A LONG AND WINDING ROAD...
In 1969, when she migrated to New York for better opportunities, Gloria Steinem and the Women’s Liberation Movement intrigued her. Until then, strong actresses like Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda had shaped her concept of the West. Unlike Indian women, Americans seemed confident and liberated. But, she soon realized they also had to fight for equal opportunity.
In New York, Jaya trained to be a copywriter in the Advertising industry. But, she believes it was naïve of her to think a foreign woman could hold such a visible job. Back then, it was a Mad Men’s world (as in the TV show by that name) - men held frontline jobs like Account Executives and Copywriters while women played more supportive roles. So, she wound up in the less glamorous world of media planning.
A few years later, her husband encouraged her to take a leap into Information Technology, a field then in its infancy. IT was then a male dominated industry, but it was built on innovation, not gender politics.
After two successful decades in IT, Jaya returned to nurture her first love: writing.