‘Women should break the glass ceilings’

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Ahead of International Women’s Day, Airbnb celebrated the role of women Hosts in its growing host community in India. The platform hosted a panel discussion featuring actress Sayani Gupta and Tisca Chopra, and Airbnb Host Ranjana Patil…reports N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

The panellists spoke on #BreakTheBias, highlighting how they persevered in their unique journeys despite facing unprecedented challenges. This was exemplified by the stories of women Hosts on Airbnb that had begun their entrepreneurial journey on the platform, illustrating how tourism has played a key role in their journey to success as Hosts.

“I feel so proud and inspired to see how women across the world are breaking biases and dealing with various stereotypes. I have made some strong decisions in my life due to which, several challenges came my way, both personally and professionally. However, not backing down and ensuring that I put my voice out there, helped me get through every phase. I believe women should break these glass ceilings, take up any role that they truly desire and always aim to be financially independent,” says actress Sayani Gupta.

Read Excerpts:

To begin with why act? How did your family and friends react when you told them you wanted to start acting?

I’ve always been excited about theatre and dance. I have been a performer and worked in the theatre space all my life, so to my friends it was not a shock. My best friend who knows me all my life was extremely instrumental in convincing me to do something else in my life. So when I left my corporate job to pursue acting, none of my friends were really shocked.

When it comes to my family, it was of course a great shock to my mother. She reacted with a little bit of drama just like mothers do but eventually came around, she took a few years but now she supports me unconditionally. Acting is something that I love and I’m good at. I’ve been acting for soo many years that it became a part of me, it’s nothing that comes superficially.

Your favourite Airbnb and how your travels have aided your personal development?

The house in Veinna was also really cool; it was a really nice house. I’ve stayed at a number of Airbnb properties, each of which is unique and beautiful. I travel to replenish my soul, as actors, we are constantly pouring our souls and ourselves into our creative process. Only when you’re travelling, can you replenish your energy through the people you meet and places you visit.

Museums and admiring art is one of my favourite things to do. Seeing architectural genius, watching orchestra all of this is basically to replenish myself and it’s extremely important that I do it. Unfortunately, because of COVID it wasn’t always possible in the last two years, and I think I was just done with not being able to travel and this Europe trip came as a huge saviour; I can only thank Airbnb for that.

Women venturing into the entrepreneur space often raises eyebrows, what advice would you give from your experience to those striving despite all of the challenges?

There will always be people to tell you you’re gonna do something. All you need is to tell yourself that you can do it. There shouldn’t be any question because it’s your life and you decide what you want to do or can do. I don’t think if you really put your mind to something, you won’t be able to do it.

We are all human beings we have a decent amount of talent and aptitude, and hopefully education. It is never up to anyone else or anyone’s business, including your parents that it’s okay to do something or not okay to do it. So just go for it. Especially women we are fit for any professional life. I watch a lot of Shark Tank, it’s just so nice when all I see women entrepreneurs having struggled through and still able to make something incredible. It’s never easy and it shouldn’t easy, but to still be to do it is an incredible feeling.

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