Women are no longer confined to being just doctors and lawyers. HerZindagi got in touch with Suparna Kapoor, the Chief Manager at HAL Management Academy, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, who is a big source of inspiration for women wanting to achieve goals they never thought they could. She will will soon be a panellist at the upcoming Asian Women Leadership Summit - Mumbai 2018.
Kapoor is an experienced L & D and Project Management professional with 25 years of experience working in the Aerospace and Telecommunication industry. She has demonstrated a history of competency in diverse areas of Training and Development, Performance Management, Business Development and Leading Techno-commercial Projects and Teams.
She says that as a continual learner at heart, she has successfully completed online courses on Women Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Social Psychology, Positive Psychology, Decision Making etc from Global Universities, including Marshall Goldsmith’s Personal Leadership and Success from Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth
Did she ever feel like backing out and letting it go at any point of life?
I was lucky to be born and raised in a family of educators and even though we were two sisters we were never differentiated when it came to gender. Since my mom worked almost within a year of my being born and all through my growing years, to be a working woman is in my DNA. I don’t think the option of not working even existed in my head and this is not just from the financial perspective. Luckily I got married into a family with a working mom-in-law so the transition was easier through the roles at home never ceased, especially after my son was borne.
I have now completed 25 years of career which includes shifting cities, changing organisations and my work profile, but, all these years I have never thought of quitting. I have travelled on work when my son was just 6 months old, I have worked on site on remote locations in defence bases and telecom stations, I have travelled in Army trucks, stayed in army barracks, worked night shifts, handled unionized workforce and much more. Sometimes, based on family situations, maybe I have chosen to slow down or give home priority but Quit NEVER. Learning, Growth, Contribution and Financial Independence has and will always be imperative to my very being.
Many say that the scenario for women is changing. Do you think so? If yes then how? If no, then why?
I don’t think there is Yes or No answer to this question, it is somewhere in between like a shade of Grey.
Today we can see women participation in almost all sectors – be it armed forces, pilots, firefighters, police, business leaders, lawyers, in addition to the traditional roles like nurses, teachers, hospitality etc. Today women can choose a profession they are really interested in and pursue their interest and passion. Women can choose when to get married, whom to get married to, when to have babies, in fact, whether or not to have babies. These choices did not exist even 30-40 years ago, at least in India. Women can travel across the world on work or pleasure with girlfriends or solo and live by themselves in big cities or towns. All that has changed but for what percentage?
On the other side, women are still supposed to be prime caretakers at home, leave jobs if the husband or in-laws so want or when kids need to be taken care off, move along with the spouse when they move jobs. At work still many opportunities remain closed just because of gender, pay parity is not a norm, sexual exploitation is experienced at various levels, safety is always a concern, trolling and shaming is rampant on social media. The Patriarchal Mindset Still Rules Because The World Is Created By Men For Men. So, I believe the change is happening at a slow pace and affecting only some strata of the society – urban, educated and financially independent women. There is a lot more to do and miles to go!
Rao believes that you should never ever give up on yourself or your dreams. Patience and perseverance are powerful means to achieve the end goals.
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