At StartUp Terminal, we believe our diversity is our strength. As International Woman’s Day grows near, we celebrate the achievements of women around the world.
To kick off our celebration, we’ve asked Gurugram-based Ilica Chauhan, Vice-President at P.C. Financial Services, few questions on her experience achieving success in the corporate world, and what advice she has for women entering the workforce today.
ST: Please tell us briefly about you.
Ilica: I am Computer Science engineer who has turned into management side in financial services & technology domain. I have helped various NBFCs, HFCs & banks of various sizes in their lending solution landscape. I am the founding member of my current FinTech NBFC & currently I take care of Business Development, RBI Compliances & Customer Service. My purpose is to create a for-profit socially responsible organisation to drive financial inclusion in India.
ST: Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
Ilica: Definitely leading names of the past & present across all the fields and industries inspire me professionally. Personally, I get inspired, irrespective of the status, from the women around who fulfil their responsibilities, face obstacles and overcome them with their perseverance, resilience & grit. For instance, while studying International business from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, I was assigned to a project with Women’s Interlink Foundation NGO for weeks where I had to visit their 20 centres across interiors of Kolkata. That association changed my perspective towards life & management. I realised how these women were mostly the sole bread-earner for their family and took care of their children’s education & daily nurturing. If we have learning aptitude in life, we can take inspiration & learning from all small & big stories.
ST: How are you celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day?
Ilica: It is just like any other day for me. I understand the struggles and respect the achievements of all the genders every day.
ST: What is the most important message you want to send out to all the women around the world on this occasion?
Ilica: As a woman, I believe we should lead the life as an inspiring example. There are still many women around the unfortunate parts of the globe who are still struggling for their basic human rights and have either unfortunately given up or have some courage left to fight the evils of their life and society to make their and their family’s life better and financially secure. By working on ourselves, we not only help ourselves but eventually become a source of inspiration for others around too. Each one of us in our small way can become the beacon of hope and be the epitome of women empowerment.
For the women working especially in corporate, I would suggest them to be open to consider all point of views, be rational, assertive & raise their well-informed opinion. We should aim for the stars but in the meantime, we should hold the feet firmly on the ground as well.
ST: What according to you is ‘women empowerment’?
Ilica: First & foremost, women empowerment is when woman is empowering herself to live the life of her choice which comes from within & no one else has that authority. Second is when world moves towards gender-free, good quality of life with skilling & other opportunities; that’s when women can truly empower themselves.
ST: What would you say are the main challenges facing women at present globally?
Ilica: There are numerous work in progress areas where challenges still persist. Gender inequality is a common thread across education, quality of life, employment which is still prevalent. In the corporate world, acceptance as colleague and supervisor given the gender bias is very common. Lack of financial independence & health & sanitation is another major challenge.
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