Meet the Women Leaders Breaking the Stereotype, One at a Time


While penning this down on the occasion of Women’s Day, I often feel in a dilemma. The dilemma that makes a transition from a damsel in distress to an empowered evolved woman with a mind of her own in the present era. However, the reality is not all roses on bed, with the ghastly revelations from the #MeToo movement coming forth followed by men still questioning her integrity, undercutting her dignity since centuries and the infamous patriarchy dominating since ages gnawing at her self-worth. We stand tall with the women of today who are trying to build their empires, one block at a time and rising above the stereotypes launching in myriad careers, establishing their niche and breaking grounds. Let’s take a look at all these amazingly successful and incredibly inspiring women who are bracing the change while still rooting to the ground.

Talking of which reminds us of the classic corporate uniform that a western society preached all over. Sari has undeniably become one of the most popular yet powerful garments for enterprising women and we’re completely enjoying such a meaningful comeback. Women like Malika Verma Kashyap, CEO, Border & Fall, a creative agency, spearheaded a movement called “The Sari Project” to revive the age-old garment lying in every woman’s wardrobe. Thanks to Anuradha Mahindra, Editor, Verve India, for kick-starting the “Saree Revival” campaign and bringing together the women entrepreneurs, actresses, socialites and authors to support the idea. Here are some of the women warriors who are changing the landscape of current times, one saree at a time.

Chandana Kochhar

Brilliance redefined, Chandana Kochhar is a finance repertoire enjoying a position of CEO &MD at ICICI Bank, India. Having worked at the same organization since her career inception, she exemplifies a woman with strength, grit and utter dedication with loyalty encore. Recently, she penned a letter to her daughter on her 20th birthday leaving us gaping in awe of her heartfelt emotions as a mother. A saree connoisseur, Chandana Kochhar secures a spot in the Forbes Most powerful Women in the world and we can’t be any proud of this dynamite woman.

Arundhati Roy

Fierce and fearless, honest and artistic, Arundhati Roy is the revolutionary writer of Indian origin. A Nobel Price winner in Literature for her best-selling debut book “God of Small Things” in 1999, Arundhati turned into a social and political activist ever since then. Her sartorial ethnic ensembles reflect her bold and eccentric personality. Contemporary and solid hued sarees with quirky silver accessories, Roy is all about comfort and art, in equal measures.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

A woman who broke the stereotypes, left her successful career in the Silicon Valley to follow her calling in establishing her own company. After several failures, she finally lead the pioneering biotechnology firm in association with her fellow partners, Biocon, in Bangalore. A leading billionaire entrepreneur with a passion to transform the biotech business and scale it to great heights, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is an iconic woman ranking in the Forbes Most Powerful Women in the world. We love how she drapes the subtle silks and chiffons with equal ease and comfort.

Arianna Huffington

A syndicated columnist-turned entrepreneur, Arianna Huffington is currently the CEO, Thrive Global, spreading every ounce information on health and wellness. Previously, her robust role as an Editor-in-Chief and Founder, The Huffington Post, later acquired by a leading media conglomerate AOL served as a path-breaking career for a woman entrepreneur like her. Securing a sweet sport in the Top 50 World’s Most Influential Women in Media by the Guardian, Ariana has a soulful connection with India. Saree evangelist and substantial journalist, she is reckoned as a subject-matter expert in the industry and revered by her peers worldwide.

Shobhana Bhartiya

Spearheading the chair at HT Media group, Shobhana is acknowledged for her judicious efforts in transforming and evolving the media landscape in India. By consistently providing first-hand knowledge and increasing the revenue of English ads over the years, Shobhana Bhartiya is well-credited for her phenomenal and excellent leadership. Sarees are her comfort wear and she swear by a good cotton saree to work, it makes her day efficient and resourceful.

Indira Nooyi

Recently in the news for resigning as a CEO, Pepsi India, Indira Nooyi is one of the most influential and key business women in the world. Recognized and revered by the Forbes, The Guardian, The Economic Times, Indira Nooyi’s enormous strength and grit reflects in her letter that she wrote while stepping down as a CEO. Currently, one of the strategic members amongst Board of Directors at Amazon, Indira Nooyi’s exception business acumen makes her extraordinary and indistinguishable. She is fond of classic kanjeevaram silk sarees and treasures her mother’s closet full of traditional saris and ethnic ensembles.

Oprah Winfrey

Who doesn’t recall the iconic media figures and stellar orator of all times, Oprah is an epitome of courage, passion, empathy and kind personality? A good mix of humour, robust communication skills and a rigour to challenge the journalistic beliefs dominated by white men on-screen, Oprah not only rose above the discriminatory beliefs but also fought battles in her early life. Withstanding the unfairness and lows in life, Oprah is undoubtedly the most influential media women in the world and her extraordinary contribution has indeed made a huge difference. Featured in the leading magazines of India wearing a designer saree, Oprah surely makes up for a stunning cover woman, doesn’t she?

Amongst our phenomenal and exceptional women stars, who is your inspiration? It can be your mom, friend, sister or wife, anyone who helped you guide through, rise above the average and steer you into an individual that you’re today. Thank the woman in your life and let them know how special they are. Tell us in the comments below!

Image Courtesy: 1. India Today, 2. The Telegraph, 3. Forbes, 4. Sabyasachi Instagram, 5. The Guardian, 6. Pinterest, 7. Elle India

Article By : Ambika Asthana