THE SMARTER SEX
AFTERNOOON DESPATCH & COURIER, 09/03/00
Meera Gandhi, Gauri
Aggarwal and Dina
Vakil at the IMC
Ladies Wing Women's
Women achievers in an unequal world
Yesterday, on the occasion of International Women's
Day, three successful women achievers came
together at the Indian Merchants Chamber, to talk
about how they came up inspite of the odds. Track
records mark success and not gender, said the first
woman, resident editor of 'The Times of India', Ms.
Dina Vakil. Ms. Vakil said that it took her a quarter of
a century to reach where she is today. Giving out
some pointers for success, Ms. Vakil said that femi-
nism was all about choices. One of the reasons for
her success, she said, was that she realised, "If I
were to be perceived differently, I had to position
myself differently." revealed Ms. Vakil.
"I learnt to stretch my mind, which actually is an
euphemism for hard work. Hard work is the only
formula for success," she emphasised.
"Dot com will revolutionise women," she predicted.
"And the millennium woman will not have to see the
wrong side of 40 to make it big," said Ms. I Vakil.
Jeroo Mango, entrepreneur and owner of Danai
Book Shops, spoke on how to combine the role of
wife, mother, an entrepreneur and also to find time to
be a woman. "I always wanted to do something more
stimulating. Books had been a passion for me. In
1970, I started my first bookshop, at a hotel in Pune,"
Ms. Mango, said it is a good feeling to be able to feel
independent as a woman. But one must have a
supportive husband for that, she cautioned. "There
are so many drawbacks when a woman has to
combine several roles," she said. But the secret lies
in being able to be a good mother and a good wife
she says. Meera Gandhi, a corporate wife who runs
an international play school in Mumbai as well as
owns a fashion house in New York, stressed the
importance of being financially independent. "Why
are women doing well in small businesses like pickle
making and chocolate making instead of big
businesses like steel?" she asked. This is because of
the time taken by the duties of home and children
and also because of men who don't believe in
women. The techno-info age will change that, Ms.