Every year on March 8th, countries around the world celebrate International Women’s Day. It is a day that not only reflects on and celebrates the achievements and progress of ordinary women, but a day that also calls for change.
So how did it all start? The seeds for this movement were first planted in 1908, when about 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. This led to the Socialist Party of America declaring the first National Woman’s Day, a year later. Soon enough other countries joined in, celebrating the first International Women’s Day, or International Working Women’s Day, as it was called, on March 19, 1911. Even in the earlier days, International Women’s Day was connected with working women’s rights and equality. Much has been achieved since those days, but even now, several decades later gender equality remains an unfinished business.
This International Women’s Day, we are putting the spotlight on some of our amazing women employees who are championing change in their own special ways. Hear them out as they answer our rapid-fire questions
As a mother of a son, I feel more responsible for instilling in him a sense of equality and respect for everyone. To me, gender equality is not just about empowering women. It has more to do with grooming and empowering the men of our society to not treat women as special but as their equals. The so-called notion of “Things women can’t do” must be erased from childhood itself, and I ensure the same with my son. At work, I am a firm believer of giving the freedom and opportunity to voice opinions and suggestions
It’s all pre-destined. So holds true for my foray into the research world. With several stints across some of the big names in the Industry, Market Cube was a natural progression for me. The sheer thrill of leveraging all my experience and skills on something that was still in the seed phase was quite exciting and challenging – one that involved a lot of unlearning and relearning as well.
It was no longer about working in silos, but about understanding, absorbing, and working towards the vision and growth of the company. In my 14 odd years of corporate experience, the majority of it being Market Cube, I feel fortunate to have gotten this opportunity to explore myself as a professional with enough flexibility to explore, falter, and stand back up with better strategies.
What many people may not know about me is that I am a cleanliness freak, sometimes even bordering on OCD. One of my biggest quirks is to ensure that my kitchen counter is spotless at all times. I like to read high-end lifestyle, interior, and fashion magazines in my leisure time apart from seeking innovative ideas to make my home beautiful and functional.
I have started an online marketing channel specifically to help Asian women artists showcase, market, and monetize their art on a global level. Female artists not only lack the right resources and opportunities but are grossly under-represented as well. Statistically, 95% of paintings in major art museums are of females but only 3% of them are actually painted by females.
The issue also hits close to home for me because my mother, who is an incredible artist herself, had to face discrimination during her college days in China when only her male cohorts were picked for exhibitions or international tours despite her superior talent. This forced her to forge her own path, like millions of others, in turn, inspiring me to become a vehicle for change.
In all honesty, as a 0 generation Asian American, my ten-year-long journey in the market research industry has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. What particularly stands out for me with Market Cube in comparison to my previous roles is quite simple – for the first time in my corporate work life, I feel like I belong from the get-go and that my voice is being heard. I am mostly just grateful to be part of such an incredible global company that cares about their employees as much as their end-clients.
I am an artist at heart and spend most of my free time on creative endeavors like painting, sculpting, writing music, and working on my website. What keeps me sane is using art and the ability that art has to heal wounds to help myself as well as others during stressful times.
Gender equality, to me, is not just about equal opportunities or pay scales but also about ensuring an unbiased platform to voice opinions and even disagreements. While I haven’t come across any such discrimination in my professional space, which I take as a good sign, I do try to blur gender barriers for my daughter whenever I can – whether it is the pink vs. blue, car vs. doll, or simply the ‘this is for boys’ narrative. One thing that I have learned as a parent is that you don’t always have to spell it out loud to make a point. Just seeing me go off on a hiking trip or riding bikes with the boys is sometimes enough for my daughter to reject all the pre-set notions and live by her own rules.
Having worked in the media and development sector for over ten years, my foray into the corporate world really did begin only with Market-Cube. And it has been an interesting journey so far. Not to forget a bit amusing as well. As a journalist, I often relied on secondary data to amplify my reports, and here I was at Market Cube, producing and dissecting that very data to give to journalists and consumers across the globe. From launching websites, writing varied forms of content to literally eating-sleeping-breathing research, it has been a great learning experience for me. But what I truly appreciate about the company is the confidence and freedom that I have been given to do my job, right from day one. I truly believe such a positive spirit and push is important to keep the team motivated and energized.
One thing that not many people know about me is my love for thrills. Be it jumping off a cliff, sitting in the front seat of crazy roller coaster rides, or speeding on my bike; I simply carve the adrenaline rush that these jaunts bring along. In a less action-packed but equally satisfying pursuit, I love collecting books, coffee mugs, and fridge magnets from around the world. As strange as it may sound, just looking at them sometimes brings me a different sense of happiness and comfort.
Gender Equality begins at home, and this has been the case for me as well. Right from the beginning, my parents treated my brother and I as equals, giving us the same education, opportunities, and freedom to follow our dreams and passion. My upbringing has helped me become a strong independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. The unconditional support has continued well into my marriage as well. As parents to our 8-year-old son, we try to instill the same sense of equality and fairness in my son, and lead by example.
Working as an HR Professional is extremely satisfying as it includes working closely with the company’s biggest assets i.e., their PEOPLE. And I have enjoyed this thoroughly for the past 11 years. Working at Market Cube has been fun, especially because of its young workforce. I have been given enough freedom to set new processes in place and revamp the office culture, be it celebrating festivals, achievements, or planning impromptu adventures. I am thankful for all the opportunities and support I get here at Market Cube, and this positive feeling and support always motivates me to do my very best.
I love dancing as it makes me really happy. In fact, I danced my way into my husband’s heart while performing at my cousin’s wedding. Though I am a total party person, I eagerly look forward to the time I spend with my women friends. I am a firm believer in the saying that women strengthen each other, and the yearly vacation I take with my friends is just another way for us to celebrate, support, and be there for each other.