“There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman and there is no more inspiring a role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership.”
- Angelina Jolie at the 25th African Union Human Rights Summit
International Women’s Day proves to be a time that allows us to stop and ponder on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their communities, workplace, and society at large.
The strong, independent women at Unitile allow the team to soar to new heights and ford unchartered territory. We have a deep sense of appreciation for their unfathomable strength, compassion, love, and how they make this world and our workspace a better place.
The theme for International Women’s Day this year was aptly chosen as #EachForEqual. This truly is a reflection of the way we embrace gender equality and equal opportunities for all at Unitile. Our goal is to make our workspace a place where women feel respected and acknowledged while also encouraging those who have lost their voice along the way, to push boundaries and realize their full potential. We at Unitile consider it an honor to provide the right platform to women to explore career possibilities and achieve their career goals.
Changing society and the way people think can seem like a mammoth task; but in order to get the ball rolling, all it takes is one person. We asked women at Unitile what #EachForEqual meant to them and to share instances where they’ve stood up to be the voice of change.
OUR UNITILERS - WOMEN OF CHANGE
“I truly believe that real change evolves through a well-informed and educated society. 2017 was a year that actually opened my eyes to gender discrimination in society and challenged me to take a more active role in setting things straight. While volunteering to teach children from low-income communities, I realised that in addition to their financial challenges, the way society treated and imposed restrictions on their women exacerbated the situation. While teaching them, my sole aim was to make them understand the importance of gender equality and how we can achieve much while standing together, cultivating self-belief, self- confidence and accepting who each of us are, regardless of gender.”
– Vini Lad, Executive - Marketing & Communications
“There was a common question which always surfaced in post-grad discussions- 'Does having a higher number of women in corporate leadership roles make companies more successful and change workplace culture?' As you can imagine, answers to this were varied and I too didn't have a definite answer. My perspective changed when I was pursuing my management studies. I saw that skills and abilities like multitasking, reasoning, analytics, and reading human behaviour are mostly innate to us, women. That is our basic biological framework. It is how we are wired. Later on, when I started my career in a management role, I found myself to be very positive & creative in forming decisions and policies and managing people in my team successfully. I also found my fellow women colleagues bearing similar capabilities in their role. Certainly, having us women in leadership roles did end in success and team dynamics were good too.”
– Pratima Shetty, Head - Strategy
“If there’s one thing I believe has true power to change society, it’s words. The way people speak is a reflection of how and what they think. Women are expected to be a lot of things- quiet and polite is one of them. And unfortunately, most times, meekness is taken as a sign of weakness. As far as I can remember, I’ve always cautiously chosen the people I surround myself with, but there always were a select few who thought a little sexist banter had never hurt anyone until one day, it did. In a big way. At the workplace and within friend circles, I make an active effort to ensure co-workers and friends do not engage in conversations or ‘jokes’ that perpetuate stereotypes. Because it starts with things like jokes which may seem meaningless in the moment, but actually do hold a lot of meaning in the long run. A lie repeated long enough will eventually sound like the truth”
– Nicole Kostka, Senior Executive, Corporate Travel and Events
“Coming from a woman-dominant family, being independent has been deep-rooted right from the beginning. I believe there is nothing more beautiful than empowering a woman. There are common fallacies that people have about “independent women” i.e. “they are feminists” or “they are the ones who don’t need men in their life”. When I say I am an independent woman, I’m not claiming that I can live alone in this world. I would be pretending if I said I didn't need people in my life. Being an independent woman is to express yourself, and the ability to do things without forcing yourself to fit into an existing type. Having the confidence to make your own decisions and choices, having the courage and strength to voice out your own thoughts and opinions, finances to buy whatever you want (without needing the credit card of your man/family members). It means finding strength and security within oneself. To be a woman who is strong, determined, and independent all at the same time is a very powerful combination. Persistence, belief in self, self-esteem, confidence, determination, and creating awareness are just some of the qualities that an independent woman will bring to the table. Women are capable of supporting themselves and their families and are breaking old stereotypes of traditional female roles and I am glad I am one of them!”
– Freeda Brown, Manager - Human Resources
“In a male dominated society, women have always felt the need to prove their worth, skill and abilities. While pursuing a career, we are warned that when things get challenging, it is a man’s job to step in and take over. We shouldn’t be taking risks. Sometimes stereotypes can be so entrenched in our system, it could affect our way of thinking, without us even realising it. Being the first and only woman to join the Unitile factory, I had my apprehensions. The sensible side of me said, “Should a woman take this role? Don’t take it, you’ll have other opportunities which will be easier.” I paused to reconsider. It sounded challenging, but then I remembered that all along I had been waiting for an opportunity. I didn’t doubt myself; I was more than capable for this and I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of this. I took up the job and to my surprise, I was treated as an equal, valued and respected. I truly believe that a woman who has started thinking for herself has already stepped on to the path of overturning social dictations and norms.”
– Meghangi Gujare, Executive Assistant - Operations
“Don’t treat them special, just treat them equal...
Let’s take part with her in household chores, Tick her checklist one, two….. four.
Let’s not burden her with responsibilities,
Rather liberate her to carve her own abilities.
She’s the designer of her throne,
Do not judge her, its each to their own.
She’s a hurricane in herself,
Just be with her, all along the journey.
Let’s not sing the same old song,
Just set her free to play along.
Let’s build Stronger women for Stronger Nations!
I feel this is an every day, every moment effort. I ensure to the best of my ability that every action done or expressed is not discriminative in any way. It’s important to be empathetic and to be heard. Be it working women or housewives, it's their choice and what we can do is just support and uplift them. Let’s do our bit.
– Bhavya Jadhav, Manager - Marketing & Communications
In sincere appreciation of just how valuable our women are,
here’s what International Women’s Day was like at Unitile this time around.
A Sweet Gesture
A break from business formals, it was a sight to behold all our women dressed in pretty, bright floral patterns. Pink roses at their desks, along with chocolates was a small gesture which aimed to serve as a reminder of how special they are.
Come lunch time, the women shut their laptops and prepared to head out to a wonderful buffet lunch spread at Svenska Design Hotels. Sharing light moments of laughter, getting the perfect group photo and reminiscing funny memories, accompanied by a sumptuous lunch, proved to be the perfect way to end a wonderful day.
What’s more, we also made a sweet, heartfelt video on #EachForEqual, which you can view HERE.
Here’s to strong women!
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them.