Women’s History Month: Aarthi Ilangovan
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we asked our fearless leadership team to share who inspires them and their advice for women in the workplace. Aarthi Ilangovan, Director of India Operations, shared her thoughts below. We are so proud to have such strong, powerful women in our organization. Thank you to Aarthi and everyone else who continue to inspire us every day.
I hail from a country where a woman’s role is tied to her home as a mother, a wife, a daughter, daughter-in-law, etc. Even though the past few decades have brought an uptick in women entering the corporate workforce, the objective for the majority is driven by financial burden, need for sustenance and other survival driven motives which take away the focus from self-growth, passion and expressing oneself in the corporate world as an individual capable of adding value or making a difference. To the average woman, work is often a burden to juggle along with the multiple responsibilities of family life, which do not take a back-seat but instead, impose on her time and freedom to carve a future for herself where she can develop herself, invest in others and make a difference.
I was fortunate to be born in a family that believed in gender-free empowerment and was double-blessed to be married into a family that respected my desire to make a difference beyond the walls of my home. Yet, I am cognizant of the reality of the average working woman since I see a mix of colleagues at work and in my community, who overshadow the trickle of zealous and passionate women who endeavour to have a career, have a vision and lead not only themselves, but those around them to a greater good. I’d like to encourage those that are struggling with their motives behind a professional career, to think about the following in the hope of liberating their thoughts to be the best that they can be:
- We cannot change our past, but we “can” change our present and future – Not all of us were fortunate to grow up in conducive environments that groomed us and equipped us to grab life by the horns. But what we have today, is the control over our thoughts and actions to decide what we do with our time, our potential and our lives. So, stop existing as a victim of your circumstances and start living based on the story you want to tell the world through your life. Make your life matter through the little things that you do – whether as a wife, as a mother, or as a professional.
- Add passion to the mix – Life can be a grind, but adding passion to what you do shifts your focus from the grinding and winding monotony of the task at hand, to a sense of purposeful action that is driven by personal interest and desire. Be it as simple as cooking a meal for the family or typing up a report for management, your passion will make the task enjoyable and in turn desirable and worth your time and effort.
- You are important! – We can often land ourselves in the trap of self-neglect, where giving ourselves time for anything other than running through the hurdles of each day can be considered extravagant and uncalled for. But remember, we are setting an example for our children through our lifestyle. Not only will our investment in ourselves enhance our ability to shape their future, but more importantly, convey a life message that developing oneself is important, shown through the way we live our life. Your children are the future workforce and society of this world. What they see from you today, will shape their outlook towards what they should offer to the world tomorrow. So, use your influence wisely and remember, great advice falls short in front of a poor example!
To summarize, women in my opinion, hold a powerful place in society, as sowers of influence that can nurture future generations and change the ways of the world, but it all begins with how we see ourselves in the equation and what we’re willing to do to make it happen.