Lessons from the #BreakingBarriers Bangalore event

When I first heard of Breaking Barriers event by Women’s Web, I thought it was more of a business marketing event not suited for homemakers or on a career break like me. Being an intern at Women’s Web, I was asked to report for the April 1st event at Bangalore and help the organizing team. Having worked for the team, I knew about the registration list and knew that there would be more that 80 attendees in Bangalore from all sectors. So on Friday evening, I was still worrying about the next day event, wondering what to wear since it has been quite a while I dressed up properly for an official meetup. On Saturday, along with other attendees, I was fortunate to listen to the speakers who shared their learnings and experiences in their career journey.

The first thing that striked me was the echoing voices of , “Hey there,I too have been there, done that, So you are not alone”. From body shaming issues to that everlasting mommy guilt, or the return to work struggles, women kept sharing some snippets of their life, that made an instant emotional connect with me.

“There is immense strength in the power of pause.”
“Learning should never stop.”
“Be relentless in finding a non judgemental friend.”
“Every effort need not provide monetary benefits.”
“Look within you to seek inspiration. ”
“Keep trying and experimenting”

As an individual, my understanding of branding and marketing was limited to companies or startups who created ads and keep spamming our mailboxes. I would have heard of Personal branding without realizing it especially when I spread the news of that home baker in my apartment complex who bakes excellent cakes for the birthday parties at home. Or when I decide to use the return gifts created by home based crafts supplier recommended by my neighbour. Or on Twitter when I receive Friday follow recommendations for best humor sense or so. Through the social media and the offline interactions we are creating and also enhancing our personal brand of ourselves every moment. That was a revelation! (Time to spruce up my linkedin profiles and clean up my twitter feed!)

The afternoon sessions were more oriented towards business marketing strategies like growth hacking and creating brand ambassadors for community building. Strategies on creating simple ad campaigns like paperboat ads or shot on iPhone Ads were discussed. Instances of struggles faced by startup companies And their way out were also noted so as to explain how to grow better in businesses.

But what inspired me are the stories of women who came forward in explaining how they overcome their challenges. Sharing the tears of painful memories from a cancer survivor to dancing to the music to celebrate the victory over it, we were a bunch of women coming together to inspire each other to drive forward. It was literally all about breaking the barriers and welcoming the ideas of each other, sharing the contacts and useful links to motivate others and so on.

All in all,it was a day well spent embracing the power of womanhood. Cheers to the well behaved (and also not so well behaved) women who are out there writing their history on their own.

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