Imagine a society where only half the population calls the shots, lives by their own terms, and readily gets the opportunity to earn a living and be financially independent, while the other half is confined by societal and familial restrictions, thwarting their chances to experience a healthy growth of personality, and blocking the scope to live life to the fullest. To this second half, a financially independent and self-governed life is many a times just a dream.
Sadly, this is the truth of gender inequality in our country where women have drawn the short straw.
But as education slowly percolates through the shut doors of women’s quarters, a new surge is building to sweep across the nation for a better future. Women empowerment is the call of the hour, and things are already changing with a greater participation of women visible in varied sectors, including the corporate field.
A fresh and notable entrant in this movement to bring financial independence to women and augment their confidence in their ability to be a leader, is the new-age publication house – Half Baked Beans.
Established in 2014, it is run by a dedicated team of three women professionals who work wholeheartedly to ensure the best content reaches the readers. This January marks the 3rd year of a successful run of the firm, and we took this opportunity to speak with the three women spearheading the operations here –
Zenia Khurshid – Content and Marketing Head
Richa Saxena – Content Manager
Richa is a brilliant example of how HBB leads in its prioritising inclusivity of women employees in situations where other establishments would be prone to sideline them. Richa Saxena is a Content Manager who curates the content for the publishing house and also handles Social Media Marketing. She is also a mother to a young child, and surprisingly, in the three years of association with HBB she has never had to comprising on either.
“You talk about any industry and there is so much of patriarchy, dominance and rivalry, but Half Baked Beans is an exception. Here, you are valued for your intellectual contribution and not for the man-hours devoted.”
A corporate professional turned content writer, she finds it very fascinating to be a part of the publishing house. “You talk about any industry and there is so much of patriarchy, dominance and rivalry, but Half Baked Beans is an exception. I have a 3-year-old kid and I work from home. I only attend office fortnightly and that shows the creative liberty that the publishing house offers. Which other company would do that? You are valued for your intellectual contribution and not for the man-hours devoted. HBB has extremely competitive, innovative and a dynamic team. Proud to be associated.”
Yugchhaya Baid – Graphic designer
Yugchhaya is a fresh graduate with a B.Sc. in communication design from G.D.Goenka University, School of Fashion Design, and is the creative mind that designs the inventive and colourful covers of publications as well as social media pages of the brand.”Working for HBB has further proven to me that women are as capable as men in running the corporate show.” The talent with various stints as a creative designer, adds “It is also heartening to see that creativity in literature comes to the firm overwhelmingly from women authors. Situations are definitely changing for the better for women; a lot of avenues are opening up for them with many a job seeking women applicants only these days.”
A powerhouse of enthusiasm and skill, Yugchhaya makes sure that the graphic requirements of the publishing house are always prioritised.
Half Baked Beans has been constant in encouraging women to follow their passion without inhibitions, be it in administration or creative literature, by blending liberal thoughts in daily life. It is breaking stereotypes (such as imposing a sabbatical on women employees post motherhood, or discriminating on the grounds of gender) to make the workplace a more inclusive environment, and creating a base for a progressive society.
Zenia, Richa and Yugchhaya’s effort’s are bound by a common thread – to provide a fair opportunity to potential stars in the literary sphere, and their ideology resonates with the aspirations of many, especially women.