Best-Selling Author, Film Producer and 90s Bollywood sensation, Twinkle Khanna was invited to the United Nations to be part of a panel of “girl power” change-makers at the annual international Women’s Entrepreneurship Day event on Friday, Nov. 17.
Khanna was joined by singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles, the successful ABC Shark Tank contestant Mikaila Ulmer, and founder and designer of Foofi and Bella, editor of Angela’s Rundown and philanthropist Angela Simmons.
The panel was moderated by Wall Street Journal Wealth Adviser Reporter Veronica Dagher.
Khanna shared her inspirational thoughts on the key aspects to overcoming female oppression in industries far and wide to ensure that all have the equal opportunity to become successful.
“There are two things needed to be successful. One is a genuine interest in what you are doing, and the other is aptitude. If you have high interest and low aptitude – you have a hobby. If you have high aptitude but low interest – you have a job. If you have high interest and high aptitude – then you have yourself a career,” she said.
“Secondly, trust your instinct! Your instinct is an amalgamation of all your experiences and information you have gathered which sit in your subconscious; they’re neurons rapidly firing together acting on the knowledge you have accumulated that is speaking to you,” she added.
Khanna will be producing her husband, Akshay Kumar’s, latest film “Padman” which is about Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who created the sanitary napkin revolution in India by inventing a machine to make low-cost sanitary pads.
“In my country we have a huge issue in that only 20% of women use tampons and sanitary pads, the rest do not have access or simply cannot afford to buy them. There is a global taboo and I wanted to detach the stigma attached to menstrual hygiene as it is such a natural part of the female body,” Khanna said, speaking on the importance of raising the issue of menstrual hygiene not just in India, but around the world as well.
Apart from women’s entrepreneurship, Khanna explained the need to experience failures and setbacks in order to grow, learn and be successful.
“We teach our children to strive hard and to succeed but we don’t talk to them about failure. Failure is a learning tool, a cornerstone of success with hurdles being a necessity. The adventure lies in climbing up the mountain and not in walking on plain ground,” she said.
“Padman” is the world’s first feature film on menstrual hygiene and will be releasing worldwide on Jan. 26, 2018.