Perspectives from ISB

I had the pleasure of attending a lunch hosted by Hilary McGeachy, Consul General of Australia in Bengaluru, to celebate the International Women’s Day. It entailed great food, vibrant conversations, and a room full of amazing women who’ve totally rocked it in leadership roles across different fields. It was one heck of an inspiring gathering!

Some might roll their eyes at IWD and call it cliché, but let’s unpack that for a second. Sure, you see a lot of the same stuff every year—celebrating women’s achievements, rallying for equal rights, and all that jazz. But here’s the thing: those issues are still so darn important! It is a massive global stage where we can shine a light on gender inequality, lift up the amazing accomplishments of women, and rally support for a more equal world. It’s a chance for us to pause, reflect on how far we’ve come, and then kick it into high gear to tackle the challenges that still lie ahead. A shout out to Hilary and the ISB alumni relations office for putting together such an incredible event and giving us a platform to share our stories and dreams.

So, what did we chat about? Well, everything from the highs to the lows of being a woman in leadership positions. We dove into the hurdles we face— the ever-present subliminal gender bias and that pesky wage gap—but also celebrated the incredible opportunities that lie ahead. Women around the table were candid with their guards down, talking about their journeys.

One thing that really stuck with me was something Hilary shared. She said, “As women, follow a simple rule: when you need something, just put your hand up and ask.” It sounds simple, right? But sometimes, we forget to advocate for ourselves or hold ourselves back. It’s those years of “good girl” conditioning that taught us to always prioritise others over ourselves or just stay in the shadows, because that’s what worked for the generation before us. Well, maybe not. So, let’s all take a leaf out of Hilary’s book and start raising those hands!

Oh, and let’s talk about sisterhood. We discussed how the ISB Women Alumni Group is basically a lifeline for most of us—a place where we lean on each other, offer support, and lift one another up. Whether it’s asking for that magical Excel sheet someone’s been using to juggle a gazillion household chores, getting a foot in the door with a venture capitalist, or simply needing to vent after a rough day, we’ve got each other’s backs. It’s like having a squad of unstoppable women ready to tackle anything and everything together. How awesome is that?

As we celebrate IWD, it isn’t just about patting ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come; it is also about looking to the future and asking ourselves, “What’s next?” How can we continue to push boundaries, smash stereotypes, and pave the way for generations to come?

Here’s to a future where every woman feels empowered to lead, to dream big, and to make her voice heard. Cheers to all the amazing women out there—keep rocking those leadership roles, keep raising those hands, and keep shining bright.

Organised by the offices of External Relations and Alumni Engagement, ‘Meet with a LeadHer’ is a series of interactive lunch/coffee meets where a woman leader shares perspectives on their journey and achievements with the ISB community.

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