Real brand growth happens when more women are involved in the strategy: Tista Sen

Sen the Regional Creative Director of Wunderman Thompson South Asia doles out valuable wisdom from her own life for women entering the industry

e4m by Tista Sen
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 2:30 PM
tista sen

As I begin to write this, I first wondered why would anybody want to read my story, my opinions, and really be a part of my journey? And then I stumble and realize why not. If there is a story here than can inspire or even provide a glimmer of hope for young women entering this industry. Then absolutely why not.

 I loved to read. And always wanted to write. While growing up, I knew if there was one thing I could own as my own it was the world of words. They spilled out of my head. They interrupted my day and allowed me to daydream. My school report card has a warning in red. "Tista needs to pay more attention." I guess I am still exactly like that.

 We are two sisters and I grew up in a family of women, lots of them -- cousins, aunts, nieces and grandaunts. They were and are a very big part of who I am.

 I remember once someone asking my dad: "Do you miss having a son?" And he said, "But I do." The other gentleman was shamefaced. And this is when I was around 10.

 While in school, I once sent the editor of a well-known newspaper an article. I didn’t tell anybody. Then proudly opened the paper and showed my folks when it was already published. I am lowkey like that. More recently, a short story I wrote appeared in the New York Times. This I realized later was a very very big deal. Again, I didn’t tell anyone till they wrote back saying "accepted." It's then that I told my husband who is still recovering.

 But that’s not my story. And while I am not covering milestones, I will talk about what keeps me going.

 MENTORS

They are so important, and they are everywhere. You need to recognize them and give them a hug. It could be a boss, could be the woman who cleans your home or the client who says "This is terrible work, but we will get there."

 SOUL SISTERS

These are women who occupy my phone book, my Twitter feed, and sometimes my inbox. They are the girls I went to school with, the colleagues I shared my first success and failure with, the clients who prop me up and have become friends and the numerous women I have encountered through work.

They are equally powerful they are all heart and they all believe that nothing cannot be solved over a good cry or a good coffee.

 FEELINGS

 I say this with all seriousness. I don’t hesitate to say what I feel. It doesn’t always help but it makes me sleep a little better at night. I have cried when the world has said, "That makes you emotional." I have said "no" when the world has said, "Your career will be over!" and I have said "sorry" when the world said, "That makes you weak."

 I have said, "I am pregnant." I have said that I want longer maternity leave because I am nursing. I have said that I want flexi hours because my kids had their board exams. I have said that I will not do work that depicts women as stereotypes. I have said that I want to work with more women on my team. I have said that women bring a completely new perspective on the table and real brand growth will come when they involve more women in their thinking and strategy.

And yes, there are days when you think it cannot get worse when you want to curl up and block the world and then you get a text saying "Hi. Can we meet? I need some advice." And you are back in the game.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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