International Women’s Day is a time for us to join together and embrace the message that women’s rights are human rights. It’s a time to celebrate and embrace all women – those that came before us and made things possible, the strong women among us today, and female leaders of the future.

After the year that’s been, it seems more important than ever to celebrate the strength of the women among us. This year’s IWD theme focuses on Women in Leadership, so in this series, we’re honouring the achievements of influential women in the Hype DC community.

We sat down with Tara Chandra, a freelance fashion content creator from Sydney, to chat leadership and the inspirational women in her life.

Hey Tara, we spoke to you last year as part of our Hype Girl series. What have you been up to since then?
Hi! It’s been pretty chill. I’ve been digital drawing, launching an online store for prints, doing my usual Instagram content, catching up with friends, and travelling interstate.

How have you adapted to a new way of working and living? Did you face any challenges?
I think I felt the most change early to mid-last year with lockdown and not leaving my house! Instead of going out and shooting my content, I had to make do with my (not so aesthetic) house. Sponsored content decreased at that time, but it picked up again towards the end of last year.



Hey Tara, we spoke to you last year as part of our Hype Girl series. What have you been up to since then?
Hi! It’s been pretty chill. I’ve been digital drawing, launching an online store for prints, doing my usual Instagram content, catching up with friends, and travelling interstate.

How have you adapted to a new way of working and living? Did you face any challenges?
I think I felt the most change early to mid-last year with lockdown and not leaving my house! Instead of going out and shooting my content, I had to make do with my (not so aesthetic) house. Sponsored content decreased at that time, but it picked up again towards the end of last year.

What’s been your most significant achievement over the last year?
Work-wise, being sponsored by Instagram in November 2020 was pretty cool, and also signing a contract for my biggest sponsorship a few weeks ago!

What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Hopefully more interstate travel and being able to explore parts of Australia that I haven’t before! I went to Mungo National Park in January, I’m currently in Tasmania for the whole of February, and I’m looking forward to more trips!

What do you think are the biggest issues facing women in 2021?
These issues aren’t 2021 specific – they’ve been ongoing and will continue to be unless change happens. There are so many issues that come to mind, but some include workplace inequality and harassment, lack of access to education and sexual assault.

Do women in your industry face any particular challenges?
I think the biggest challenge faced in this industry would probably be sexual harassment and assault. I can think of so many times where people have come forward after being assaulted by other creatives in this industry. And of course, it doesn’t happen only to women.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to all young women?
You really can achieve what you set your mind to. Sometimes it just takes time, confidence, and work.

What do you wish your 15-year-old self knew?
I wish my 15-year-old self knew how much she’d grow and change, how much happier she’d be. And all that fashion work she did would really pay off.

What does being a leader mean to you?
Moving to the beat of your own drum.

Any advice to women on being a leader?
Stay true to your beliefs. Others will follow if they align with you. Those are the people you want to keep in your life.



What do you wish your 15-year-old self knew?
I wish my 15-year-old self knew how much she’d grow and change, how much happier she’d be. And all that fashion work she did would really pay off.

What does being a leader mean to you?
Moving to the beat of your own drum.

Any advice to women on being a leader?
Stay true to your beliefs. Others will follow if they align with you. Those are the people you want to keep in your life.

Who are some women that inspire you?
Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg and Roxane Gay.

And who are some of your female mentors?
My sister and mum. They’ve always guided me to make the right decisions and supported the work I’ve done.



Who are some women that inspire you?
Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg and Roxane Gay.

And who are some of your female mentors?
My sister and mum. They’ve always guided me to make the right decisions and supported the work I’ve done.

Have you experienced a key moment in your life where you’ve had to push harder for yourself because of your gender? And how did you overcome this?
I feel very privileged because I can’t think of a specific moment where I’ve had to push harder because of my gender. I went to an all-girls school. I’ve created my own, predominantly female social media platform. I’ve always had strong women to guide me in life. In saying all this, we still live in a country run by white men who dictate how women choose to live their life. For example, abortion laws.

If you could change one thing for women worldwide, what would it be?
I guess I’d allow equal access and remove all gender inequality for women. I’m trying to cover as many bases as I can with one change!

Stay up to date with all Tara’s creative projects here.