A mother, a wife, a daughter, a sibling, a friend, an HR Professional, and many more. As a woman, I wear numerous hats with an ever balancing equation of grit and grace. I am Vidya Munirathnam, Director HR at Lowe’s India, sharing my journey with all of the women and men reading this on this occasion of International Women’s Month.
Being the youngest of 6 siblings from a middle class family, education was very important and came with a lot of restrictions of being a girl child. I was lucky to be nurtured in a family that not only pampered me as the youngest, but also instilled the life values that have shaped me for who I am.
Through my work career, I had the opportunity to be part of different organizations, different roles and worked with different leaders. My most important learning throughout my career; “if you are too comfortable in your job, may be you are not trying hard enough. It is ok to fail but not ok, to not try”. Always striving to drive excellence, and being meticulous at work has helped me get to where I am. And along that journey I have also learnt the value of building connections and trust with my teams and colleagues.
My journey also had its share of testing moments. There were times I felt like I am making huge change and accomplishing many things, and there were times where I felt I was inefficient, trying to do many things and juggling through my responsibilities at work and home. At times I have had these questions running on my mind – What if I don’t deliver value? Am I really making an impact? I have come to understand that it is ok to have those questions, because what’s more important is how one responds to those. How you make yourself comfortable when you really are not, how you keep your calm is the key to success. Mind you I am no super woman, and guess what, this realization made my life much simpler. I feel more comfortable in my skin, and over the years I have become a lot more open to new challenges and comfortable to take calculated risk. I prefer to be ‘imperfect’ in my own way, as there is nothing ‘perfect’
I was with my previous company for almost 9 years, and moving to Lowe’s was a huge change and meant getting out of my comfort zone. It was more of fear of unknown, building new relationships from scratch, understanding a new culture. It’s been 3 months now and I must say I made the right decision. Managing bigger responsibilities, I am learning and navigating through new challenges every day. I have an opportunity to work on impactful assignments and being valued as a true advisor during one of the most crucial times (transformation) for Lowe’s.
In the end I like to say to all my fellow team members or colleagues irrespective the gender, whether it is professional life or personal life, it is a marathon and not a sprint. One inch at a time, one step at a time, keep chugging, keep digging, live the moment, enjoy the day whether it is good or bad. Learn everyday, apply yourself everyday and you will see how easy it is to become the best version of yourself everyday. You should do what makes you feel good, and stop trying to be a superman or superwoman. Live gracefully with grit.