Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Success Luncheon: Deepika Gupta Tells her Personal Story

A former participant in Dress for Success Vancouver's Professional Women's Group, Deepika Gupta's path has shaped her into a strong, successful woman who is looking to give back. 

On October 29, she shared her inspiring journey at Dress for Success Vancouver’s 2nd Success Luncheon, hosted at the Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel. Over 200 guests were in attendance for an afternoon filled with speakers, networking opportunities, and stories like Deepika’s own. Read her empowering speech below! 

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Deepika Gupta and I’m honoured to be a part of the Success Luncheon panel amongst these inspiring women.

I was born in India amidst a lot of institutional barriers which are a trademark in Indian society. I grew up in a very traditional family where money was never a problem but dreams were. Dreams were never regarded anything more than illusions but my father always tried to convert every dream of mine to reality. He taught me this important lesson: “Get the treasure of education. You never know when adversity will hit. You never know when life will go wrong. If you ever face hard times, education pays off. It’s the only thing that people can’t steal.” So in spite of a lot of resentment from other family members, I did my Masters in finance.

Shortly after that, my father fell ill and lost his life to Cancer. I lost my lucky charm. Nothing went right after that.

I married a businessman and hoped for happier times. A few months later, I became pregnant and then my husband’s business collapsed. We were devastated. I fell into a deep depression and it led to further complications in my delivery.

When the baby was born, we didn’t have enough money to pay for medical expenses and asking my family for help was not an option. So I decided to start up my own business to take care of my son. This brought a lot of disgrace to my family, only because I was a girl.

I continued to work and became the single breadwinner. Since my husband’s family helped with the business, I took them into our home. As a family, I wanted us to stay together. When you go through tough times, it’s easier to face adversity together.

However, when the business began to flourish, my husband’s family took over the business and pushed us out of the business and out of the house. I felt betrayed. Again I was homeless and had a toddler to support.

I had to start from scratch again. I lost all my positivity, all my courage. But then I was reminded of my father’s words. I had to believe in myself. Even after every challenge, I had to say to myself “I can do this.”

My education helped me land a job as a business school teacher. Within a few years, my hard work was recognized and I found myself promoted to assistant professorship. Slowly but surely I started to come out of my shell.

I took another step forward. I wanted a better future for my child so we applied to move to Canada.  When we lost everything, I lost the respect of my family. I wanted to regain that and moving to Canada would give me another chance.

Moving overseas is a big thing. It becomes difficult to adjust to new culture. I was referred to Dress for Success Vancouver and joined their Professional Women’s Group. I had never heard of something like that before, where people would help you become a part of their society. At the Professional Women’s Group, I developed many friendships and I feel like I can connect with so many people because our lives match. Today, I work as an office manager at an engineering company but I feel like it’s time for me to pursue my dream. I have started to write Princess in Disguise- a fiction novel inspired by the adversities I’ve faced in the last decade. I also want to work for female wellness and contribute to society. That’s my mandate.

In life, you should be revengeful towards your adversities by being successful. Let the adversities know that you can face them, say “I am going to prove you wrong.” The help I’ve received from Dress for Success and the women I have met from the program have inspired me to share my story. I want to encourage girls all over the world to strive hard to go to school and finish their studies. Getting an education is a treasure that can help you survive through though times in life. 

In front of you are donor cards. Please open your hearts and make a donation to support a woman like myself through the Dress for Success program. When you’re falling short of funds, you just need a single friendly hand - Dress for Success was just that. Dress for Success Vancouver empowered me. They gave me the confidence to follow my dreams and I’m grateful to be here today to share them with you. Thank you.

Deepika is just one of the many amazing women that we at Dress for Success Vancouver get to work with. You can support a woman like her through the Dress for Success programs – to put one woman through our 18-month Professional Women’s Group aimed at career development only costs $180. To find out more about our impact, please visit dfsvancouver.org

No comments:

Post a Comment