In the era of an acute obsession with #GirlBoss and #HustleHard, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the idea of crossing career milestones faster than you can say ‘rat race’. Add to that, the pressure of juggling several roles as a women and the gender disparity at workplace, and the road becomes all the more bumpy.
Enter, Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan, one of the country’s largest media conglomerates. A fierce advocate for women’s rights at work and gender diversity, she is an incredible example of channeling passion to chase your dream. Apurva is also an author—her new book, Lady, You’re the Boss, needs to be on every aspiring woman entrepreneur’s bookshelf. Here, she let’s us in on her top advice for shattering the glass ceiling and ways to combat the dreaded working mom guilt:
ELLE: You recently launched your second book, Lady, You’re the Boss. What do you hope readers take away from it?
Apurva Purohit: I wrote Lady, You’re the Boss to tell women that the world needs more of them as leaders and visible role models. I wanted women to reclaim their destiny by moving beyond the stereotypical roles they play of wife, mother, daughter or the boxes they get labelled in at work–of being a seductress, pet, iron maiden, etc. I think women fight tough battles all the time but they should never give up and constantly reinvent and re-energize themselves, and while doing so, dance to a tune of their making.
ELLE: What advice would you give your younger self?
AP: To be bold and strong! Like most other young women, I was unsure of myself. I too suffered from the imposter syndrome where I felt that my achievements were a matter of luck and serendipity rather than my talent and hard work. I would tell my younger self to believe more in herself.
View this post on Instagram
ELLE: What is your advice for female entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
AP: Lady, You’re the Boss has two sections, each with its own takeaways for anyone wanting to become the leader of her destiny, organisation or entrepreneurial venture. While the first part tells you to believe in yourself, break the self-imposed glass ceiling and keep striving to overcome the subconscious biases that exist around you, the second part talks about how to emerge as a strong leader, especially in today’s complex world. For an entrepreneur, it is important she understand the tenets of building a strong and sustainable organisation. Things like building a winning team or implementing an organisational culture that is not just mere rituals but stands for some key values, or the importance of curiosity, perseverance, and consistent commitment which are important traits of a successful leader, are some of the lessons in the book for anyone wanting to build businesses.
Photograph: Ashish Rane
ELLE: How do you think women can work their way around the ‘working mom guilt’?
AP: By learning to prioritise things! A lot of women succumb to the pressure of handling work and home all by themselves because they try to balance each and everything with utmost dedication. However, the secret to mastering both, lies in delegation. It is about time that women realise that no matter how dedicated or smart, one cannot simply take charge of everything. Instead, seeking a helping hand from your husband or from your in-laws, or for that matter, your organisation, will help you manage life seamlessly and get enough time for your child.