“All organizations have become exceptionally agile on the agenda of diversity now. I see it every day in motion at Facebook; this organization values the people that work there so beautifully. And therefore sometimes you don't even realize that it's an agenda in the outside world,” says Archana Vohra, Director, Global Business Group & SMB India at Facebook.
Talking to MAKERS India over a Zoom call recently, she spoke in depth about diversity and inclusion at workplaces, and her views on encouraging women in workforce and entrepreneurship. She also recollected her own earlier years, and how she came to be one of contemporary India’s most prominent corporate leaders.
Archana grew up in Tanzania, and moved to Delhi to study at a boarding school when she was around 10. “As the youngest in the hostel, I was the errand girl, and was often bullied too. But from there I got early lessons on how to operate in an organization. I learnt survival of the fittest then itself,” she recollects with a laugh.
Recounting her childhood, she says that gender equality was never an issue in her household, as her parents treated Archana and her younger brother just the same. “My father was a government servant and mother, a gynecologist. Neither of them restricted me from pursuing my interests.”
After school, Archana chose Applied Psychology for graduation and joined the workforce when she was 22, in 1999. Her interest in television led her to be a part of the founding team of NDTV’s internet operations, and she was an instrumental in building the business, introducing livestreaming, and generating revenue for the media house. “It was an organization which had more women than men. And therefore the concept of diversity struck me much later in my career,” she adds.
A strong proponent for women’s empowerment, Archana believes that it should begin at home. “The first thing is to tell our daughters at home that it is okay to have large dreams, and second is to make sure that they choose professions, or pursue careers ambitions that best suit their intent and need.”
Watch the full video for more.