Tell us a little about yourself?

I am currently working as Executive Assistant to ASPL CEO Kris Grant. I have a Masters in Psychology with over 14 years of experience in training, bid management, sales, marketing and office administration. I have lived in various cities in India and got an opportunity to spend 2 years in Tokyo, Japan. I enjoy travelling and have been fortunate to travel to some of the best places in the world, but I still have many countries on my bucket list which I haven’t ticked yet. I am a people’s person and enjoy interacting with people from diverse cultures. I absolutely love living in Melbourne. The people, the vibes and the crisp and clean air.

Who are the women who have inspired you most in your life?

The first woman who inspired me and continues to do so is my Mum. Her courage, optimistic approach, unconditional love and the ability to come out of the most challenging situations with a smile is the driving force in my life. The second woman who has inspired me is my younger sister who lives in the US now. She is focused, clear and is a dreamer who has worked very hard to turn her dreams into a reality. She provided me and both my children with the strength, emotional, financial, moral and all the possible support when we needed it the most. She is a great example of a highly responsible, loving and caring younger sibling.

Any other female leaders you look up to?

Every woman who stands up for others and becomes their voice, every woman who thinks beyond herself, every woman who contributes in her own way to making this world a better place is truly inspiring. To name a few I look up to Rosa Parks who challenged the race segregation, Mother Teresa for her charitable work, Kalpana Chawla the first Indian woman to go into space, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Why do you think it’s important to increase the number of women in business, particularly in leadership roles?

Woman and Man are companions born with equal mental capabilities. I feel disheartened when we have to talk about Gender Equality, but this is the reality of the world. The good news is that the scenario is gradually changing around the world as organisations and leaders are understanding the importance of providing equal opportunities to women. The UN Women’s program has proposed Planet 50-50- by 2030 named “Step It Up” focused on giving equal rights to all women and girls by 2030. So far 93 countries have signed up for it. On one side we are fighting for equal rights for women and on the other side in countries where women have equal rights, they are deprived of opportunities to exploit their full potential and contribute to organisations, nations and to the world.

I believe it’s important for women to be in business in leadership roles as gender diversity can translate to increased productivity, greater innovation and higher employee satisfaction. Men and women think differently, have a different perspective, have a different approach to solving issues and problems. If we have the same gender in leadership roles in corporates and as world leaders, are we not creating an imbalance? How can there be full growth when there is imbalance?

What do you think contributes to the lack of females taking the plunge in entrepreneurship?

There are some important factors like the gender pay gap, social expectations, dealing with challenges while getting funding for their start-ups and it is also hard for them to be accepted by others easily as leaders or CEOs. I do not blame men for it. I believe there needs to be a change in the mindset. All human beings should be treated equally based on their capabilities and not gender.