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What do women want in 2015?

What do women want in 2015?
From left to right- Jashoda Madhavji, Karishma Dalal, Shalini Sharma, Tara Saluja.

Success, equality, opportunity, respect... these are just a few things women want in the year ahead. What's on your list?

Jashoda Madhavji, Hollywood Publicist, Associate Vice President, Metigon Enterprises Pvt, Ltd.

Merit-based success

I do not want to be analysed, judged, measured, rewarded or penalised according to my gender. I want to be commended for being excellent at whatever job I’m doing. Rather than mandatory quotas in executive positions, women should be groomed to take on such roles. Appreciating women’s achievements and creating a challenging, creative and flexible work atmosphere is crucial. Success to me is ‘feeling valued’.

Karishma Dalal, Entrepreneur

Don’t make assumptions

I belong to an industry which is infamous the world over for its shockingly low male:female ratio. While setting up Bombay Salad Co., I was dealing with labourers, contractors, vendors et al, and I can tell you first-hand how difficult it is for people (men) to take you seriously. The most common response I would get was “aapke boss se baat karaon” (let me talk to your boss).You have to say the same thing twice with conviction and maybe at a slightly louder volume than usual to show that you mean business.

Shalini Sharma, Police Inspector, Extradition Cell,  Crime Investigative Unit (CIU)

Flexi-timings, protective gear, mobile toilets and multi-utility vans, team-bonding activities and special buses

When we are on office duty, and not on field, it would be great if working hours were limited to eight as women do a lot of work at home, which doesn’t leave them time to update themselves, learn something new and sometimes to even keep fit. This flexibility will improve our overall productivity.

During the riots at Azad Maidan, women cops were manhandled and elbowed. Jackets with a soft cover for the back and chest would give women more confidence to move around freely when on bandobast duty.  The jackets should  have utility pockets, which could accomodate kerchiefs, pepper spray, walkie-talkies, a notepad and other necessities. We had also suggested to the Women’s Commission (Delhi) during their visit post the 2012 riots, that they give us commando caps for such duty, as the p-caps fall off when we are running.

For traffic cops and those on naka bandi or bandobast duty going to the loo is difficult due to lack of adequate facilities in the vicinity. Mobile toilets or ideally multi-utility vans with a washroom and pantry will allow cops—who stand for hours together—to freshen up or rest for a bit. As cops we have to be fit, but standing for long hours causes problems like varicose veins and holding your pee leads to various medical problems, including kidney stones and pregnancy-related problems.

I am fortunate that I’ve always had healthy competition with my male colleagues. While I did prove myself, my seniors also never hesitated to give me opportunities, even though I am a woman. In fact, their grooming has brought me where I am today. But not all women cops get this kind of support; the attitude of male colleagues needs to change and team-bonding activities can aid the process.

Just as corporates give employees drops late at night, after bandobast duty, women cops should at least get a drop to the closest station. This will ensure their safety. It will also save them a lot of time that would otherwise be spent trying to get a bus or cab and queuing up for it. A special police bus for each line—Central, Western and Harbour—would be ideal.

Tara Saluja, Actor and TV Show Host

More opportunities

I would like more opportunities for  women after marriage and kids. I know we sometimes change and need/want to work around our families; but our talent and who we are doesn’t change! Having said that, often women do not want to work as much after kids. But for those who want to, there should be equal opportunity.

As told to @Pooja Bhula, @Rama Sreekant and @AverilNunes