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Aditi Champaneri on why International Women's Day is more important than ever

Date: 04 March 2019

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for communities and organisations around the world to raise awareness about accelerating gender parity. Here at Phaidon International, we take this day to celebrate the contributions women make to our business and our daily lives. We sat with Aditi, our Global Bid Manager, to talk to her about her career and what International Women’s Day means to her.

Aditi Champaneri smiles at the cameraHi Aditi, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m the Global Bid Manager for Phaidon International. I’ve been working at Phaidon International for three months and so far, so good, I’ve had a great journey!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

As a person who has lived in a developing economy for most of my life, I’ve seen women not being treated as equally as men. There’s a different level of expectations from women as compared to men. From my understanding, International Women’s Day is just to create the awareness to start treating women equally. That is, basically, just giving them the very primary respect and dignity of being human before anything else. That’s what it means to me. It’s not to create a massive propaganda about “Let’s be feminist!” or “Let’s have special rights for women!” it’s just having those very basic equal rights that men automatically enjoy in this world.

Who are the female role models in your life and career?

For me, there are two women who have massively inspired me. The first, obviously, being my mother because I’ve seen her as someone who knows how to strike a balance between her work life and personal life. She’s taken some very crucial decisionsvery fiercelyto make sure that she has that little string of balance, and that is the string of her life. Other than her, another woman who has massively inspired me is Malala Yousafzai. The reason why I say her name is that she’s a person who, from a very young age, fought for what she believed in. She’s been uninhibited in everything she’s fought for so far, fighting for the right things – that is fighting for equal rights for women, very basic rights like education. For me, more than the things she fights for, it’s her approach in her life. We need more women like that in this world, someone to actually create a difference.

The theme for this year’s IWD is #BalanceforBetter. What do you think companies can do to create better gender balance?

In my opinion, I think the first thing companies can start doing is reevaluating the way they present their job descriptions and application criteria. I can see that the working culture is actively changing from rigid to more flexible, where there's much more facilities like working from home. I think this would promote a lot of women, particularly at senior management levels, to start applying which would help companies to increase their gender balance. Another issue, and I’ll be very transparent about this, is the gender pay gap – if a company is more transparent about this I think more women would apply.

 

Thanks Aditi. Lastly, who would you have over for dinner, man, woman, dead or alive?

I’m quite into studying psychology and understanding how different brains work. So I’d be quite curious to have a female criminal or prisoner home for dinner and I would want to understand what went through their mind, what was their thought process behind committing a crime? I’d probably try to counsel them or help them with their life, if I could.