Self-learning is a key to success: Smriti Irani

Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles Smriti Irani

Hyderabad: On a Thursday morning, members of CII-Indian Women Network (IWN) learnt how some women manage multiple roles to emerge the best in their fields. They also learnt that the success mantra is not the same for all at a virtual event titled ‘Power Women 2020’. Among others, they heard Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles Smriti Irani share her experiences of juggling TV, media and politics.

“I come from a humble background. We lived in a one-room house and my mother was into housekeeping at The Mansingh. We lived on sandwiches which were extended to us,” said Irani in the virtual event. “We have to count our blessings. There are many people who are dreaming to be or reach our current position. Also, there are many people who are better performers than we are. We have to use the resources we have and ensure that we are the best in the role given to us,” she said to a query on how to keep oneself motivated. “There is no need for additional motivation. We have to assess what we have and do what we can,” she said.

Touching about the gender issues, she said the bias sets in as early as choosing a gift for the newborn. “Many give a kitchen set to a baby girl and a building set to a baby boy. The kids start playing with them and grow into believing that they cannot deviate. But the real world has any number of examples where the set notions are shattered,” Irani said. According to her, the society also places high expectations of men. “Many see it is not normal for the men to cry or show emotions. But in the real world, it is perfectly alright. We have to recognise that things can get tough for both men and women,” she said adding that after the Nirbhaya incident, several men, who have expressed solidarity, have participated in the protests with their daughters, wives, mothers and sisters.

“Mind is the biggest enemy as well as the friend. One should not get trapped by work, relationships and their related repercussions. There is always scope to learn. With technology available, the focus should always be on self education and self understanding,” Irani said in a freewheeling chat with IWN Telangana Chairwoman and Natco Trust Managing Trustee Swathi Kantamani. “Power is the ability to chase your dreams. You should forgive but not forget and move ahead,” she said.

For her, self learning is a must to make progress. “People with all the resources may not achieve success. Similarly, someone with no infra can make the cut. Learning is the key. There is no one template for success,” said Irani. She signed off saying it is okay to ask for counsel and to ask for help. “Do not rest on the past laurel. A leader should be kind”.

Renuka Ramnath, Founder, Multiples Alternate Asset Management said women are now taking charge in new roles and domains. “We are past the debate of asking for an opportunity for women. The newage roles are based on capability and on gender,” she said.

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