“I never dreamt of success. I worked for it.” ~Estee Lauder
Over the last many months, I have made it a conscious effort to attend several events related to professional growth and networking, in particular, women focused. Just two weeks back, I attended an exciting event for women entrepreneurs by Zone Startups India at the iconic building of the Bombay Stock Exchange. The event saw the launch of their accelerator program called ‘Empower’ for women entrepreneurs in India.
There is so much to gain from such gatherings that are abuzz with talent and experience galore. Lots of encouragement, knowledge, contacts, advice and many other intangible goodies to go home with. What matters is how much of it you absorb there, lingers with you long after the event. And I find the one way to ensure that the inspiration stays on and prompts action is to put down in writing the highlights of all the learning.
So here goes my take-away from half of the event I attended:
Our work reflects our state of mind – The keynote by Ameera Shah, Managing Director of Metropolis Healthcare, was a heartfelt honest account of her entrepreneurial journey. Of how her self-belief was put to test in her struggling days. And when she was balanced in her mind, her company found balance too. The work we do is often the mirror image of our heart and mind.
Women have it harder than men – Women entrepreneurs take time to earn respect and credibility. Often they are questioned about their commitment levels, which is not the case with their male colleagues. They have to go that extra mile to prove themselves and their capabilities.
Rural and urban women – There is no stopping women in pursuit of their dreams and goals, whether they come from rural areas or metro cities. As one of the panelists remarked that rural women are not as interested in advice or seminars like urban women take the effort to. They only want to know ways to earn and be self-reliant. Financial independence is an enormous driving force for all.
Communities help us grow – To be a part of a community or communities that you can relate to has many benefits. Communities are a great networking platform. They help widen our perspective to work and life as a whole. Attending their invigorating programs foster our professional and personal growth. Moreover, the sense of belonging is a huge source of moral support for women at all stages in life.
Support for women – With the onset of the start-up phenomenon, the women now have numerous support platforms to launch their careers or companies. Government initiatives toward better funding schemes, enhanced network connectivity, innovation policies, etc. has encouraged many women-led ventures in India. Mentoring is a huge game changer too.
Women, its time to give wings to your dreams. Go for it!