Meet another working mom: Prof.(Dr.) Ruby Bakshi Khurdi
Ruby is… one of a kind.
You meet her and you automatically smile; you feel happy and content. Rarely do I meet someone who can generate such a reaction.
I saw her for the first time at the Lady Boss event at Swiss Entrepreneur Expo in Zurich. She was in the panel discussion with other women speaking about the importance of education for girls and women in India. It was a very inspiring discussion.
How can be that a little, energetic Indian woman could become such an inspiration for the people who meet her? I decide to interview her for my series “Meet another working mom”.
Ruby Bakshi Khurdi came from India 18 years ago with her husband in Vevey, Switzerland. Her life choices drove her to became a mom, Professor, community builder, NGO chair, inspirational speaker, and award-winning Inspirational woman. All this could be very intimidating to some, but the reality is: when you meet Ruby, you see her positive energy spreading all around her and none of those titles matter anymore.
Ruby: “I felt lucky for the career I chose. I wanted to do it, and I did it!”
she says to me when we start our interview. She starts to explain how she was raised as public speaker.
R: “I was very happy with my career as a Professor, but it came to a moment where I needed more. At the beginning I hold speeches while joining Toast Masters. I wanted to do something for people, have a bigger impact. I started by speaking in different conferences and giving workshops on emotional intelligence, women empowerment and Importance of Education” .
Education is the life motive of Ruby. She is for sure a teacher, but she is very aware that education is a life changing element for women. In India, way too often a little girl cannot afford good education, with families pushing girls to become a wife and mum way too early.
Then one day she was invited at Women Economic Forum (2017, Portugal)
R:“I was amazed by the reaction I got after my first speech at WEF. This gave me so much confidence to continue my journey.”
She speaks extensively about her commitment towards women, how she wants to help other women be able to achieve their potential. She is very passionate about this topic, and I understand more and more why I was so captivated by her.
R: “I strongly believe that women can bring the changes the world needs. We are more than wives and mums. We may be fragile physically, but we are stronger than guys.”
R: “Kids and work have been my priority for long time. But time shifts priorities and things change. They are still the most important things for me but I can dedicate my time to other activities, too.”
I’m surprised when she starts to tell me how she felt when she became pregnant.
R: “I was super excited and happy but also had a lot of insecurities. I had already started writing my dissertation for PhD program at University of Lausanne and had a new job. My family was in India and could not support me in the daily life. I asked myself if I should continue working. After a serious discussion with my husband – I decided to keep my Phd on hold, work part-time and focus on my pregnancy as it’s the first child of our family. Additionally, back then the school system and the childcare costs in Switzerland did not help the family organization.”
With strong support and love of her caring husband, Ruby kept going steadily, she continued her career and had a second child.
R “Social service or working for betterment of society has to come from within. You need this kick inside yourself which pushes you to go further, work and do amazing things for others. Family is important, but so is community development – we need to think about others and try to help each other.”
At the event were I met Ruby, sitting not far away from me was her husband with her children. Smiling and looking at her tenderly, he was cheering her on while she was on stage.
Ruby explained to me that he played a very crucial role in her life. Without him she would not have had achieved all of this. She glows while speaking of him, a woman in love speaking about the love of her life. I’m completely surprised when I discovered they had an arranged marriage!
R “We met 3 times before we married. Our horoscope matching was very good so we could marry.”
She explained how it worked and how it was for her. I was speechless and completely captivated by her tale. Ruby tells me he helped her a lot in the first years of marriage, helping not only at home, but also to discover herself, especially her strengths. And now he is her best supporter, pushing her to do her best. As a working mom she emphasizes on the fact that having a supportive husband is crucial. He needs to be with her and support her in order for her to grow as a professional. She is happy that he is so proud of her.
“We need recognition from our partners. For big stuff, they need to tell us they are proud. But also for small things, like how lovely I look with this dress or with this make up. It is important for me to know he is with me in all what I do. And my kids too.”
Meet Ruby Bakshi Khurdi , another working mom doing her best to balance family and career.