To her, with love: “We are wired to come together; We’ve been doing this since the dawn of time’, Asha Kharga of Mahindra

Together we raise

At the heart of International Women’s Day is the wise quote: “There is a special place in heaven for women who support other women.” I’m naturally drawn to women who display a rare combination of strength and vulnerability – when such women come together, that’s where the magic happens.

The collective power of women was a lived reality as I grew up. My mother led by example – she had a tight group of sisters who were her rallying force, they were each other’s refuge and they always strengthened each other. One of the stereotypes that women have often been criticized for is their jealousy, but my mother always asked me to only compare my journey to my own beginnings. This simple advice helped me navigate situations where I felt uncomfortable or questioned my abilities. Each of us can have our own space in the sun and there is enough space for all of us.

I was also fortunate to be mentored by a compassionate teacher from my neighborhood when I turned 16. She has a master’s degree in literature and philosophy and taught me the power of the subconscious and the importance of self-reflection. In a world full of technology and analytics, his background in the humanities fueled my curiosity and desire to understand human behavior at a young age.

In different phases of my life, I have met great female leaders who have been incredible life forces. The first lesson I learned is that as a woman you don’t need to be afraid to be a leader. And you shouldn’t expect people to treat you differently just because you’re a woman. The second lesson I learned from these inspiring women is that they were gender neutral in their relationships with people. Neither men nor women were aware of their gender with these leaders. Meritocracy was all that mattered.

This piece would be incomplete without mentioning my kindred spirits. They are women who gather around you, not necessarily related by blood or race, but by energy and essence. They can be cousins, friends, co-workers, housekeepers…they provide unconditional love and support and are the happiest with your success.

With all the progress we make towards gender equality, we are making room to include us all. We need to come together to create truly diverse businesses. We are wired to come together; we have been doing this since the dawn of time. As Michelle Obama said, “we have a responsibility to live up to the legacy of those who came before us by doing all we can to help those who come after us.” Together we rise.

“To her, with love” is a special series from Storyboard18 where female leaders tell us about the women who inspired them and paved the way. A cry to her.


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