Articles

THE SMARTER SEX

AFTERNOOON DESPATCH & COURIER, 09/03/00

Meera Gandhi, Gauri
Poohoomul, Jeroo
Mango, Pervez
Aggarwal and Dina
Vakil at the IMC
Ladies Wing Women's
Day celebration.

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," she recalled.

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. Gandhi added.