Rhea Amin of Schbang talks about how there's a constant evolution in the industry and a lot of competition which can lead to life getting hectic, but work-life balance can help keep up.
Rhea Amin, Associate Vice President, Schbang and winner of Social Samosa Superwomen 2022, talks about a better work-life balance, which in part can come from people focusing on quality over quantity. She also speaks about how agencies need to be taken more seriously and highlights how women have been multi-tasking for a long time.
Like everything else, the pandemic has redefined the word Superwomen too. What do you think it means to be a superwoman in the New Normal?
Although the pandemic has redefined a lot in our lives today, I don't think it's changed the core of what defines Superwomen, or women in general. Women have had to adapt rapidly to new and evolving situations that have been thrown at them, fight aggressively yet gracefully for what they want and multi-task constantly to manage a number of people and tasks. In my opinion, this gives all women the strength and ability to not only adapt to the New Normal but also thrive within it.
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?
I am blessed to be able to work at a company that values its employees' Mental Health and has not only introduced Mental Health leaves but also onboarded an in-house psychiatrist whom employees can reach out to free of charge and at their convenience. As a manager, I have tried to ensure my team has a healthy work-life balance by ensuring working hours are respected. In case of late working hours on occasion, the problem is identified and resolved by the respective colleague sending an email stating the reason why they were working post 8:30 pm.
Although we work together in a professional capacity, the culture at Schbang is very inclusive and friendly, which ensures people are in a great space mentally - I tried ensuring our team would continue bonding by organizing virtual games nights and blocking an hour on Friday occasionally for the team to get on a call and talk about anything except work. As a manager, I try my best to ensure I am constantly available to my entire team and help them close tasks quickly by sharing prompt feedback or clarity.
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?
I know of a lot of superwomen who are not only working from home but also managing housework and have the added pressure of ensuring their children's growth is not impacted. Pre-pandemic it was easier to focus on work while in the office as there were fewer distractions and expectations. With work from home and having your entire family at home and dependant on you in multiple ways, there has been added pressure on women to be able to perform at the same level as they were pre-pandemic. I, fortunately, have not faced any discrimination at my workplace or with my clients on the basis of my gender.
What in your opinion, helped you excel in your career?
I was very clear about the fact that my early career years would be focused on learning. I took a hit monetarily and moved from agencies when it was clear that I was not learning anything new or more. I think the desire to constantly learn and upskill definitely helped, and is now a habit. Additionally, starting from the bottom helped enhance not only my learning experience but skills as a manager. Having been in the same shoes as the people I manage definitely helps me understand them better and provide better solutions and therefore manage my team better. I am also very passionate about the work I do and working with people with the same passion is not only exciting but also makes me feel more driven. Having a great team, quality mentors and a supportive family helps the most!
One Superwoman you look up to & why
There are plenty of Superwomen I look up to, it's hard to name just one. It's exciting and inspiring to see women break barriers and pave the way for new developments.
One thing you would like to change about this industry
The perception Corporations have of Agencies being their vendors and not their partners. Agencies are approached for their expertise but too often their suggestions and recommendations are not given due attention or respect.
One thing that this industry desperately needs
A better work-life balance, which in part will come from people focusing on quality over quantity
One tip for all aspiring A&M professionals out there
This industry is not easy to survive in - there's a constant evolution, and a lot of competition and life can get hectic, stressful and exhausting. But when you see your work go live and create an impact in the lives of the audience or help achieve business goals, it will all be worth it.