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Unusual Industries for Women

Jermina Menon
Jermina Menon
Head Mall Marketing, Mantri Group
Jermina Menon is Head Mall Marketing for PropCare Mall Management. She manages the marketing for ... more>>
In my 20year long career, I have spent 14years in advertising. The rest were in retail, bulk of them in mall marketing. (Yes, surprising as it may sound, malls do need marketing! )

I was never asked in my first 14years, how come as a woman you chose advertising? Partly because I guess advertising in its heydays in the 90s was the new age industry which did things differently - hiring women included. Partly because, without diversity quotas, advertising has managed to get a healthy mix of women employees (of course still plagued with the common bane of low numbers at the top). And in great measure, because it was seen as a more modern industry it was accepted that as a working woman you would chose the industry.

But, the last few years have been different. People ask me how come as a woman I chose real estate / malls as a career? To which I flutter my eyelids, smile and reply "With an office in a mall, how can real estate/ mall not be the right place for woman like me?" People smile back politely but still do not get it!

To explain my choice, I am passionate about marketing and advertising. I have been lucky to work on the launch of many brands and product categories in my career. When I looked for change from advertising, the choice of retail was deliberate I wanted to be part of something new to be able to do something different. I did not ask in my interview how many women are there in the company or how many women will be in my division? And since my son was 12years old by then, I wasnt asked how I was going to manage a child and late working hours.

The point I am trying to make here is that lets stop seeing ourselves as women and hence needing to do stuff that is "right for women" to do. Lets do stuff that is right for us to do, what we want to do, what we are capable of and what makes us happy. Thats when everything falls into place - choice of career included! And just as an afterthought, tell me if men thought so, would there be so many male chefs or male fashion designers?

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