—Dr KR Rajyashri
, Founder &
director, Navya Biologicals, Hubli (Karnataka)
Dr Rajyashri has filed five patents.
A published author, Dr Rajyashri shares insights on the challenges she
faced in her career, and the opportunities for women in the life
Q What type of challenges did you face
during the initial stage of your career?
The biggest challenge I faced during
the initial years of my career was in finding a balance between family
and career. As a young mother, I was eager to be with my daughter as
she was growing. Yet, I chose to continue with my career and was not
sure if I will be able to manage both. My passion for science did not
allow me to give up my career. However, I was happy when my daughter,
one day, told me that she is proud of her mother being a scientist.
Q What according to you are the
difficulties women face in the life sciences industry?
Today, more women than men seem to
take to science. Many women voluntarily put a hold on their career for
other priorities, and so we do not see many women in leadership
Life science is not a part-time job
where you can go home and switch off. You carry your scientific
problems home, have to read after work hours, be part of peer and
discussion groups; and be aware of the latest developments in science.
Setting priorities right and multi-tasking are the only ways for women
to be able to balance work and family.
At Navya, we strive to encourage and
support young girls starting on their career, and inspire them to take
up leadership positions.
Q How do you balance family and work
In my initial days, it was extremely
tough to strike a balance but now, I am able to achieve a good balance.
My family encourages all my efforts. My business partner, Vinay, is
tremendously supportive at work.
Q Considering your vast experience in
life sciences industry, how do you see women in this industry in the
next five years?
About 60 percent of women take up
science at the college level. And not all of them start a career in
their field after college. That is one of the reasons why few women
reach leadership roles. I hope to see more women become leaders, and
rise to the top in the next few years.