Creating awareness is the first step in bringing about change. Knowledge is power and Shikha Mittal, founder of Be.artsy, an awareness platform is doing her bit and more to make the world a better place for women.
Ushering in change with her entrepreneurial ventures Be.artsy and Be Your Own Shakti, Mittal creates awareness essentially on sexual harassment in the workplace, gender sensitisation and financial literacy.
In a conversation with Her Circle, Mittal opened up about her business and being a woman entrepreneur in India. She also shared financial tips for women. Here are the excerpts:
What motivated you to start Be.artsy?
Basically, I was a victim of sexual harassment at multiple organisations…I wanted to spread awareness in the corporate world and make it more sensitive, a little more human. The entire workspace is not just about profits, it’s about people. And with that thought, I started Be.artsy.
What are the areas you work on? Why the name Be.artsy?
Be.artsy’s two leading topics on awareness are the prevention of sexual harassment and financial literacy. When I decided to start Be.artsy, I wanted to marry the idea of art and business.
How do you make companies realise the need for such awareness?
My honest answer is that it’s still very hard—even after 11 years of running this enterprise. But as years are passing by, our existing work becomes like a case study for us to show to our next clients. We also share the post and the pre outcomes of a particular project that we may have executed and that gives them a lot of, you know, a pathway to anticipate how would something like this—an awareness program on inclusion, diversity, gender sensitisation, or prevention of sexual harassment—would look like. It helps them understand how financial literacy would change the way their employees are leading their lives currently.
What aspects of financial literacy do you believe women are lagging in?
A lot of women are treating their earnings to be their pocket money, which is handled by their husbands. And a lot of girls who are living with their parents are also leaving the entire decision-making on their financial health to their parents.
How does Be.artsy help women get financially literate?
We launched a very interesting and focused course for women called Be Your Own Lakshmi, which basically gives access to pre-recorded videos where I’ve cleared all the basic concepts for women, and then they also get an opportunity to do a couple of live classes with me and other faculty who are going to address the advanced concepts.
Tips for women for better financial health
1) Any money that you earn is not your pocket money. It’s not something that others need to claim. It should be 100 per cent in your control.
2) You have to earn your own money at any and every given point in time.
3) You need to learn about money. Start from your basics. Never go straight to very advanced levels. Start with basics such as savings, investments and insurance.
4) Financial literacy is educating yourself on all possible financial concepts and once you have that know-how, that’s when you use that know-how to apply for your financial planning.
5) Your money and your financial health are absolutely going to be different from your friends’. You have to be absolutely an individual when you have to deal with your money and treat financial planners to be your money doctors.