#Superwomen2020: Output of work, flexibility, and meritocracy are needed for a gender-neutral workplace: Chandni Shah

Superwomen 2020 Chandni Shah

For Chandni Shah, Co-Founder &COO, Kinnect also the winner of Social Samosa Superwomen 2020, advertising has always been her first calling.

In conversation with Social Samosa, Chandni Shah speaks about her journey, her definition of a superwoman, and need of the hour to establish gender sensitivity & equality.

How would you define a Superwoman in today’s day and age?

In my definition, every woman is a Superwoman. I believe that we are women who know what it takes to be strong, and while we are already living that strength, we should want it for every other woman out there. It is rightly said that empowered women empower women.

One quality that you think every superwoman has and that helped you win Social Samosa Superwomen…

It has to be a woman’s attitude. Emphasizing it from a campaign we recently conceptualized for HDFC Bank on Women’s Day – A Woman’s Place. With two thumb stopper films, we reiterated that every woman who has taken control of their life knows that her place is not where other people want her to be, it is where she wants to be.

How successful have women been in shattering the glass ceiling in the Media & Advertising field? Does the ‘boardroom inequality’ phrase still stand true?

While I cannot comment about the generation above me, the younger generation of women is surely getting more successful, largely with more and more women pursuing full-time careers. I have a feeling this will only get better in the coming years. The Media & Advertising industry has always been one that is extremely welcoming to women. At Kinnect, 50% of our workforce are women and 40% of our Management team are women.

Even boardroom equality has significantly normalized, and I see more women entrepreneurs setting benchmarks every day.

Also Read: #Superwomen2020: An inclusive culture needs to be built within companies says, Isha Amin

What are the key changes this industry needs in order to make workplaces gender-neutral, safe, and nurturing?  

For creating a gender-neutral workplace, organizations need to shift their mindset and focus on three key aspects: Output of work, Flexibility, and Meritocracy.

While women in India have a lot of families and home responsibilities to take care of, their Output can be the same as anyone else.

There will be times in a woman’s career where she will need flexibility and workplaces that have been understanding of that have managed to attract and retain some of the best female talents. I would urge corporates to have a longer-term outlook and allow women to Work from home and have flexible hours especially post their maternity leave and even have other arrangements like lactation rooms for new mothers, daycare and childcare facilities in their workplace.

To create a safe and nurturing workplace, the only thing that matters is the company culture and the value system which embraces diversity, equal opportunity, and reward basis meritocracy.

One Superpower you wish you had?

The latest part of my role requires me to travel quite a bit between Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai which turns out to be quite exhausting. Teleportation would surely be the Superpower I wish I had so that I don’t have to spend so much time flying.

One tip to women out there attempting to scale heights…

One maxim that I adhere to professionally, as well as personally, is ‘Progress is everything’.

The first step to that is to visualize and set intentions of what you want to achieve. A great way to do that is by simply putting a Wish Board in place and knowing what you are gunning towards and making baby steps each day to make it a reality.


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