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A tete-a-tete with Pooja Pathak on her journey as a woman entrepreneur in the PR industry

From beginning a PR agency 12 years ago to being amongst the top leading ladies of the PR industry, Pooja Pathak has paved a long way in the communications industry. The Co-founder and Director of Media Mantra is a perfect amalgamation of a woman leader and a caring mother. Pathak has been a curator of fresh ideas and thoughts and has always believed in the power of hard work. Driving one of the fastest-growing PR companies in the country, Pooja Pathak is a source of inspiration for many young and aspiring women entrepreneurs.

A tete-a-tete with Pooja Pathak on her journey as a woman entrepreneur in the PR industry, inclusivity, pay gaps and more.
Edited excerpts: -

Can you elaborate on your journey as a woman entrepreneur in the industry?
The 12 years of my journey in the industry has been a wonderful experience. My passion for writing and communication inspired me to join the industry. Being an entrepreneur, irrespective of gender is a challenging job. Balancing work life and personal life was a task by itself. Every phase of being an entrepreneur has been a learning experience. The PR industry is a talent-driven industry and has treated me well. The most important part of being an entrepreneur is to listen to your inner calling and stay strong and determined in order to achieve your goals.

According to you, how inclusive is the PR industry?
In my view, the PR industry is majorly a woman driven industry. In the mid-level, there are a majority of women leading at the front but a lot needs to be changed at the senior-leadership level. We need to have more women CEOs and CMOs. On the personal front, my parents and husband have always given me equal treatment. I think the environment and culture of equality are essential to harboring gender equality in the system.

What is your view on gender disparity in the communication industry?
The PR industry is a talented and knowledge-driven industry. It judges you on your sheer talent and productivity and not based on your gender.

Is there a pay gap issue prevalent in the PR industry? If yes, why is it so?
My organization, Media Mantra is neutral to the pay gap. We pay according to the talent and experience of the employees and not based on their gender and so is the case with the entire PR and communication industry. The pay gap can only happen due to a lack of experience or less talent or knowledge.

Has there been any instance of gender bias faced by you? If so, would you like to share it with us?
To be honest with you, I have never faced any kind of gender bias either in the industry or in my personal life. I always had opportunities to work with good clients and people who have respected my work and commitments.

How do you keep women motivated at your workplace?
Love and empathy are major drivers of growth for women. I have always stressed the fact that sharing is important. One always needs an empathetic listener who can sit, listen and discuss your feelings. At Media Mantra, we regularly organize workshops, motivational sessions and create an environment of positivity to rejuvenate the spirit of our employees. Flexible working hours and safety measures are added advantages for women.

What is the major challenge to female leadership in today?
Mindset is the major challenge to women's leadership in today’s time. Women are multitalented, with added feathers of sensitivity and empathy to suit leadership roles. Women have to really come out of the prevailing prejudices and stereotypes of society to be the thought leaders of tomorrow.

What is your message to the young and aspiring women in the PR industry?
As rightly said that if you cannot laugh at the same joke twice then why cry on the same incident twice? I suggest young, aspiring women believe in themselves and always listen to their gut feelings to be successful in life, both professionally and personally.



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