If I had to talk about women who inspire me, my list would be never-ending. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded and loved by strong and amazing women who have over the years help me inspire and get inspired to make most of whatever opportunities come my way.
Virginia is one of the most dedicated and driven people I know. Not only does she work really hard to get to her goals, she makes sure she is having a lot of fun along the way. Most importantly though, she lifts those around her – in her own cheerful way, flashing her contagious smile. Virginia mentors and supports women she meets daily through ideas, supporting them or even enabling them by helping them identify opportunities and working on achieving their goals. While I have spent a lot of time with her (mostly running when she lived in Mumbai), most of you may know for her accolades and contribution through her work at IBM and Linkedin.
Through this interview, I hope to shed light on the things that inspire her and help her be the amazing woman she continues to be.
AK: 5 words that describe you.
VS: Fearless, Fun, Passionate, Sapiosexual and a little bit of a control freak :)
AK: How do you balance work and personal life, especially with travel.
VS: Sleep is key! I am an excellent napper.
AK: Your favorite city to holiday in?
VS: I’ve holidayed a lot but more recently my favorite holiday involves my own home, bed and kitchen! It’s amazing how fun it is to be here but not here, if you know what I mean!
AK: If you had to pick a city to live in and work in where would you want to go?
VS: Definitely Colombo, Sri Lanka! Its the best of Island life but with a vibrant professional population who knows how to have fun!
AK: Your idea of a perfect weekend.
VS: A slow start with coffee and a crossword, followed by a boozy brunch then afternoon nap and an evening with close friends ideally in great weather and good music.
AK: Have you ever faced a challenge being a woman in a male dominant industry, what got you through it?
VS: Marketing and Sales are quite balanced in terms of gender in the earlier years, it’s only once you become an executive that you see the gender gap. I learned how to use both masculine and feminine energies depending on the situation and the people involved. The good thing is that feminine leadership traits like collaboration and empathy are now starting to become critical to be successful whether you are a man or woman in my industry.
AK: You are so fit, what’s your favorite sport ?
VS: I am a very physical person but am also more conscious about being injury free as I have gotten older. In recent years, my favorite sport is long distance running.
AK: Butter Chicken and Tandoori Roti or a poached pear salad with a glass of wine.
VS: Definitely the latter though it depends on what wine it is being paired with and the salad should have walnuts! So details matter! With that said I recently had Butter Chicken and Tandoori Roti at Kake da Hotel and loved it!
AK: Fashion to you is?
VS: Personal and Affordable.
AK: A career tip for our women readers – something you learnt along the way …
VS: Don’t just be successful, be interesting.
AK: One moment in your illustrious career where you felt you have accomplished something big…
VS: I guess when this article came out about the Sharma Legacy and realized my dad would have been really proud to see this had he been alive.
AK: I know it sounds cliche, but somebody who has inspired you…
VS: I have a lot of people who inspire me, I consider them all on my Personal Board of Directors my inspiration.