Celebrating the spirit of womanhood, we have Pavithra Mutyap sharing her take on life. Pavithra Mutyap completed her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, following which she switched gears and followed her passion for management. Currently, she is pursuing her business management at IIM Bangalore. She is a bundle of joy and enjoys painting. Here is what she had to say.
What was high school like for you? How did it contribute to your personality/ the person you are right now?
My high school was the best part of my teenage years. I had fun and achieved a lot of accolades at the same time. I went to one of most elite schools in my city and had the best of friends. However, I was not spared of criticism or prejudice. But the best part was how I learnt to deal with it such a young age and how it shaped me as an individual. At a young age, you are very sensitive to remarks made by your friends, and I learnt to deal with them in a constructive manner and therefore have no insecurities even today. The fact that I survived so much competition at a young age, instils a lot of confidence in me till this day.
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I would learn a lot more. Learn about life, about birds, about animals, about our planet. Apart from that, I do not think I would do anything different from what I am doing now. Money is an essential commodity in life, however, I haven’t redefined my lifestyle based on it. I’d love to earn, but would not be oblivious to my interests in the process.
What advice would you give to a 5-year-younger you?
I would tell myself to strongly believe in me and never to doubt my capability. I would tell myself to go and try the most challenging and difficult tasks since one must ‘Never regret. If it's good, it’d be wonderful. If it’s bad, it’d be an experience’. I would also tell myself to enjoy the moment right then, rather than wait to grow up a little more to achieve something else. I would tell myself to, ‘Live and enjoy the moment to the fullest’.
How do you think women are better equipped to deal with problems as compared to men?
Women are better equipped to deal with any problem. As a girl, you face obstacles from a very young age - prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination at many levels. Be it to wear the dress you like or attend a school of your choice, there is a lot of persuasion that goes into the process. Though boys face issues, it not comparable to the ones girls face since parents and family generally go easy on boys and therefore the journey has been much simpler for them. Despite so many hiccups, today, girls are at a platform equal to boys. Therefore, girls deal with a lot more complexities to be wherever they are and therefore have more maturity and experience to deal with the hard circumstances life throws at them.
Many IIMs and other b-schools award extra points for being a woman. What is your take on that? Do you propagate the concept OR Have you faced any backlash for the same?
Though the idea of awarding points to women to promote diversity is a good option, I don't think it is necessary. I would not say that we must not have it, but it is not sustainable and should not be. This should only be the means to achieving the goal of equality in the short term but not the final goal itself. Girls are equal to boys. When girls are awarded special points, it leads to further discrimination in a classroom as you are treated as someone who is not equal to the boys or someone who has received an unfair advantage if you equal to them.
Name one incident that you encountered where someone told you, you couldn’t do something because you’re a woman.
There have been instances when I have been told I wouldn't be able to achieve something just because I am a woman. I don’t mind every time it happens, because I take it up as a challenge then and it boosts my willpower like anything. I end up achieving what I want. I have been told that being a girl, it is very hard for me to live out of home for the entire duration of completing my graduation and post-graduation. I have been told it is hard to work all day and yet pull off night outs for assignment submissions. I have been told it’s hard to work at the office having a head of your own and not giving in to your boss’s idea every time. But I have done it all and have done it with elegance.
If you are out on a date, do you prefer to pay yourself? If you insisted that you want to pay for yourself, how did the other person react?
I haven't been on a date earlier so can't answer this one. But whenever we are out for a meal as a group of friends, we always share the bill and there has never been hesitation upon accepting the fact that girls are paying when boys are around. We are friends and we accept that we are equals. In that sense, I have never experienced any irksome moments.