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Accept your gender roles graciously: Sandhya Khamesra



Sandhya is (B.Com) from Calcutta University & a Chartered Accountant. She specialized in Information Security, Business Continuity & Organizational Risk & Resilience having taken advance certifications from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, ISACA & British Standards (DISA, CISM, LA ISO-27001, LA ISO-31000, BSIORBOK, etc). She come from an educated Middle class background. Her father was a founder member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.

We celebrates, rejoices, inspires and drives every woman to be the most awesome she can be. In this feature we interview Sandhya on women empowerment and her stories. Here’s what she has to say.

What have been the high points in your career:

Sandhya: I work for the Indian arm of British Standards Institution (BSI). BSI are thought leaders of the world setting standards and systems for the whole world for the last more than hundred years. Two years back BSI decided to formulate a framework for Organisational Resilience to assist Corporate Boards to set up systems and processes to make their companies resilient to risks.  I was chosen by BSI to author the Organizational Resilience Body of Knowledge and also for developing framework for Organizational Resilience. Once completed my work was adopted by BSI for global implementation. To know that your work would be presented globally to Boards of large Corporations for implementation in their respective companies was truly an exhilarating moment.

Do you idolise any woman:

Sandhya: My mother. She was a wonderful person – an ideal woman. Without any formal education, she brought us up in a modern and liberal environment, gave my father unstinted support in all his endeavors, took on the role of a corporate woman heading the branch of a consumer goods company. She was the perfect embodiment of Nari Shakti in its most gracious and truest manifestation.

Do you feel it’s difficult to keep our culture alive in modern era:

Sandhya: Culture is something more deep seated and nuanced than superficial behavior. To equate the visible with culture is a misnomer. But as a society progresses its knowledge & awareness levels go up exponentially, and one cannot expect culture associated with a less informed society, to continue on. To that extent change in culture is inevitable and should be hailed.

One thing that you want to change about womanism:

Sandhya: Women need to recognize their inherent talents and capabilities. They need to be proud of their gender and accept their gender roles gracefully. Rather than getting into competition with men on gender issues they should compete with them on capabilities, talent, dedication and sincerity. Women have a great edge over men inasmuch they are natural multi taskers.

What is your message for the youth women:

Sandhya: Believe in yourself. Never allow anyone to push you into nothingness. Accept your gender roles graciously – as a wife, as a mother, simultaneously developing yourself as an individual.

Please share one such story which you think has brought changes in your life:

Sandhya: There was a career vacuum of 15 years when my daughter was growing up and once she was off to senior school I wanted to come back to active professional life. But such a long gap takes its toll especially in a knowledge based profession. I was feeling quite low when my husband encouraged me to get into alternative emerging field of knowledge where the lack of experience would not be a disadvantage. I enrolled for the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ course on Information Security – an emerging area and restarted a career after the age of 40. Life has not been the same again.

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