geetha Kannan of Wequity of Women and Technology have made waves in this field with their talents, efforts and innovative work. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore is the embodiment of success women have seen in this sector.
In India, newspaper seller, rickshaw driver, porter, and cobbler are occupations traditionally reserved for men. But a few women have entered these fields, furthering moves towards gender equality in India.
Women have experiences which help make unique products that emanate the female’s mind. And thus, women are taking power by turning challenges into advantage points. It is true that a woman’s attention to detail and her ability to look at the uses of a product laterally become a strong tool for marketing certain products. The ability to look at difficult circumstances and face them head on is a skill that all people should have, and that women are a great example of.