#Superwomen2019: We need more women representation in the industry: Sonia Huria Gupta, Viacom18

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Sonia Huria

Sonia Huria Gupta, Senior Vice President & Head, Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18 Media Private shares her two cents as a part of Social Samosa's #Superwomen2019 with further insights on the industry, the boardroom ecosystem, and more.

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Sonia Huria has been a part of the Media & Advertising world since 2002. She has worked with leading agencies such as Weber Shandwick and Genesis Burson-Marsteller.

Sonia tells Social Samosa that while women are breaking the glass ceiling, the industry is still led mostly by men and that needs to be changed. She highlights how Viacom18 makes the work-space gender friendly.

Excerpts below:

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

A Superwoman is someone who believes in herself and creates an ecosystem that is inducive to the growth of others. She who is creative has a sense of the greater good and is a mentor is a Superwoman.  

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

I believe that tenacity to see things through is a quality inherent in every Superwoman. At the workplace or at home, there are many challenges that a person may face. However, one's ability to bravely traverse through difficult situations and come out shining is the characteristic of a Superwoman.

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

While women are breaking the glass ceiling, the industry is still led mostly by men and that is an order in dire need of change. We need more representation in the industry from women at creative and business levels. There are maybe a handful of female CEOs in the country today and hence, ‘boardroom inequality’ is predominant not only in the media & advertising field but also across industries.  

Also Read: #Superwomen: Choose your regrets carefully: Naila Patel, Mirum India

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

The primary mindset shift that is needed is breaking gender roles. Having policies and practices that enable both men and women to take up home and workplace responsibilities go a long way in creating an equal workspace. 

At Viacom18, we have been pushing this agenda with our WAVE policy that supports women employees with 9 months of paid maternity leave, while at the same time 30 days paternity leave for male employees. Other benefits such as parenthood photoshoot, gift for the baby and creche facility remains the same for all employees, thereby, ensuring a gender-neutral workspace.

One Superpower you wish you had? 

With the schedule that I have, omnipresence (laughs)

The 'Superwomen' you diligently follow and who inspired you... 

I have learned business and life lessons from Maya Angelou – author and Indra Nooyi, Member of the Board, Amazon.

One tip to women out there attempting to scale heights... 

Nothing will work unless you do - Maya Angelou. Work on lady; naysayers will stop automatically.

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