They dare to be different: women in male-dominated professions

- March 4, 2022
| By : Patriot Bureau |

These city women have cut a trail-blazing path through professions usually dominated by men. And they’ve done it with panache  

File Photo (Credit: Haziq Qadri / via Getty Images / Barcroft Media)

Roshni Misbah, sports biker

Roshni is one of those less found public personalities in the biker community whose identity as a Muslim woman never barred her from pursuing her passion. Biking, to her, is a passion that has now become a part and parcel of her public life and identity. 

With over 1 million views on her Youtube videos, she also runs a business venture titled ‘Bikers World India.’ An alumna of Jamia Milia Islamia, she started riding sports bikes when in college. She was often barred from riding bikes before joining college because it was considered odd and dangerous for women.

“I always knew I wanted to do something out-of-the-box. So I took admission in Jamia, which gave me an opportunity to ride a motorcycle to and from college. That is when I bought a small bike and that is where I got my wings”, she says.

Her journey begins from scratch and continues to evolve to this date. She had bought her first bike with her little savings that she had managed to keep from a job at a publishing house.

Now, Roshni is one of the sole owners of Kawasaki Ninja H2, one of the fastest superbikes allowed on Indian streets and is one of the only women in the country with a huge range of sports bikes.


Tanya Malhotra, Fitness Trainer

After losing her job as a flight attendant because of the pandemic, Tanya Malhotra decided to pursue her passion for fitness by working as a fitness trainer at a gym in Gurgaon.

Speaking about the challenges she faced working in the male-dominated fitness industry, she says, “Gym is not a 9-5 job. It demands you to work in shifts which to a lot of women seems challenging because of familial responsibilities, transportation, safety at odd hours, and so on”, she adds.

Although society hasn’t fully accepted women as gym trainers, Tanya says, “I was fortunate to decide for myself and pick the profession that interests me. But there still is a sense of hesitation from a lot of people I know.”

Asked how male clients look at female trainers and what are their expectations, she says, “It will take time for male clients to accept a female trainer. Their main concern is the size of the trainer. They will not consider your certification, knowledge, technique and exercise science”. 

While there are people who will demotivate female trainers, there are also people who will encourage and support you. “The industry needs more female trainers. It is possible if more women turned headstrong and are determined to do what they really want”, Tanya adds.


Aditi Singh, professional hacker

Bug hunting and ethical hacking isn’t a new profession in India, but the percentage of women in these professions is relatively low compared to male. Globally, only 20% of women are represented in this profession. 

Aditi Singh, 21, was introduced to the world of hacking during her medical entrance coaching in Kota, when she first hacked into her neighbour’s wi-fi. She didn’t get through medical school, but the passion for hacking and cyber security grew in her. Through resources and notes from Google and Twitter, Singh taught herself the basics of hacking.

She reported an OTP bypass bug in TikTok’s ‘forgot password’ section and won a bounty of $1,100. This was the moment when she realised she wanted to follow ethical hacking as a career path. 

Singh made it to the headlines when she won a reward of $33,000 for spotting a bug in Microsoft’s Azure cloud system. She also found a similar bug in Facebook for which she won a bounty of $7,500.

Till now, she has found more than 40 bugs in various companies, and received appreciation letters from Harvard University, Columbia University, Stanford University and University of California. 

Singh is one among the few women whose name is highlighted in Google’s Hall of Fame. Spotting bugs isn’t an easy task, hackers have to be really keen to spot the bugs, then they can report it to the company for a bounty.


Shivi Bhatnagar, Cinematographer

Women only hold 8% of key positions in Indian cinema, and in terms of cinematography, the number is even less. According to the report by Ormax Media and Film Companion, women hold only 2% of positions in cinematography in the films released in 2019-20.

Shivi Bhatnagar has been working as a cinematographer for the past 5 years. She developed an interest in cinematography and video production during her Master’s in Journalism and Communication from Amity University, Noida.

“I wanted to be an anchor at a point in my life but found my interest in being behind the camera while filming some post-graduate projects.

The technicalities of using the camera and lighting just made me fall in love with it”, says Bhatnagar. 

She has worked on several fiction film projects, travel documentaries and corporate films. She is also working as a consultant at Choorma Studio. She worked as the director of photography for the short film Qulfi, which was the official selection of the Hollywood International Golden Age Film Festival, March 2021.

She also worked on numerous projects like ‘The Great African Caravan’, a travel documentary and various corporate films.

Speaking about her struggle as a woman in this field, she says, “When I reach a shoot location and the assistants arrive, they ask me who is the cameraman. When I tell them it’s me, they don’t believe it.

It takes some time for them to sink in, and realise that I’m capable of my job. Another instance was when I applied to an organisation for the role of Cinematographer and they rejected me saying I’m a woman and they would have to take extra precautions if the shoots continue late at night. That incident made me sad”, added Bhatnagar.

She is a member of the Indian Women’s Cinematographer’s Collective, which provides a safe space for women in this field to discuss issues, and help and guide each other.

For more stories that cover the ongoings of Delhi NCR, follow us on: