Ruchi Sharma

Ever since she can remember, Ruchi has always dreamt big. Her dreams were far too big for her boots, she was told. Thankfully, she never quite understood that statement. Why would anyone want to dream small? Why were only girls told that they couldn’t do certain things? Why were women called the weaker sex?


No surprises then, that when Ruchi chose her career, she opted to enter the male-dominated world of advertising. The creative department of this industry saw a lot of women enter at junior levels, but they rarely stayed on for the top jobs. Not having too many role models around her, Ruchi decided to become the change she wanted to see within this industry. 

She not only stuck on for more than two decades, but she also flourished. She became one of the youngest Creative Directors pretty soon into her career. Later, she fell in love with the AV medium and took on the mantle of the head of the TV department – another erstwhile male-dominated role. As her ambitions grew, she spread her wings and soared out of India to leadership roles in Sri Lanka, Bangkok and New York. She finally fulfilled the dream she had dared to dream as a young writer – to become a Creative Director in New York! And as she donned that role, she quietly thanked all the people who had laughed at her dreams being too big for her boots.


Ruchi has won several international, regional and local awards. Most recently, she won the only Spikes 2018 metal for Sri Lanka. And the only local Effie Gold medal. She has been invited to serve on many international juries. She is on the Executive Jury for New York festival 2019, the Grand Jury for AME 2019, Glass/Film/Print/Audio/Direct jury for Dubai Lynx 2019, Creative Effectiveness for Spikes Asia 2018, VOWS 2018 and Ad Stars.

Ruchi is a staunch supporter of inclusion, diversity and equality. She created the first digitally led global campaign on Human Rights for the UNHRC and was invited as a guest of the UN to New York, by the High Commissioner of Human Rights. She is the Vice President of the 4As- the advertising body of Sri Lanka and uses any opportunity to advocate and promote the need for more women at senior roles in the industry. Ruchi is currently writing her first memoir. An intense book of her personal experiences to become a mom and balance her ambitious career.


I believe, it is the authority a woman gives herself – the right to be confident and radiate her inner power. Empowerment is thus a woman’s inner power that she might not have tapped into yet




1.What is your definition of women empowerment?

According to the Oxford English dictionary, empowerment is an authority or power given to someone to do something. Which begs the question, who is this authority or power?

I believe, it is the authority a woman gives herself – the right to be confident and radiate her inner power. Empowerment is thus a woman’s inner power that she might not have tapped into yet. It is that process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. To awaken that dormant force in her and fan it to its brightest potential.

2.What motivated you to get involved in being inspirational for change?

I come from the creative side of advertising. The one significant work-life experience that shaped my career was the fact that I had terrific male mentors but no women mentors. I watched with dismay as the large band of talented women I worked with in the initial years, slowly dropped out of the industry for various reasons. They either didn’t believe that their presence and contribution made any difference, or they got discouraged by the glass ceiling. There was a scarcity of female creative leaders that one could turn to for inspiration. I decided then to be the change I wanted to see.

It was at that time, that I started looking internally, into my strengths and passions, identifying the limiting beliefs that were preventing me from radiating my power. I started believing in the fact that I was empowered rather than wait for someone’s permission to feel so.

3.What are some key characteristics of an empowered person?

A truly empowered woman is like a Goddess. She is aware of her inner powers and radiates a confidence that sets her apart from the crowd. She celebrates herself and encourages other women to honor their inner goddesses too. She is decisive and speaks with authority and displays a relaxed body language. She has nothing to prove as she believes in her power and does not get insecure or intimidated easily. She creates a sisterhood of strong women. She doesn’t wait to be led. She is a leader who takes initiatives and responsibility for her actions. She takes a stand and speaks up – for herself and her less empowered sisters. Most importantly, she empowers other women.

4.What can leaders or individuals interested in advocacy do to facilitate empowerment?

Women can’t be what they can’t see. So, the best thing that female leaders can do is be there as a sign of inspiration for these women. As role models and mentors, they should speak up for these women and empower them to realise their potential. They can volunteer with organisations like the Women Empowered Global and become ambassadors of advocacy for the less empowered women. They can use their voice and their positions of Power to bring more women into their Power.

5.What advice would you give to those who want to give up due to a lack of empowered feeling, thinking and action? (e.g. What is an important first step).

The first step is to stop feeding these feelings of inadequacies. We are what we believe we are.  If we believe we are empowered, we are. And yet, sometimes the environment or your lack of confidence doesn’t allow you that sense of belief. What do you do then? You tap into your inner power and prayer for inner guidance to attract a better boss, partner or opportunity into your life that will help you become your best self. You refuse to accept a smaller version of this amazing life that has been given to you. You do not allow anyone else to let you live small. You seek out people who encourage you and build on your strengths. So, go ahead, ignite that Goddess in you. And watch the miracles unfold.

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