Today we live in a world where on one hand there are women doctors saving hundreds of lives everyday, women CEOs providing strategic leadership to guide their teams, women athletes winning gold medals and making their country proud and lots more. Women have entered and conquered every field, that once seemed impossible in a patriarchal society. Over the generations, the times have changed but we would be lying to ourselves if we said that we have reached equality of the sexes. Because on the other hand we also live in a society that teaches girls what to wear and how to behave in order to be safe. We live in a society, which demands a girl to get married and look after her family. We live in a world with a 49.55% population of women, but men occupy most of the higher positions of power and prestige. We live in a world in which equal work does not always mean equal pay.
This has been our impetus at Kaleyra to actively support each women’s advancement. Just imagine what a world, in which both women and men work together, at par, can accomplish! This is why Kaleyra has always focused on empowering women and creating equal opportunities, not just today, but every other day. With a close to 50% women in our workforce, we stand proud. Today we want to share inspiring stories of some of the many super women at Kaleyra, who have managed to create the perfect work-life balance.
After finishing 5 Himalayan treks, two dives, more than 50 treks in Karnataka, travelling to 4 countries, running marathons, Malavika Mallya, is working towards her deep sea diving certification and aiming to swim 5km in open water. She actively promotes responsible trekking and keeping the mountains clean. She is also a part of TrekNomads, which is a community of passionate trekkers who frequently explore new trails in the Western Ghats and the Himalayas. Someone who makes “scaling the heights of the mountains and diving the depths of the ocean,” look easy, Malavika is our wander woman. She advises all other women out there to “fuel your dreams” and live for yourself a little, while you continue to do the million other things you need to do.
God of Coding
Coming from a small town, Sharmi George, has built a strong name for herself from scratch. In a predominantly male dominated field, she soars high as a successful coder and software engineer. After working for a startup for 3 years, she went on to start her own CRM company that was later acqui-hired by Kaleyra. Despite facing stereotypical comments and pressure from her family she continued to follow her passion, which has gotten her where she is today. She is also a designer who used to make women clothing and has even designed wedding wear. In the future she wants to continue designing and also start an easy to understand tech blog for non-technical people who are trying to learn coding and more.
Asha Rani, initially got involved with yoga for its physical benefits. 4 years later, after practicing yoga every single day, she now wants to teach yoga to small children in NGOs. She is also continuously working towards raising awareness and educating people about the numerous health benefits- physical, mental and spiritual, that come with doing yoga regularly. She also has a Facebook and Instagram page with hundreds of followers who get inspiration from her work, daily. From bending over backwards and standing on her head to taking forms you can’t even image, she can do it all!
Starting two companies, was no big deal for Ashwini Janardhanan. One of which was a partnership HR consulting firm for startups. They consulted over 15 clients in 4 years. She further went on to start a recycling firm called Bimbli. She collected samplers, that usually get thrown away, from textile manufacturers and converted them to elegant home decor. She also empowered women from slums during this process by employing them as product assemblers. Ashwini is extremely passionate about saving the environment and stitching and would like to take this interest forward in the future as well.
The Animal Whisperer
With 4 dogs and 3 cats of her own, Nadhi Lakmali also runs a home stay which helps several dogs and their owners all around Bangalore. She regularly volunteers at Wildlife S.O.S, where she previously worked as the communications and volunteering head. That’s not it! She also goes on snake rescue missions with her husband, who is a professional snake rescuer. Booking AC class train tickets for her dogs, Nadhi has travelled with them and her husband to Delhi, then gone ahead to Rishikesh and Mussoorie by road and back. Her dream is to one day road trip all around India with her dogs. Know anyone better with or more caring about animals? I don’t think so.
It’s never easy juggling all the different roles women take on within the limited 24 hours in a day. Swetha Girinatham explains, “working and supporting your family financially is not enough. You have to be there to support them in all other aspects of life as well. I try to manage all my responsibilities as and when they come.” So how exactly do they manage it all?
Susanna Acito, says “the key is to plan your day ahead in order to find the right balance between profession and parenthood.” Carla Meroni adds, “show double the effort for both, depending on the situation and events that come up. The idea is not to perfect everything but to perfect what is more important in that very instance.” To maintain the perfect work-life balance it is important to set realistic goals. Sometimes we just need to take time for ourselves in order to make time for others.
Vidya Aley, who has worked with us for 7 years and travels 30 km everyday to and from work, further adds, “having a great team that trusts me and a manager that constantly supports me, makes the balancing act much easier.” Praseetha Kumari and Geetika Patni add that managing both your worlds sometimes requires support and understanding from them in return. Having a supportive family and a workplace that offers flexibility through smart working, benefit programs and continuous encouragement is all it takes to do it all, even on bad days.
This International Women’s Day, Kaleyra expresses gratitude and appreciation for all women out there, who stand strong in their invisible capes. Together we can, and we will close this gender gap!
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