We asked BSc Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship* student Purvi about what this year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘Break the Bias’ means to her.
BSc Management finalist Arthini Thushyanthan shares with us the need for more women in higher education, how imposter syndrome can be a barrier for women entering and who she views as her role model. Arthini did her placement year at L’Oréal as a Luxe Corporate Commercial Intern, where she also co-led the South Asian Heritage Month Celebrations with the Ethnicity and Multiculturalism Committee and is now currently working as a Social Media Executive at re:act, a creative content agency.
Why do we need more women in leadership/educational roles?
Those in leadership and educational roles create a strategy and vision for the future; the actions of the people in these positions essentially shape our society. With greater representation of women in these areas, the future world can consider their alternative perspectives and will begin to better cater for the requirements of women. Further to that, women of diverse backgrounds deserve these roles, there’s an abundance of skilled, talented and inspiring women who are ready to take on these positions and create great necessary change.
What do you think is a barrier for more women joining higher education? And how can this be changed/improved?
Although anyone can experience imposter syndrome, due to the previously discussed underrepresentation of women in leadership and educational roles, women are more likely to suffer from feelings of doubt and inadequacy despite being completely competent. This is a key barrier to proactivity, productivity and overall wellbeing for women in many circumstances. Increasing awareness of this topic and sharing coping mechanisms for women and their counterparts can help fight this barrier.
Who would you say has inspired you the most? It could be a mentor, role model etc.
It sounds cliché but a key mentor throughout my life has been my mum. She fled a civil war and came to this country without anything - not even a suitcase. That enough is inspiring however she also achieved her CIMA Stage 4 qualification and worked across a variety of companies including the Armani fashion house head office. She often reminds me and my sisters of the greater opportunities available through higher education, networking and long-term planning. It was a massive personal milestone to be able to work for Armani Beauty last year as a result of her ongoing support throughout my academic and career journey.
What inspirational message can you give to young women reading this?
As a young woman you are different. It’s undeniably important to learn about the environment of higher education and the working world however you shouldn’t feel pressured to change the core reasons that you are unique. Lean into the fact that you are different, bring your contrasting thoughts to the table as your differences can drive innovation, and we can catalyse this process by supporting other women to feel confident and comfortable doing the same.
Find out about other Inspiring Women at WBS.