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Arunima Maharshi

IWB Blogger

I Didn’t Always Make The Choices That Were Considered Logical: Career Journalist Aabha Bakaya

  • IWB Post
  •  October 9, 2019

Sometimes, a certain professional decision can make you look less career-driven, but in fact, it re-energises you and gives you a fresher perspective to come back with and add to your life.

The philosophy that I strongly relate to, and which became the base of my conversation with Career Journalist Aabha Bakaya. “I didn’t always make the career choices that were considered logical. After my first job at Business Today I took a year off and went on a working holiday. I also took a sabbatical a few years ago to explore my creative interests outside of work.”

News media broadcaster, content creator, screenwriter, storyteller, writer, editor, reporter, these are the few hats that Aabha balances between, and rather successfully. And not to mention, she also heads her networking company, the AB Network, which focuses on content catering to aspirational Indians across touch points in their lives such as finance, entrepreneurship, innovation & design, luxury & lifestyle, and leadership.

Always have fun doing what you do! 💜🌈🌟🎈💙 The Freedom Issue, August 2018 @elleindiaofficial @supriya.dravid @styledbyrahulvijay Photographer: @sushantchhabria Makeup: @makeupbysmita

207 Likes, 47 Comments – Aabha @aabhabakaya (@aabhabakaya) on Instagram: “Always have fun doing what you do! 💜🌈🌟🎈💙 The Freedom Issue, August 2018 @elleindiaofficial…”

Some excerpts from our conversation: 

Drawing context from your quote in the ‘Freedom Issue’ of Elle India (above), “Keep raising the glass ceiling for yourself” – could you share with us more on it?

Everyone has their own perception of what is the ultimate goal. You may have your own aims and challenges in your journey, so it’s important to make those decisions based on what’s right for you. They will hold you steady in the long run. I’ve turned down job offers that seemed unforgivable but I have no regrets as it wasn’t the right choice for me.

True that. Tell us a little about how your ‘lady who leads’ experience has been in the media industry? What do you have to say about it being perceived as a largely male-dominated perceiving?

I think the media is an industry where we do see a lot of women and that too in leadership roles. However, as with all such demanding jobs it can take a toll on your personal life and finding that balance is never easy. There are some companies that are very supportive and I have seen colleagues go miles in their careers and have a fulfilling family life.

It’s not every day you have these fabulous women together on stage; Avani Davda, Shinjini Kumar, @radhakkhanna @devitasarafofficial @lulu.raghavan & Sonal Agrawal, all in the spirit of supporting and encouraging young women to aspire for success. A big thank you from us @jinanda @ladieswlead to our partners @cafezoebombay @suuuperjoujou @fratelliwines And to my wonderful stylist @reshmel 😘 #ladieswholead #success #leadership #mentorship #womenempoweringwomen

77 Likes, 2 Comments – Aabha @aabhabakaya (@aabhabakaya) on Instagram: “It’s not every day you have these fabulous women together on stage; Avani Davda, Shinjini Kumar,…”

Keeping in mind the pulse of the current movement, what are those factors that can help more women to be a part of the workforce?

I think safety is a very important issue and this is paramount to seeing more women enter the workforce. The Prevention of Sexual Harassment Policy at work is now legally mandated. Women also need to feel comfortable enough to set their own boundaries and say no to late night drinks or explain why they can’t commit to extended travel requirements.

Some personal networking tips that you’d like to share?

Spend some time on yourself working on your communication, your grooming, and your interpersonal skills. First impressions are always very important, for instance in meetings, presentations etc. It helps build your confidence and also makes a difference in how professional and alert you seem.

In conversation with Mrs Funnybones @twinklerkhanna on life, playing different roles and breaking stereotypes in her 3rd book! #author #feminist #ficciflo #inspiringwomen #ladieswlead wardrobe courtesy @zapyle

201 Likes, 14 Comments – Aabha @aabhabakaya (@aabhabakaya) on Instagram: “In conversation with Mrs Funnybones @twinklerkhanna on life, playing different roles and breaking…”

What are some of those blockages that in your opinion hinder a woman’s climb to the position of CEO?

Self-belief and a lack of will to really pursue their ambition, getting caught up in what people say, thinking their job is just a filler till they get married, that they are somehow disadvantaged as a woman. If you start thinking like that you’re losing the race before it even begins.

Only women should not be made to not prioritize their career because of the gender-specific responsibilities. Your thoughts?

I think women do have certain responsibilities that we can’t hand over to men. We need to try and embrace our different roles as mother, wife, professional or entrepreneur. Husbands and fathers are starting to contribute, corporates are starting to get far more understanding as well, and we will evolve only with a collective effort.


First published on Aug 27, 2018.

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