Khyati Sharma, Interactive Avenues thinks the industry is in need of more people who aren’t afraid to challenge or break the rules. A Social Samosa Superwomen 2022 winner, she also speaks about the role pandemic played in changing the A&M industry .
Interactive Avenues' Creative Group Head and the winner of Social Samosa Superwomen 2022, Khyati Sharma talks about work-life balance, women's role in the industry and more.
What do you think it means to be a superwoman in the New Normal?
To be a superwoman in the New Normal, one has to be super kind, super understanding and more importantly super compassionate. It is now, more than ever, important to be a good human for the sake of others.
At work, in this new normal, to be a superwoman takes one to STAY SANE when the going gets tough and STAY INSANE for the love of your work.
My mantra is simple - When you love what you do, you want to get better at it every day. So whether it’s the new normal or the old regular world, I just try to give my best for what I love and it just makes it easy.
A big part of success is mental health & work-life balance - how do you ensure to create work-life balance for yourself & those around you?
Maintaining a work-life balance has never been an easy task. Especially in an industry like ours that feeds on chaos all day long. Thanks to the pandemic, the balance has been toppled with everyone expected to be available all day long because of ‘WFH’.
This is why extra care needs to be put into creating an environment that celebrates mental health & the fine balance of both worlds.
Thankfully, I’ve managed to devise a simple, yet effective philosophy - C H I L L.
C - Create a To-Do list every day
H - Have meals at the right time
I - Ignore work communications after work hours
L - Leave work desk often for breaks
L - Let loose once in a while
This helped a great deal in my everyday life and has also been a successful tool for my team. I’d advise more people to adapt to this because in this fast-paced and highly dynamic world, it’s important to sit back and CHILL.
While a lot has changed for the better in the A&M industry, what kind of challenges continue to exist for women? Especially with the whole WFH & hybrid work situation
The challenge of being able to switch between roles during the hybrid work model is the most difficult. The conflict between meeting work demands and between family responsibility is a real one. It’s a no brainer that women are always expected to cater to more household responsibilities as compared to their male counterparts, this only leads to a split focus and falling motivation levels. Now both responsibilities continue to demand her attention and efforts continuously and there’s no respite for herself.
What in your opinion, helped you excel in your career?
Set clear goals of what I want and work religiously towards achieving them. I feel it’s of utmost importance for one to have a vision and then an action plan for the same. Without the latter, it’s going to end up like shooting in the dark and hoping someday you hit the bullseye.
One Superwoman you look up to & why?
My mother - the only Superwoman that I’ve always looked up to and will continue doing for long. She is a homemaker, which, we all know is a thankless job and comes with unlimited hours of service. The calm and composure she brings to life, leaves me awestruck every hour.
I give her all the credit for my success. I also thank her for making me a fearless individual with strong opinions that matter. She has been my strength and support system. So, here’s from one Superwoman to the Greatest Superwoman of all Seasons – My Mothership.
One thing you would like to change about this industry?
This industry isn’t quite transparent when it comes to paying and here, I am not referring to discrepancies between the gender payrolls but the pay gaps between the same roles. This is something I have seen happening on multiple occasions and it only makes the employee feel violated and cheated. So, have a transparent structure and it should be the employer's rightful duty to bring transparency to pay.
One thing that this industry desperately needs.
People who aren’t afraid to challenge or break, the rules. People who understand advertising; are highly passionate about it and ones who are ready to hold their grounds come what may. This industry doesn’t need more people who are just trying to impress their managers to score brownie points.
One tip for all aspiring A&M professionals out there
Never stop being human. Be kind. Be approachable. Treat everyone equally, sans the hierarchy in mind.
When you stay true and yourself, you’ll be surprised to see the most amazing things happen.