It’s time to #ChooseToChallenge the ‘Mom Penalty’ – watch the short film by Women Empowered Global

Undoubtedly the months of pandemic lockdown have been harsh on all of us. But it has been especially brutal for working moms. They have had to juggle endless workplace demands alongside managing an unequal load of housework, childcare and remote schooling. As a result, four times, more women than men dropped out of the workforce. 

To highlight this concern, Women Empowered Global released a short film for International Women’s Day to address the elephant in the room – the Mom Penalty. The creative agency behind the film was HumanSense and it was written and directed by the founder and Chief Creative Officer of the Sri Lanka based agency, Ruchi Sharma. 

“As a working mom myself, this subject is very dear to my heart, I know first-hand how rough the past year has been for all working moms,” Ruchi said. “From having to give up a high-profile overseas job to starting on my own from scratch, juggling demanding deadlines, working longer hours, navigating the world of remote learning with a young kid, endless housework and the anxiety of ageing parents.”

Ruchi explained that despite having a supportive spouse, the stress combined with loneliness and depression often erupted with her crying on the bathroom floor. 

“This film is personal,” Ruchi said. “And I hope it inspires many to challenge the mom penalty that women have been through this pandemic.”

Women Empowered Global is a platform that empowers women globally through business education, networking forums, career advancement and entrepreneurial programs. It currently has a presence in over 23 countries across six continents and over 4,000 women who are women in business, business leaders, global influencers, millennials, startup founders, women in leadership & management from corporate, industrial & STEM sectors.

“I am so excited to announce this beautiful, meaningful and powerful movie to commemorate International Women’s Day, to celebrate, recognize and appreciate all Women around the world. This film takes us on a deeply reflective and relatable journey of a working mother,” said Founder & CEO of Women Empowered Global, Senela Jayasuriya. There have been many times in my path as a working mom and woman, where I faced so many struggles and personal challenges that tried to stop me from reaching my goal.” 


Creative Agency: HumanSense, Sri Lanka 

Writer & Creative Director: Ruchi Sharma 

Production team: X10 Productions, 

Sri Lanka Executive Producer: Prasanna Kithalagama 

Editor: Arngelo Pereira 

Producer: Muveendra Premaratne 

Audio Mix: Kasun Wickramasinghe 

Project Manager: Amaashie Mahahewage 

Visual footage courtesy: & 

Music track courtesy: CinematicAudioGroup

In conjunction with International Women’s Day (IWD) happening on 8 March, MARKETING Magazine is declaring the whole month of March as a celebration of Malaysian women in the industry and brand campaigns that aim to empower women and start a discussion on existing gender inequality.

Our biggest campaign for IWD 2021 is the 5-part content series, Challenge Accepted.

Throughout March, every Monday, we will be featuring one successful, inspiring and powerful woman who has accepted the challenge to be great at what she does. We’ve sat with each one of them and asked them about the mindset and determination they’ve built to be where they are today.  

The official theme for IWD 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge and through these stories, we’re excited for our readers to be inspired to challenge themselves and the norms around them and create something they’re proud of.

The first part of our series features Founder and CEO of idotyou, Dorothy Fong who started the creative agency 20 years ago.

Remaining a lean and small team, idotyou has executed some of the most memorable campaigns for big brands since and continues to do so and we found that Dorothy’s leadership skills and entrepreneurial mindset has played a pivotal role in ensuring the success of idotyou in the highly competitive marketing and advertising market.

Read more here.

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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