Phenomenal Women – Priyanka Chopra

If anyone watches the series Quantico, then you will have heard about Priyanka Chopra.  A firm favourite in the WoK HQ office she is an Indian actress who started out her career as Miss World in the year 2000.  A multi-talented performer who has had roles in tense dramas both in Bollywood and Hollywood she has a crossover appeal for both cultures.

Not content with being an entertainer Priyanka does lots of humanitarian work and especially enjoys working with young people in her native India.  She has twice been a UNICEF Ambassador and does voluntary work in the areas of health, gender equality and education to name a few.

If all of these achievements aren’t enough, she is also a recording artist with three albums under her belt.  No doubt we will be writing a more extended profile on Priyanka in the future, but for now, we wanted to leave you with a quote from her:

“Financial independence is paramount. My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. I think that was the soundest advice that I ever got. No matter where you go in life or who you get married to, you have to be financially independent – whether you use it or not.”

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Phenomenal Women – Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi holds the record for being the first and only Prime Minister of India, A respected and trail-blazing politician she held office on two occasions making her achievement even more notable.  Her first term ran from 1966 to 1977 and then she was in office from 1980 until 1984 when she was assassinated.

As a female premier Gandhi bucked the trend by being known for her ruthless determination and her strength of character.  She initiated war against Pakistan and was instrumental in the creation of “Bangladesh.”  Although many people found her approach controversial and didn’t agree she is no doubt one of the most influential and most powerful women in politics to date.

Such was the strength of feeling against her that she was assassinated by her own bodyguards in an apparent coup.  Notably, despite her famous name, she is not related to political activist Mahatma Gandhi.

 

 

Phenomenal Women – Indra Nooyi

Our latest profile is of another formidable businesswoman.  Indra Nooyi is the Chief Executive of PepsiCo.  A worldwide brand and household name, PepsiCo is globally one of the biggest FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies and at its helm is a woman.  A passionate speaker and innovative leader she is trying to push boundaries for the company while retaining its impressive reputation and market share.

Born in India where opportunities for women to be business leaders is limited Indra was always a high achiever, focusing on the sciences in her early education then moving on to business and management.  Most notable for us at WokHQ was an article that was an interview that she did with Huffington post talking about the need for women to work together and help each other more.  She recounts an example to help make her point:

“Many times we’re in a presentation and the guy is giving a presentation, not going so well, so we call a break.  They go to the men’s room. “Hey Bill, that was awful, your presentation.  Fix it, man.  Don’t gesture so much”. Little fist bump, they come back, and Bill’s doing fine.”

Woman does a terrible job and you walk into the women’s room and you go, ‘you know Mary, that was terrible, what were you doing?’ ‘God she’s so bitchy’. No! I’m trying to give you constructive feedback. So what we do is, we assume feedback from women mean something is wrong, if the same feedback came from men, we’d accept it. Or worse still, we don’t give the feedback the way we should.

Even though we know they’re not doing well because we go, ‘good she’s struggling, I can take that position’. I think we have to change our whole approach to supporting each other, taking advice from each other, seeking it out. One thing I feel very badly about is all my mentors in my life have been male. But then I sit back and say maybe I came into the work force at a different time. Let’s figure out how we can help each other way more than we are today.”