Gagan, grew up in Mumbai in a middle class family. She has been youngest of 4 children – 3 girls and a boy. She was brought in a secular and cosmopolitan environment with no differentiation. She did not “plan” her education or career as one thing just led to another.
Gagan had a compulsion for being busy at all times and worked even when she was in college and was part of the IPTA and Natak Toli theatre groups. She was always engaged in social activities through her role as the president of the Leo Club.
After her graduation, she taught Commerce subjects to first year of the 11th and 12th standards (10+2 had just started in Mumbai) at Ava Bai Petit School in Bandra along with pursuing her CA Articles and Cost Accountancy course. It was normal for Gagan to leave home at 7.30am and return at 10pm after rehearsals.
Gagan never had any “formal” mentoring in her career life but have been fortunate to have had bosses at various stages in her life who have guided her and have had confidence in her abilities to push her to take on challenges which she would never have had the courage to raise her hand for. It needs to be mentioned that all Gagan’s bosses in her career so far have been men. She have not had the good fortune of working for a female boss so far which would have been a different and enriching experience.
Gagan also shares few pointers as advice to younger women for their career path:
- You have to be good at your work and deliver. No amount of buzz on gender diversity entitles you to be treated differently unless you show passion and potential
- If you enjoy your work and are passionate about your career don’t give up and succumb to guilt or pressures during the vulnerable stages in life. It is difficult but well worth it in the long run
- Request for flexibility at the work buy zithromax by the pill place but be “fair” in your demands
- Help women who are weaker and not as aware as you and guide them through their careers. Be a maven.
- Be yourself – your organisation values you because of your uniqueness
- Raise your hand for added responsibilities and larger roles – show hunger for growth and for widening your horizons
- Share your work experiences and pride in work at home with your spouse, children and in laws etc so that they take pride in what you do.
- Gagan loves reading books on Women’s issues. However, her learning from the book on “transactional analysis” by Eric Berne has helped her the most at work and in life.
Gagan is also a Trustee at Salaam Baalak Trust and loves to indulge in theatre, travel and interior design.
Adding value in any which way, Gagan likes to “make a difference” in anything she does. She likes to get visibility to the whole pie and not just a slice.
In her present job she have had the opportunity to wear several hats and also lead initiatives. Gagan is passionate about like sustainability, CSR, gender diversity etc. She likes it when she is appreciated and respected for her work and keeps her motivated.
Gagan feels her biggest achievement is that both her daughters are star performers in their jobs and have extremely supportive and loving husbands.
She gets inspired by everyone around her who is doing a great job and are making this world a better place for all. There is something to learn from everyone we interact with in life.
She says : However, at the age of 85 (if I live that long) I would like to be as committed, energetic and giving as Mrs. Parveen Nair, Chairperson of Salaam Baalak Trust, as I can.
Gagan will be doing a certified coaching program in December 2015 and have also decided to write articles regularly on gender diversity and related topics for release to the media.