Shivani Rawat

Producer & Actor

In your opinion, what qualities make a “Power Woman”?

Inner strength, perseverance in following one’s goal and belief in yourself.

With all the different issues one could focus on, how do you balance your efforts in pursuit of gender equality? Is it a global approach or a specific issue that you are passionate about?

Gender equality is a fundamental right and should be respected in all aspects. We need to implement it totally for a healthy socio-economic growth. In my field, I am happy to see more women directors and producers. I always encourage young and new talent and make sure that my message is always encouraging and positive for young women. There is nothing we cannot achieve if we set our minds to the task.

If you could have someone else’s job for a day, who and what would it be? Why?

Of course, Oprah!

Why do you think women's reproductive rights are under attack? Globally it seems women's health and security are under such attack; from religion, to cultural attitudes, to lax government protection, women are more vulnerable than ever. What policies would you propose that he US government pursue (or change) to alter this.

In general, salaries should be equal. Reproductive rights should stay out of the political sphere. Women should have at least six months maternity leave and, in fact, fathers should be forced to take paternity leave as well. Women often have to decide between career and a family. Women should have better workplace rights, childcare should be a necessary part of the corporate structure.

Are you involved in politics at the local or national level? No Why or why not?

What issues in the workplace contribute most to the gender pay gap: accessibility? unconscious biast (including questions about previous salary requirements)? economic? reproductive? or some other nefarious reason. Why do you think these are still challenges we face?

Women have to work harder to prove themselves, and that does not create very healthy work environment for them. The top firms still resemble old boy clubs, in thought and ways of working, and it is always challenging for women to make a mark in this atmosphere.

Can you tell us a short story in which you encountered a block in the work place and what you did about it?

My age often throws people around. When I’m in meetings I feel people consider me more of a kid. I haven’t really felt the need to confront myself. I let my work speak for itself.

Do you think that asking previous salary requirements in job interviews contributes to the pay gap between women and men? NY State recently outlawed this practice. Should we push for a nationwide ban?

Have you seen any changes in the political landscape for women over the past few years? If so, what are they?

Of course, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was a landmark moment. However, in India women have been a prominent part of the political arena for many years. They have proven adept leaders, sensitive, and open to dialogue and discussion.

Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today? What was it?

I always loved the show business. I grew up watching a lot of Indian cinema and Hollywood films. Even in high school I participated in a lot of theatre and school plays. I think my love and understanding for films and performances led me to where I am today.

Do you believe that open access to porn (including violent video games, social media etc.) contributes to gender inequality and violence against women?

I do believe that the way women are portrayed in them is misguiding the next generation. Again, the times we live in lead me to think that gender sensitization is an essential training to be given in schools and workplaces.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Chase your dream and never give up.

There are many studies that support the idea that a female presence in the board room increases the bottom line and leads to healthier work environments. What can we do to continue to support and enhance the growth and presence of women in high profile positions.

Hire more women.

Whom do you most admire? Why?

My grandmother (father’s mother) was someone I really looked up to. She became a widow in her early 30s, and not only did she raise four sons, but also took over my grand father’s life’s work and made it more successful.

What is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

What is your favorite place on earth? Why?

I visited South Africa in 2010. I went to Kruger National Park for a safari. Being so close to all the wild animals was a life changing experience for me. I literally felt like the animal inside a zoo, and the animals as humans watching us.

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