Any celebration of a decade is special. Looking back gives us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. When we look back at Vaahini, a place where working women come to gather perspectives, grow in their career and get inspired by other women, we see that we come across many women pioneers from unconventional fields
As we celebrate one decade of Vaahini, here are five women featured here in the past that have inspired us and provide lessons relevant to the current work world as well:
Sky's the limit: Sirat Kanwar
Flight Officer Sirat Kanwar, a 26-year-old First Officer with SpiceJet found a place on Vaahini for being one of the very few women in aviation, apart from aviation hospitality where female air stewards are common. This young woman officer emphasizes on the importance of confidence in one’s own abilities.
Being a young officer in authority and a woman, she talks about constantly being challenged at work and carrying the pressure of breaking all stereotypes, much like the women leaders in technology. One part of her feature that remains with us is when she says, "Never lose your confidence. The moment you start second-guessing yourself is the moment you will fail."
Always be a first time: Sanchita Banerjee
Sanchita Banerjee is a woman from the Oil and Gas sector. When she joined her employer as an engineer in 1985, she was the first woman engineer to join her department. What’s more, she went on to become the first woman to lead that department, around 25 years later.
At the point when we met her, she was also the first and only Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organization certified person in her organization’s LPG plant. What we learn from her is that you may not have other women role models before you, but there is always an opportunity to become one as long as you upskill and add value to the roles that you undertake.
Talking about her journey, Sanchita says, "I kept my focus intact on knowledge and wisdom and kept updating myself on technological improvements in my sector and successful projects done by others."
Snehal Pradhan, a woman cricketer who has been associated with the game for 15 years draws parallels between the cricket field and the board room. She shares her mantra of test, fail, learn, repeat. This remains relevant in all spheres of work even today.
Snehal mentions these four steps as preparation for a job which involves innovating at work, applying the learnings, making note of the changes required, and going through the process again. This journey of achieving the results is more important than the result itself and if the preparation lacks focus, the result will lack perfection too.
Crisis can breed innovation: Suruchi Singh
Suruchi Singh, one of the women featured in the pandemic times is an entrepreneur whose business relies on the work of artisans. The pandemic pushed her to adapt to novel ways of working. Crisis does push us to adapt and innovate, much like what we all did with our work-from-home routine. However, she also points out that all the innovative ways that everyone worked out during the pandemic were based on trust; trust in teams, co-workers, and yourself in times of crisis fuels the courage to move on.
Suruchi says that working through a crisis is like walking in a corridor. She says, "You have to keep walking and looking for alternatives until you come out at the other end."
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Mental well-being is a subject that also gained significance during the pandemic. While stress levels at work are always being discussed, it is the hyper-focus on the body and its connection to the psyche and productivity that Aarathi Selvan spoke about during this feature for Vaahini.
A psychologist by profession and Founder Director of Pause For Perspective, Aarathi gave Vaahini members some important ways to maintain mental balance during stressful times. She emphasizes the aspect of bringing about change in your life through simple activities like pursuing an interest or volunteering for community service. She says, "Add intent to the activities and make them sustainable."
As we move along and celebrate #DecadeofVaahini, through our features and podcasts, our endeavor is to bring to you impactful, insightful, and inspiring content that you can easily apply to your work life. If you have not yet joined the Vaahini community, simply click here and become a part of this network for women.