Experts Column

On March 8th every year the world celebrates International Women’s day. Beyond the customary wishes, this day is important since it serves as a great reminder for the laurels achieved by women in different aspects of their lives as well as of society. Be it a homemaker or the creator of a global giant, a young school girl or an experienced business leader, on women’s day we acknowledge the immense talent and grit showcased by all women. Today we also have the critical conversations about how women need to be empowered and strengthened to help them achieve everything that their heart desires.

The theme for international women’s day 2022 is #BreakTheBias, which motivates us to create a world that treats all genders the same. It also emphasizes on the importance of inculcating inclusivity, diversity and equity in every aspect of life.

We spoke to several Indian women entrepreneurs about their perspective on the role played by gender in their respective industries. They also speak about where things stand and how situations can be improved to empower women to achieve success and create fulfilling careers.

Deepika Bora, Co-Founder of Bridgentech Consulting says, “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise. As a woman, I believe in this strongly. Women today are strong, individualistic & independent”.

Speaking about women and their growth in the Indian IT industry Deepika adds, “While the IT business is predominantly male-dominated, India does have a few female leaders. However, we need a lot more, and in order to get there, we must address a number of issues, the first and most crucial of which is the gender pay gap. We, as a consulting firm, have made it a point to pay people according to their roles, regardless of gender. The retention of female talent is the second issue. The ratio begins to decline in middle management, not just because of family obligations, but also because of the demands of the workplace culture. It is critical to alter this mindset and culture. Mentoring males to see that responsibility must be shared equally, as well as encouraging women to make their own decisions from an early age, is critical. Women will be able to fulfill their deliverables and career objectives with less stress and guilt if they are mentored in this way. As a female leader & entrepreneur, and often frequently the only woman in the room, I strongly feel that we must continuously question preconceived beliefs and ensure the path is laid out for the next woman in line.”

Shwetal Shubhadeep, Co-Founder & COO of NWORX weighs in on her wish on the International Women’s day and says, “Every professional and every leader brings unique experiences, strengths, and perspectives to the workplace. Deeply valuing this uniqueness every day is worthy of an annual celebration. My wish is for every leader to acknowledge the value, nurture the value, and themselves be capable of adding the value. Happy International Women’s Day!”

Bringing in a well-balanced perspective about how far women have come and how far we need to go to achieve gender equality, Vidhi Wadhwa, Founder of Bail Naturals says, “There is no question that a great deal of progress has been made toward gender equality, and this progress is particularly evident in the workplace. There also is no question that the goal of full gender equality has not yet been achieved. One of the most visible negative results of these ingrained gender roles is the deep segregation of professions. I believe no profession should be given a designated gender, it hampers the chance of knowing what the other person brings in. Our beliefs about ourselves are important in shaping all kinds of important decisions, such as what colleges we apply to, which career paths we choose, and whether we are willing to contribute ideas in the workplace.”

She further speaks about the age old stereotypes that are still prevalent in the corporate world. “A common stereotype is that women are not aggressive enough for leadership positions. They are viewed as caretakers, whereas men are viewed as assertive. When women display assertive, or aggressive behavior within organizations they are then viewed as unstable, and therefore unable to handle stress or manage groups. This is particularly prevalent in male-dominated organizations, especially those that have few to no female leaders, or even female employees. Women still have to prove their loyalty every day, because loyal to work is mostly seen as disloyalty to family.”

Talking about the importance of women in the workforce, entrepreneur, Socialite, Model & Founder, Chinu Kala says, “I feel that women who comprise of 50% of the population are as important to the workforce as men. For a country that is growing the contribution needs to come from both the genders. Women are for sure better in multitasking and there are jobs that they can manage better.”

Weighing in her views about how women can support one another to grow and prosper in the workforce, Chinu adds, “I feel that we as a society are progressing when it comes to women’s contribution in business or jobs. There are a lot of women entrepreneurs who are doing really well in their ventures and we can also see so many women who are heading big corporations. All of us who have the authority and ability should purposefully work towards encouraging women to grow and excel in their respective fields.”

“Women are resilient and stronger than the world has given them the credit for. I feel that given the right opportunity we are all capable of building sustainable and prospering careers and also contribute to the growth of the nation,” she concludes on an optimistic note.