Beating the ‘Super Woman Syndrome’: Tuhina Pandey
Don’t buy into stereotypes, individuals are not a representative of their gender but of their values and experience, writes Tuhina Pandey, Head, Global Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Tech Mahindra
When you grow up in a typical Indian family like I did you cannot escape the ‘Super Woman Syndrome’ - making everyone around you happy and asking nothing in return is the defined social script. When you go into work life, it manifests in different ways, you have to race it off with the men just as hard but that may not be the agreeable attitude to many including yourself. There is data that holds witness to this fact, study shows that there is a negative correlation between likeability and success for women. what’s more interesting is that the women themselves are the toughest custodian of this social narrative. The point is simple male domination is not so much the problem, it’s the patriarchal mind-set that the society subscribes to …including women is the real glass ceiling we are dealing with.
We are products of our environment, I was no different ... but early exposure to engagements through organisations and non-profit outfits working for different causes taught me the all-important skill of dealing with nuanced human life in a relevant personalised manner and not through a standard template, I realised we are valued if we bring value to someone’s life. It is our responsibility to create and exhibit that value, so be a value creating individual and respect and opportunities will follow.
I realised the stereotypes that women are women’s worst enemies and men are out there to get you was also a narrative that didn’t stand the test of time in my journey. Some of the best collaborators and professional friends I have are women as well as men. Ultimately your individuality is your best friend. So don’t buy into stereotypes, individuals are not a representative of their gender but of their values and experience.
What worked for me is the the unflinching eye for the outcome, making other’s successful, the risk taking appetite and painting my life’s canvas with big bold strokes of varied experience. From being a TV Journalist to launching first of its kind ‘Digital Corporate TV’ to being a founding member of a start -up of an analytics firm, Media training to Consulting, Corporate Communications and Public affairs, I have let myself define my own success and not fit into the classic definitions.
We are in the age of gig economy and in a world connected like never before, technology has made time and space irrelevant, these are the perfect tools of inclusion and diversity and works for the women, who cannot help but wear multiple hats and take many responsibilities, ultimately we are women with diverse sensibilities and we want a world that respects that. I continue with my battles, wins and failures. I fight at every dawn and embrace life and myself the way it is while I hope and work towards what its ought to be.
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