@FF12: No disadvantage of being a woman

19 Mar,2012

By A Correspondent


The media and entertainment industry which at one point in time was dominated by the men has today more number of women not only working at the lower and mid-level but, have even taken on leadership roles, giving a tough competition to their male counterparts. Whether it is the film and television industry or in the news media, women are not shying away from taking on responsibilities and accomplishing tasks that were once considered to be only a ‘man’s job’. Day three of FICCI Frames 2012 held a session on ‘Women in Media & Entertainment circa 2012: Leading from the front’.


The panel members of this session were Vidya Balan, Actor; Anurradha Prasad, Managing Director, BAG Films; Jenni Tosi, CEO Film Victoria; Ekta Kapoor, Creative Director, Balaji Telefilms; Barkha Dutt, Group Managing Editor, NDTV; and Usha Uthup, Singer. The session was moderated by Rajeev Masand, Entertainment Editor, CNN IBN.


This session discussed the journey of each of the above eminent women personalities and the challenges they faced during their journey. The moderator, Rajeev Masand simply put it this way, “Traditional media for long was dominated by men, but not any longer. It’s become outdated.”


All the eminent women personalities claimed that despite all their challenges they had an incredible journey and the results have been fruitful.


Ms Tosi observed that there would always be obstacles in a woman’s journey but, at the same she also admitted that at times a little bit of luck and timing also plays a part in ones success nevertheless, she must also be hard working and committed to succeed.


According to Ms Dutt, the real heroes are actually the women who came before them i.e. those who made a mark and their presence felt in the male dominated industry. They were the ones that needed to be saluted, she said.


One of the topics discussed at the session was whether ambition for men meant one thing and another for women, and how society reacts to ambitious women. Ms Ekta Kapoor agreed that ambition for men is a virtue, but for women it is seen as something negative. “I never took being a woman as a disadvantage and frankly, I never even thought about it. Today I am successful not in spite of being a woman but, because I am a woman,” she added. Ms Kapoor was also quick to emphasize  that 40 per cent of talent in television today consists of women.


Ms Prasad said, “Today women have become so much mature, and so have their families. Today women have to juggle multiple roles. Had I thought that since I am a woman, and hence I cannot take on a task then I would not have been successful. If you are happy with what you are doing and at peace with yourself you will be successful in life.”


Ms Uthup was of the view that what has really changed is the audience. “The field of Arts has been a level playing field for women. In the field of Arts you really don’t have gender bias. It’s been a fantastic journey for me and I believe if we want change to take place the people need to notice first and they must be awakened. Men and women must work together, but then there are things that women can do and men can’t and there are things men can and women can’t do.”


Ms Balan said, “The Indian actress today has been humanized. No longer is she seen as a hero’s heroine; the actress is getting to play a part in the story. I have never seen my gender as a disadvantage, all I knew was I had to be strong to move ahead in life. There is a wide variety of roles for women today and the fact that there is no model code for women any more is liberating.”


While all these eminent women had plenty of inspiring stories to share, each of them have had to overcome their own tough challenges, change the societal mindset about women being weak and docile, to climb their way to the top.


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