"In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders," Sheryl Sandberg, the former COO of Meta, once said. And we can see this happening around us. However, we acknowledge that the road to gender equality remains long and ever-shifting; it’s changing slowly and steadily. Today, women are at the forefront of leadership and have made immense progress even after facing continuous discrimination.
On this Women's Day, we feel it's essential to recognize the growth and advancement made by women in various fields, including advertising and marketing. Women have come a long way in the industry, breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes. However, there's still much work to be done, and challenges remain for women. But there are women who made their distinguished place in the industry and climbed the ladder of success with their hard work and dedication.
We got a chance to speak to some renowned women professionals and leaders from the industry who shared experiences and critical aspects of their respective journeys, which will inspire women to trust themselves and make their dreams come true. Aditi Mathur Kumar (Associate Vice President - Content Strategy & Brand Partnerships) at Interactive Avenues- A Reprise Network Company, Preety Singh (Co-Founder & MD) at Boomlet Media, and Chandni Shah (Founder and COO) at Kinnect, despite challenges, continued to make strides in the industry, and their contributions have been breakthrough and invaluable.
Leadership. Challenges. Learning. Growing.
Building a company from scratch is challenging for an entrepreneur, and hurdles get doubled in highly dynamic sectors such as marketing and advertising. Preety Singh, who co-founded a full-stack influencer management company ‘Boomlet Media,’ shares her journey, “It was an uphill battle to create a unique identity. So, I invested significant time and effort into developing a clear and compelling brand identity. This involved conducting extensive market research to identify the needs of our target audience, crafting a unique value proposition that set us apart from our competitors, and creating a visual identity and messaging that effectively communicated our brand story and mission.”
The battles we fight are different for each of us, some are personal, and some are professional. Associate Vice President (Content Strategy & Brand Partnerships) at Interactive Avenues-A Reprise Network Company, Aditi Mathur Kumar shares joining the workforce and self-doubt were the biggest challenges after her big break. She shared, “I wondered if I am good enough – for a role or leadership where young talent is looking up to you. However, real life proved that there is no place for self-doubt when you want to lead with empathy, when you have solutions to deliver, and when you have a team to guide you through thick and thin – all that is done to the best of your capacity only when you believe in yourself and take action.”
Women’s Day Themed Campaigns In The Marketing And Advertising Industry
Chandni Shah feels that women's day campaigns in the marketing and advertising industry have significantly impacted women's lives. These campaigns have highlighted the achievements and contributions of women in various fields and raised awareness of misconceptions about women. Campaigns inspire women to speak up, pursue their dreams, and make positive changes in their lives and communities. They have also encouraged people of all genders to become allies and advocates for women's rights and gender equality.
Sharing that it feels nice to be celebrated for sure, still, when it comes to its long-lasting impact, Aditi said, “to be honest, the campaigns stand out only when they are not generic, and even the hard-hitting ones will matter more when there’s an extended and dedicated effort to drive impact, rather than topical posts and short term campaigns that show no action after the week of International Women’s’ day.”
International Women’s Day- A Small Part Of The Larger Conversation
When it comes to the importance of days like women’s day, Preety believes that while a day like this is a reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and celebrates the achievements of women, collective efforts to address gender inequality should not be limited to just one day or month. She suggests that we should examine and challenge the narratives that perpetuate gender discrimination and work toward systemic changes that promote women's empowerment.
Chandni, who is managing Kinnect, India’s leading digital marketing agency, also feels that narrative correction is an ongoing process and it’s not enough to acknowledge the need for change or to make symbolic gestures. Days like women’s day are vital for promoting dialogue, but it is a small part of the larger conversation. She said, “we must actively work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society within our industry and beyond. This requires listening to marginalised voices, amplifying underrepresented perspectives, and taking concrete actions to address biases and inequalities.”
Creating An Optimal Environment
The optimal environment has a significant influence not only on growth but also on the organisation's survival. On this, Chandni shared, “the advertising industry can create an optimal environment for growth and continue to deliver outstanding results for clients by embracing digital transformation, focusing on customer experience, prioritising diversity and inclusion, streamlining operations and reducing inefficiencies and emphasising data privacy and security.
According to Aditi also, inclusivity and diversity are essential changes. She added, “Only when we are all given equal opportunities will the industry achieve the best results. Another change is the opportunities for women returning to work after a break – much like me. I’d love for the industry to be able to design programs and modules to bring women back after a break for maternity or otherwise.”
Stay True To Yourself!
Today, women are unstoppable, battling discrimination with full force and proving their prowess with each achievement. More and more women are pursuing their goals in various fields. Aditi shares with all the women out there to dream big, say a big ‘No’ to self-doubt, and lead with empathy and by example. She added, “One should replace self-doubt with the promise of learning and growing.”
“Stay true to yourself and never give up on your goals. It can be challenging to navigate in this fast-moving corporate industry but staying focused on your vision and what you want to achieve is important. Don't be afraid to speak up and share your ideas, even if they go against the status quo. Embrace your unique perspective and use it to your advantage. Find mentors and allies who can support you, and seek opportunities to learn and grow,” Chandni advises all future leaders.
At The Logical Indian, we value such conversations because it is a way to strive toward creating a just and equitable world for everyone. Kudos to all these strong and hardworking leaders whose journey is an inspiration. We hope this little effort will encourage women to make their dreams a reality and bring more awareness for equal opportunities and representation in all aspects of the industry.