10 mistakes women make while negotiating salaries

salary negotiation

Salary discussions can be awkward in the best of circumstances, but research shows that women find them especially difficult.

Linda C. Babcock, who co-founded Carnegie Mellon’s Negotiation Academy for Women and co-authored of Women Don’t Ask and Ask For It, found that women are more pessimistic when they negotiate and get 30% lesser than men when they do. That’s held up by our research: Monster Salary Index reveals the gender pay gap is 27% in India. Men, on the other hand, have no problem talking money. Babcock’s study shows they initiate negotiations about four times as often as women.

Whether you are hesitant to ask for what you deserve or are uncomfortable with the idea of rejecting an offer, know that at the negotiation table, your actions speak louder than words. While talking money, know you may be making these mistakes:

You are underestimating yourself
Research has shown that men overestimate their abilities and women commonly underestimate theirs when asked to self-assess themselves. Continuing lower expectations lead to steadily lower outcomes. This leaves women trapped in a vicious cycle; they work harder, are paid lesser and get more frustrated!

The first offer is the one you accept
Lee E. Miller, who has co-authored A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating with his daughter Jessica, says his experience has shown that women “simply accept the first offer”. By nature, they don’t like the back and forth involved in salary negotiations and tend to cave in.

“What’s fair” is your negotiation tactic
Whether you’re negotiating for a higher salary in a new job or seeking a raise, don’t use the word “fair”. Miller believes that women look for a “fair outcome” when negotiating as compared to men who look at negotiation as a contest with a goal to get the “best outcome”.

You wait for the “right time” to have a salary discussion
Even after a woman accepts a position without negotiating, she convinces herself that she will “prove her worth” and then ask for a raise. Why should you start on a low salary and then pitch for a raise on that base? Remember, there is no right time to ask for the compensation you deserve, only the moment when the opportunity presents itself.

You’re unable to say ‘No’ 
Saying no, women believe, is not in their DNA. Social psychologist Susan Newman, author of The Book of No, feels that women’s need to please is so intrinsic that many equate saying no with saying “I don’t care about you”. But being able to say no is critical to negotiation. It doesn’t have to be loud or aggressive no, a firm but polite no will do. But it has to be said!

Silence is not your friend
Silence is golden, they say, and there’s a reason for it. Katie Donovan, founder of Equal Pay Negotiations, believes that learning to become comfortable with bouts of awkward silence is “one of the most important tactics to an effective negotiation”.

You share information the person across the table doesn’t need to know
Women often end up revealing facts that they need not such as past salary, which really has nothing to do with your performance of the market rate. Remember not to let the discomfort make you reveal information that you don’t want to share; you can say that’s confidential and move on.

Benefits and perks are overlooked 
Often, women believe that they can only negotiate the salary. But that’s not the only part of the payout where you can cut a better deal. Keep in mind options such as relocation money, extra vacation days or stock option. Every package can be tailored to suit an individual’s needs.

The subtext underlying negotiation is lost on you
Your inability to strike a deal can raise a red flag with an employer who may see your reluctance to negotiate as a question mark on your leadership skills. If you won’t negotiate for yourself, will you be able to do it for the company?

You don’t consider negotiating a skill you need to acquire
Most women believe that they are really bad at negotiation. That may be true but changing the mindset is essential. Experts say that negotiating is neither a talent nor luck, but is a skill that anyone can learn. And perfect with practice.

Women fail to recognize that every job offer or promotion brings with it an opportunity to negotiate. So don’t be afraid to ask. You may not get all that you wanted but the negotiation may surprise you. So never settle!

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in Mika Brzezinski’s book, Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth, said: “A lot of getting ahead in the workplace has to do with being willing to raise your hand… If we as women don’t raise our hands in the workplace, we’re not going to get the same opportunities men do. Because men keep their hands up.”

For more advice on how women can grow their careers, click here

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7 employer branding strategies to make your company more attractive to women

7 Employer Branding strategies to make your company more attractive to women

India’s economy may have grown, but the participation of women in the workforce in India fell 10% over the last decade. An ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage Research study in June stated that there’s an urgent need to create more jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities to promote women empowerment. Why? Continued research over the last decade has shown that companies’ bottom lines benefit greatly when they actively recruit and help women advance. Studies show that companies that endeavor to include women in their workforce are better able to attract and retain talent, cut turnover costs, improve organisational operations and develop a robust leadership pipeline.


More recently, a Employer Branding Trends 2016 Study by People Matters and Monster.com decodes the bottom-up perspective to understand what an “employer brand” means from a candidate or prospective employees point of view. 

Here’s a look at what you can do, as an employer, to attract, recruit and retain female talent.

Offer schedules that are truly flexible 
Work flex is critical when it comes to hiring and retaining female talent. But flexible schedules can’t be flexible only on paper. Think beyond letting someone work from 11 to 7 instead of 9 to 5. A truly flexible workplace will allow employees to adjust their schedules for every type of curveball life throws at them – sick kids, parents’ health checks, PTA meets and so on. Figure out what works best for you and your employees. Focusing on performance, and not hours spent on the desk, makes employees feel more valued, satisfied and makes them work harder. 

Put women in leadership positions
If entry and mid-level women see other women in leadership positions in the organisation, they are more likely to believe that their dream of climbing the corporate ladder and gaining success is possible. Research shows that diverse leadership teams are more successful, so organisations committed to retaining female talent need to ensure that their leadership team includes strong female leaders.

Ensure pay parity
With even top Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence complaining that she isn’t paid as much as her male counterparts, it’s clear that women have it tough when it comes to compensation. The Monster Salary Index report shows the gender pay gap in India is 27%, which means that women get paid almost a third less than men. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if change continues at the same slow pace, it will take until 2059 for women to reach pay parity. Ensuring that you pay for talent and skills, and not gender will draw top female talent and single you out. 

Guard against sexism at every level
Attracting talented young women and retaining them needs an atmosphere where men and women are treated equally. Most companies put in place measures against discrimination and sexual harassment, but it takes more than that to eradicate sexism from the workplace. Be it blatant or subtle, educate employees at all levels about unconscious biases and benevolent sexism.

Promote work-life balance
Women want to break barriers and rise to the top, but they don’t want to give up on the other aspects of their life. Things are tougher for women since they need to balance work, home, family and relationships, and keep things together all the time. Ensuring that your company enforces work-life balance by making time off and vacations mandatory, letting employees disconnect over the weekend and asking them to desist from late working hours will ensure that they don’t need to struggle to “have it all”. 

Make paternity leave a must 
Being known as a company that promotes gender equality will go a long way in drawing female talent. Offering a generous paternity leave policy – and implementing it – sends the message that you as a company are committed to working women and families. Paternity leave may be for men, but it benefits working mothers, infants and children, and shows that you’re an inclusive employer.

Work on drivers for female employee retention
The organisation needs to focus on small, but important, everyday changes that take into consideration common challenges of women — mothers in particular – face. Policies for onsite/subsidised childcare, onsite or paid and unpaid leave, project-based employment and others that make it easier for women to return to work need to be formulated and followed.

All top companies know and value the benefits of attracting and retaining women – a deeper talent pool, a more engaged leadership team, higher job satisfaction and increased company loyalty. Chuck Jeannes, former CEO of Goldcorp, said it all: “You can’t have a successful business that ignores 50% of the population.”

Career options for women over 50

Deepa Sahay, 53, was used to being a busybody all her life, and suddenly, she had a lot of time to spare. Her son had left for the US for his new job, and her daughter was well settled in her home and work many cities away. Having spent most of her youth and adult life taking care of her husband and children and keeping busy with their schedules, Deepa did not know what to do with all the time she had now. She had never worked out of home, and was not sure what special talents she had besides the day-to-day home administration. Then, at a social gathering, a friend mentioned a new art gallery he was opening, and said that he was looking for an organised and trustworthy person to manage it. Deepa, though uncertain, thought this was up her alley, and asked if she would qualify. Thus began a new innings for her; after 30 years as a homemaker, she started using her talents in newer ways.

Like Deepa, there are many women who wonder what to do with their lives next. Some may be working and wish to explore different avenues; others may have time at hand after children have left home.

The enormity of starting something new at 50 can be quite overwhelming, especially in this youth-obsessed world. Millionaires are in their 20s, and technology is moving faster than most of us can catch up with. So what kind of work opportunities are available for those in their 50s and above?

Be it your first time into the job world or starting afresh, while there are feweroptions for women over 50, there are still plenty to go around. Here are some of the fields you can explore:

  1. Social work
    For those of you who are not looking at money as the main motivation, this would be a good option. NGOs always need volunteers, and schedules can be flexible to suit your needs. Social work is diverse and dynamic, and women can choose projects they are comfortable with–from promoting environmental issues and working with children or women to standing up for social causes. There are also courses available on social work, if you wish to study and qualify for the pay package.

  2. Tutor
    Another flexible work option is tutoring. Many look at tutoring as only associated with school subjects, but it can be diverse. Sheila, 58, tutors kids in different painting techniques. “I was an avid painter in my younger years, but it was never looked at as a lucrative profession. I took up a job and then, between work and family, my painting was well forgotten. When I retired at 55, I knew I could not sit idle. So, I went back to my old passion. Today, I have reacquainted myself with old and new styles of art, and in the bargain, make good money teaching kids and adults,” she says. Besides school subjects and art, other tutoring options could be singing, different dance forms or musical instruments etc.

  3. Designer (Interiors / clothes / jewelery)
    Always had a keen eye for clothes or jewellery, or been fascinated by people’s homes? Do you see design in everything? While others see a plain cloth, you give it shape, style and form? A few pieces of rock form a beautiful ring in your mind’s eye, or you have found the perfect corner for the shabby box on sale? Then you should try your hand at designing. There are courses available for clothes, jewellery and interior designing, if you wish to hone the skill. If starting out alone, this might require some investment from your end; you can participate in exhibitions to promote your brand, or alternatively tie up with other boutiques or professionals.

  4. Chef
    This one entails your years of talent in the kitchen being put to lucrative use. Some women are fond of cooking and enjoy feeding people. A mother-son duo in Mumbai have started a home dining experience to introduce the world to their community food. The mother is skilled in the kitchen and the son puts his marketing talents to work and promotes her expertise. Theirs is now a full-time venture. Women can also start tiffin services or take up party orders.

  5. Counselor
    There is a growing need for counsellors in today’s age. Being in the counselling profession, I have noticed that people are more comfortable with women counsellors. To add to that, a woman with worldly experience is an added bonus. Women interested in counselling need to be certified. There are many courses available, and one can specialise in their field of interest, be it counselling marriages, children, substance abuse or educating people on sexual issues. While I was doing my course, there was a retired school principal in my batch; her motivation to become a counsellor was simple: She said she had guided her students all their lives, and they still came to her for advice; so why not do it professionally and channelise it better!

  6. Real estate agent
    While women real estate agents are very popular in the West, this is not the most popular choice in India. But, if you have a flair for marketing, can be aggressive yet polite, and are quick with follow-ups, this is a good option. You can tie up with local estate agents and work flexible hours to show properties. Some would prefer working around the vicinity of their homes–this also helps in sales as they have local knowledge. Salaries for agents vary, as most work on commision of sales.

  7. Writer
    Remember those poems you wrote in college? Or those stories you made up for the children and grandchildren? It’s time to put that imagination on paper. Writing is something most take for granted and few pursue as a career choice. Short stories, life experiences, fantasy and fiction–all genres are open and up for grabs. There are courses on creative writing in most cities. If you are not sure where to get your work published, you could start a blog: it’s free and easy to operate. Many sites offer worthwhile payment options once the blog picks up.

  8. Florist
    For those in love with nature and some open space to spare, it would be ideal to open a nursery. Plants need care and nurturing, and can keep you busy for hours. Read up on plants that suit your climatic conditions and begin potting. Learn flower arrangements, and decorate for friends and family at their next few parties. If you can manage to employ, keep a few delivery men at hand once the business picks up. Being a florist is not only a lucrative business, but the interaction with plants has been scientifically proven to keep one calm and happy.

There is no dearth for work opportunities for women wanting to start over. Women I know, well into their fifties and older, contributed with many more ideas. One has a booming chocolate business which she operates from home, while another makes knitted articles like bags, tea cosies, table placements and more through the year, and then exhibits them during the festive season, making a thriving sale. An aunt of mine chanced upon a pottery class, and now has a beautiful shop selling handmade ceramic pieces. All of these women have proved time and again that it doesn’t matter how old you are; after all, age is just a number.

This article was first published on Sheroes.in.

Married Or Not: 5 reasons women need to be financially independent

With the kind of cost of living that the current generation has to put up with, it makes sense that every working age member earn some part of it. Financial independence is the ability to earn one’s own living. It is important for every individual to be financially independent. More so, the women. In India, many women are efficient home-makers and their careers take a back seat when they enter motherhood or when the domestic needs overcome their career goals. What starts as a maternity break for so many women stretch into a break in career itself. However, something to consider is that women outlive men in many cases and hence quite a few of them will have to live their retired lives alone.

Here’s why every woman needs to be financially independent, married or not:

  1. To pre-empt emergencies
    Every family needs to be prepared for a contingency. Layoffs are more frequent, jobs aren’t super secure and neither is life. If the husband is the sole bread earner, with the wife and kids being dependent on him, then there is reason to worry for the family. Panic tends to ensue in the time the man finds a new job. With most families running the risk of multiple EMIs, it makes sense for the lady of the house to also hold down a job.

  2. To meet the rising cost of living
    Inflation, as we all know, has risen noticeably in the last few decades. To own a decent home, send your kids to a good school and live an above average standard of living has become very high. Hence, 2-income households certainly fare better. Women who are financially independent can not only contribute to the everyday expenses of the household, but also help to meet the family’s financial goals.

  3. To feel responsible and boost morale
    Financially independent people are capable of taking their own decisions and don’t have to depend on anybody. This increases their self-respect and makes them more confident to face any kind of situations in life. Many women from conservative backgrounds with dreams and aspirations depend on their partners or parents for their fulfilment. Being financially independent, will enable them to self-sufficiently fulfil their wishes – enhance their skill-sets, go for a trip with friends, or even buying things that they want and so on.

  4. To stop feeling dependent
    No one should have to tolerate domestic violence or abuse, much less because they’re financially dependent on their partners. Therefore, it is extremely important that every woman becomes financially independent so that they never have to feel helpless in life.

  5. To be a role-model
    A woman who can support the needs of the family financially, socially, emotionally and so on is a role model for her children to show them that gender bias is created by the society and doesn’t mean anything when a woman is strong, confident and sure of herself. The children learn from what they see. If kids see that their mothers are financially independent, they will also understand the value of money and be inspired to be self-sufficient in life when they grow up.

It is extremely important for all women – be it married, single, separated, widowed or divorced to be financially independent. However, it is important not to financial independence with financial security. A monthly pay cheque in your bank account alone cannot render you capable of meeting all of your financial goals. It is how you plan and manage your finances which will result in fruition of goals later in life.

To find jobs for women click here.

This article was first published on Sheroes.in.

Going back to work after maternity leave? Know how to negotiate your re-entry

Going back to work after maternity leave

Be it your first child or second, returning to work after maternity leave can be stressful for new mothers. They must try and establish a new balance at home and at the workplace, even as they struggle to cope with the demands new motherhood places on them.

Statistically, it’s a transition that has a low success rate. Between 2003 and 2010, maternity and childcare issues forced over 48 per cent of employed women under 30 years of age to drop out of the workforce

While there’s a great deal of talk about availing maternity leave and benefits, the difficulties women encounter re-entering the workplace isn’t discussed as much. But negotiating your re-entry is as important as your maternity leave exit. Especially since many new mothers return to work only to find their positions/role were eliminated while they were on leave, or that their salaries were impacted.

Keep these pointers in mind:

Ask the right questions, and get answers in writing
According to Lisa Gates, founder, trainer and coach of She Negotiates, a business that helps women learn essential negotiation skills, there are a number of questions returning mothers need to ask and put on the negotiating table.

  • How does the company feel if you were to take a longer maternity leave than offered?
  • Would you prefer to start work with minimum hours and gradually move to full time?
  • What’s your time frame?
  • Will they be willing to allow you to telecommute?
  • Will your position need to be temporarily filled by someone in the organisation or will it require hiring someone new? If so, will you have input on the hiring process?
  • What happens when you return to work?
  • If you’re pumping, will your office give you a designated spot?
  • Covering every point playing in your mind will ensure a peaceful comeback.

Request flexibility
Indian companies are opening up to flexible work, but it’s not always a given. Flexibility – be it flexible working hours/days or remote working – works extremely well for new moms returning to work, so ask for it. Frame your request by showcasing how your work will continue to get done. Things to take into account include core business hours and co-worker concerns. 

Phase your re-entry
Planning and continued discussions with your manager are important if you want to make a successful re-entry. Put forward these options – you could come into work for two days only the first week, increase by one day each week until you’re back to five days a week, or work it another way. Also, rather than just showing up at the office after three months, set things in motion gradually by meeting your manager or colleagues for a casual lunch or coffee a couple of weeks before you rejoin work. An in-person meet-up lets you catch up with work friends, learn about new projects and feel re-engaged with work.

Find a mommy mentor 
Look for a guide who’s been through this situation and waded the waters successfully. She’s the one who’ll give you invaluable advice like planning your first day back to be a Thursday, giving you a heads-up on childcare options or commiserating when you just need someone to listen.

Stay involved socially
Nothing seems as important as finishing up the day’s work and heading home to baby. But it’s important to stay involved with what’s happening socially at the firm along with engaging with clients. Be it office parties, networking events or industry seminars, make time for them – especially after you’re back.

Ask for more work – if you’re ready for it
In the weeks you’ve been away, the workplace is likely to have changed. Returning mothers often find themselves getting marginalised or sidelined; very often, this is by team leaders who’re trying to be kind by not giving them very challenging assignments. But if you feel you’re up to them, go ahead and initiate discussions to ask for more work.

Juggling employment responsibilities and a new baby will never be easy. But planning and discussing how you will rejoin work can make handling any unexpected roadblocks a lot easier.

6 sexist things to stop saying at work

Womens Day

It’s International Women’s Day and it’s 2017 – while we’ve come a long way, progress is still slow. We can’t truly celebrate our achievements and efforts – not while aspiring women striving for a career still feel the glass ceiling.

You don’t have to look at all the reams of survey data to know that sexism is still rampant. Look around your own workplace – how often have you felt slighted by a sexist remark? Did your boss invite only male colleagues for after work drinks? Have you commented on a female colleague’s physical appearance?

And men alone aren’t guilty of this kind of sexism. Often, women end up saying things that are patronising to other women, without even realising it.
Here’s a look at the five common sexist remarks women have heard at work:

1. “You probably won’t come back to work after having the baby.”
If mums had a penny for every time they were told this, they’d probably be billionaires. Sure, some women would like to take time off to be with their newborns, but it isn’t unusual for many to come back. Have you ever asked a man if he plans to come back to work after paternity leave? Exactly.

2. “Hey, babe.”
Or “honey”, or “sweets”, or “girl”, or “cutie”, or any of the other names someone might call another women under the guise that it is endearing. Newsflash: it’s not. While you may think it’s flattering or that you’re paying someone a compliment – it is actually quite demeaning and takes the focus away from their other contributions to society beyond being a) a woman and b) perhaps good looking. No more, please.

3. “Are you on your period?”
This one’s a real doozy. It’s often used to describe a woman when she is angry or upset, and often implies she’s being hypersensitive or hysterical. Saying this to a woman automatically invalidates her feelings and makes her second guess her reactions. Just don’t.

4. “A woman in tech?”
Can be interchanged with pretty much every industry and often extends to the way tasks and projects are assigned within an organisation. A comment like this says so much more about that person’s gender bias than it does about how far certain industries have come with welcoming and encouraging female applicants, but it still hurts. Women haven’t worked so hard to get to where they are, only to be questioned by someone else once they reach their goals.

5. “I’mma let you finish…”
Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMA’s is pretty much what happens in most meetings. ‘Mansplaining’ maybe a fashionable word to use now but a man explaining something to a woman in a condescending manner has been happening forever. If someone – man or woman – is talking in a meeting and sharing their ideas, let them speak. Share your opinion and thoughts afterwards like a decent human being.

6. “Wow, you’re so bossy!”
How often do you think men get called bossy? Generally speaking, men who speak their minds, take charge and assign tasks to people (and call them up on it if they don’t deliver) are “strong”, “confident” and “great leaders”, but women…. are just “bossy”. Stop using this word to describe women in your workplace – it discourages them from wanting to take leadership roles by turning their actions into a negative.

 This article was first published on Monster.com.sg

5 reasons why women need to be financially independent

With the kind of cost of living that the current generation has to put up with, it makes sense that every working age member earn some part of it. Financial independence is the ability to earn one’s own living. It is important for every individual to be financially independent. More so, the women. In India, many women are efficient home-makers and their careers take a back seat when they enter motherhood or when the domestic needs overcome their career goals. What starts as a maternity break for so many women stretch into a break in career itself. However, something to consider is that women outlive men in many cases and hence quite a few of them will have to live their retired lives alone.

Here’s why every woman needs to be financially independent, married or not –

  1. To pre-empt emergencies: Every family needs to be prepared for a contingency. Layoffs are more frequent, jobs aren’t super secure and neither is life. If the husband is the sole bread earner, with the wife and kids being dependent on him, then there is reason to worry for the family. Panic tends to ensue in the time the man finds a new job. With most families running the risk of multiple EMIs, it makes sense for the lady of the house to also hold down a job.

  2. To meet the rising cost of living: Inflation, as we all know, has risen noticeably in the last few decades. To own a decent home, send your kids to a good school and live an above average standard of living has become very high. Hence, 2-income households certainly fare better. Women who are financially independent can not only contribute to the everyday expenses of the household, but also help to meet the family’s financial goals.

  3. To feel responsible and boost morale: Financially independent people are capable of taking their own decisions and don’t have to depend on anybody. This increases their self-respect and makes them more confident to face any kind of situations in life. Many women from conservative backgrounds with dreams and aspirations depend on their partners or parents for their fulfilment. Being financially independent, will enable them to self-sufficiently fulfil their wishes – enhance their skill-sets, go for a trip with friends, or even buying things that they want and so on.

  4. To stop feeling dependent: No one should have to tolerate domestic violence or abuse, much less because they’re financially dependent on their partners. Therefore, it is extremely important that every woman becomes financially independent so that they never have to feel helpless in life.

  5. To be a role-model: A woman who can support the needs of the family financially, socially, emotionally and so on is a role model for her children to show them that gender bias is created by the society and doesn’t mean anything when a woman is strong, confident and sure of herself. The children learn from what they see. If kids see that their mothers are financially independent, they will also understand the value of money and be inspired to be self-sufficient in life when they grow up.

It is extremely important for all women – be it married, single, separated, widowed or divorced to be financially independent. However, it is important not to financial independence with financial security. A monthly pay cheque in your bank account alone cannot render you capable of meeting all of your financial goals. It is how you plan and manage your finances which will result in fruition of goals later in life.

This article was first published on Sheroes.in.

5 lessons young women can learn from Amitabh Bachchan’s letter to his grand daughters

Thespian Amitabh Bachchan’s letter to his granddaughters Navya Naveli Nanda, and Aaradhya Bachchan went viral. The letter, a guru mantra of sorts, has made a connection with girls, and women, as well as the men, for the simple yet crucial message it carries.

These are the top 5 life lessons:

1: Don’t worry about what people ‘may say’: “You may be a Nanda or a Bachchan, but never ever worry about log kya kahenge,” he writes, reminding his granddaughters of the legacy they carry and how they need to keep an eye out for naysayers, and opinionated folk. “You both carry a very valuable legacy on your tender shoulders – Aaradhya, the legacy of your pardadaji , Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan…and Navya, the legacy of your pardadaji , Shri H P Nanda… Both your pardadaji ‘ s gave your present surnames celebrated fame, dignity and recognition!

2: Girls, do not let anyone tell you what to think, or do: “Both of you may be a Nanda or a Bachchan, but you are also girls…women ! And because you are women people will force their thinking, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgment.

3: You choose what you want to wear, and do, and be friends with: “Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom. Don’t let anyone make you believe that the length of your skirt is a measure of your character. Don’t let anyone’s opinion of who you should be friends with, dictate who you will be friends with.”

4: Marry only when you want to, your life, your call: Don’t get married for any other reason other than you want to get married. People will talk. They shall say some terrible things. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen to everyone. Never ever worry about – log kya kahenge. At the end of the day, you are the only one who will face the consequences of your actions, so don’t let other people make your decisions for you.”

5: You can set an example for women everywhere: “Navya – the privilege your name, your surname offers you, will not protect you from the difficulties you will face because you ‘re a woman. Aaradhya – by the time you see and understand this, I may well not be around. But I think what I am saying today shall still be relevant. This may be a difficult, difficult world to be a woman. But I believe that it is women like you that will change that. It may not be easy, setting your own boundaries, making your own choices, rising above people ‘s judgement. But YOU !…you can set an example for women everywhere.”

He concludes in the warmest way, special to grandparents all over the world, telling his granddaughters: “Do this and you would have done more than I have ever done, and it will be my honor to be known not as Amitabh Bachchan, but as your grandfather!!”

This article was first published on Sheroes.in.

5 tips women entrepreneurs must know about running a business

Tips for women entrepreneurs

It’s no doubt that women-owned enterprises are on the rise and women entrepreneurs are doing remarkable things in India. If you too have decided to start something of your own, more power to you! Ahead of you is a mind boggling journey which won’t be simple but will be incredibly rewarding.  As you tread along on the path to successful entrepreneurship, here are some things, facts and tips that you should be armed with.

  1. There will be more than a few challenges – From getting your idea across to getting funding, it’s going to be challenging. It’s not like it’s any less challenging for men, but as women, you will sometimes be faced with stereotypes where people might not think you have enough technical knowledge. It is best to garner as much knowledge about all the aspects of your business – especially the tech part as most businesses are now tech driven. Other people will believe you will not be able to strike a balance between work and family life. The only way out of this is sheer hard work and persistence that will thrash stereotypes.

  2. Pay Attention To Hiring – The team that you work with can make or break your business. You need to put your heart and soul into hiring. Make sure that you bring on board the people who are as enthused about your idea as you are, if not more. Hiring people with the zeal and passion that you possess will ensure that you and your employees work together in making your business idea a success.

  3. Have A Mentor By Your Side – It always bodes well to have a mentor who you look up to and trust. This person will not only guide you on the path of success but also help you steer clear of the mistakes he or she might have made while staring out. A mentor will also help you with networking by introducing you to his or her already established network. Initiatives like CashKaro.com’s #SheCEO will also help you along your way. This month long campaign, going live in the Women’s month of March will guide and train select students and business owners in various aspects of business like funding, management, social media and much more. Being a part of such programs will push you in the right direction.

  4. Play To Your Strengths – As a woman, you are probably more compassionate and it’s easier for you to reach out to investors or to comprehend the needs of clients. Plus, you might carry out more prudent and well thought out decisions. You also understand the needs of female employees and create a loyal and happy team. Use these factors as your strengths and you will be unstoppable in your entrepreneurial journey.

  5. Get Social – Again to do with the tech side of things, make sure you have a huge social presence. More and more CEOs are now going social and using it to boost brand awareness and network with the who’s who of business. Employ platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn which will help you recruit as well as network.

Finally, entrepreneurship requires you to be agile and on your toes at all times so be ready to be on top of things day and night. Do not feel that your gender defines you in any way other than making you a force to be reckoned with. Entrepreneurship will prove to be a journey worth taking.

This article was first published on Sheroes.in

Working mom cheat sheet: 9 tips to balance work and kids during the summer vacation

Working mom cheat sheet how to balance work and kids during the summer vacation

Summer vacation isn’t a holiday for working mothers. The office workload remains the same and there’s plenty, plenty more to do on the home front. The kids are home, which means laid-back mornings, special snack requests, lots of friends over, a messy home and whines like “but what should I do”. 

How does a working mom navigate these tricky waters and ensure that she stays on top of work even as her children enjoy their summer vacation? Try these nine simple tips this year to make this time fun – for the entire family!

Build a parent team
Joining hands with other working mothers – be they friends, relatives or colleagues – can help women manage summer vacation just like they manage work: as a team. Reach out to other moms for play dates, group activities, car pools or picnics. Who else could keep an eye on your two for an hour while you are on a con call except a neighbour in the same boat?

Plan some solo time with them
It isn’t easy to switch between work and mommy mode, so make things easier by scheduling some time exclusively for the kids each day. It could be to go swimming, playing board games or a long-drawn-out bedtime routine – a happy child is more likely to be independent than an unhappy and clingy one.

Figure out options together
Children of all ages have a mind of their own so rope them in to figure out what they can do during this unstructured time. Take the “can do’s” and narrow them down into “will do’s” this summer. Be it books, movies, games, crafting, cooking or other pursuits, break the activities down into what they can do on their own and what can be joint activities (with you or their friends).

Make your home a hangout
Let’s face it: You can concentrate on your work single-mindedly when you know your children are safe and happy. Work towards making your home the hangout that all their friends love. Books, board games, art and craft supplies, outdoor activities and a stocked pantry – they’re sure to bring a smile to every child’s face.

Schedule a trip to Camp Nana
Chances are that the busyness of school life doesn’t really let your child interact with his or her grandparents. Set that wrong right by planning for some intergenerational fun this summer. You can either send the child(ren) to visit the grandparents or invite the seniors home for some quality time.

Give your child(ren) a job
If you’re finding it tough to engage children with toys, you aren’t alone. Make them feel important by giving them age-appropriate jobs. Apart from teaching your child more about what you do, a good work ethic and management skills, this increases your productivity. Don’t forget to pay the kids to keep them going!

Set up a WAHM swap
If you work from home, things get tougher. Make the days easier on yourself with a weekly kid-swap schedule with a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom. How it works? You watch her children along with your own for a couple of days every week while she does her things; she replies in kind on two other days.

Get daddy in on the act
Working moms have a lot on their plate, and it’s their right to ask daddy to take a bite. A big one! Figure out how the spouse can get involved in childcare during these busy months. Maybe he takes over for an hour every day – trip to the park, takes them swimming or does the bedtime ritual. If you work best at different hours, snag nighttime for yourself and let him have the a.m. hours. Suggest a daddy-and-kiddo road trip – it’s sure to improve their bonding and give you some time off!

Anoint children the weekend planner
Let your children be a bigger part of your life by letting them own some weekends. Let them decide what they want to do, when and how. Following their lead – from planning for breakfast to figuring out which park to go or friend to meet – will give them a sense of accomplishment and let them learn that they’re responsible for their decisions. Also, it ensures less planning for you.

Having the kids at home all day isn’t a lark, but remember that the summer vacation is a special time for them – one that they look forward to all year. So take a little time out to plan for these hot months.