Manjari Sharma, Co-Founder and CPO, FreightFox : “ Well informed customers and their evolving choices are making logistics and supply chains complex and ripe for digital innovations. The logistics today is one of linking pins to the customer delight and half of or more customers today are women. If we are working constantly to achieve that delight, the same representation must also be there in the domain of logistics and supply chain. Over the years this domain has been operational and field heavy and hence looked at Gentlemen’s club, having said that the complexity and competition compelled the intersection of this industry with technology and digital transformation where the gender diversity dividend can unearth immense untapped potential. We at FreightFox truly believe in this and our endeavour is to innovate and deliver augmented logistics capabilities for the manufacturing industry driven by passion, diversity and inclusion.
At present, the logistics industry is undergoing significant transformation, with the rise of automation, artificial intelligence, and other technological advancements. We are also seeing more women being employed in leadership positions as their detail-oriented and collaborative approach helps to identify and solve problems more efficiently. However, women are often underrepresented in the industry, and there is a growing concern about the digital divide that exists between men and women in logistics. Addressing this digital divide in logistics is crucial for promoting gender equality and creating a more inclusive and innovative industry. Women bring unique skills and perspectives to logistics, and by empowering them with the digital tools and resources they need, we can unlock their full potential.
On this Women’s Day, we’d like to appreciate the efforts of women who often go unnoticed. By empowering and supporting women in manufacturing and logistics, we can build a more resilient, innovative, and equitable industry that benefits everyone.”
Dr. Sara Varughese, Managing Trustee, CBM India: “Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we are reminded that women still face significant barriers to achieving true equality. Women still lack financial autonomy and have limited access to healthcare and disability support. At CBM India Trust, our mission is to champion the voices of the underprivileged, and we believe empowering women is key to achieving that goal.
Through our work with state governments and the private sector, we have established women-led co-ops that provide gainful employment to rural women, helping to bridge the gender gap in the workforce. We also place special emphasis on our disability aid programs to ensure that women with disabilities receive the support they need. Additionally, we are committed to placing women in key leadership and supervisory positions to promote gender equality in all aspects of our work.
On this Women’s Day, we want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of rural business owners, educators, caregivers, and homemakers who work selflessly for the benefit of others. Their contributions often go unnoticed but are critical to building a more inclusive society. We believe that development is sustainable only when it is inclusive, and we are committed to ensuring that women everywhere have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. By breaking down systemic barriers and promoting women’s leadership, we can create a more just and equitable society for all.”
Shalini V Nair- Co-Founder and Board Director, Ennoventure Inc: ‘’IT and science have been male-dominated fields for decades, excluding women from opportunities and progress. However, we at Ennoventure Inc are proud to be part of a growing number of women-led tech businesses in India. Although the percentage of women in IT in India is relatively high at 36%, there is still a long way to go to change perceptions about women’s ability to handle math and computers.
At Ennoventure Inc, we are committed to bringing more diverse talent into skill-intensive and leadership roles. We offer special skill-building programs for our women employees and spread awareness about careers in tech. It is crucial to have supportive leadership and more female role models in senior positions to correct the gender gap. We strongly encourage tech brands to appoint more women in leadership roles and establish guidance and training opportunities for incoming women.
As we celebrate Women’s Day, we would like to appreciate all the women in STEM who bring their intelligence and grit to design a better future, despite the obstacles they face. We also want to encourage young girls to pursue careers in STEM and not let anyone tell them they can’t. Women have always been capable of everything, and we hope to see more women taking up the space they deserve in 2023 and beyond.’’
Ridhhi Sanghi- Director and Head, People Success-TurboHire: ‘’At TurboHire, we are driven to revolutionize the traditional hiring process, and a significant part of our mission is to eliminate the subtle gender bias that influences hiring decisions. Our AI-powered solutions allow candidates to be assessed solely based on their abilities, which benefits women who may have been subject to unconscious biases. This approach also ensures that every company gets the best candidate for each job.
We provide companies with greater visibility on hiring trends, which is essential because many organizations may not even be aware of the gender disparities that exist on their teams. Technology has immense potential to bring the transparency and neutrality that our economy needs, and startups today understand the importance of diversity, particularly in traditionally male-dominated fields like engineering and senior management.
As we celebrate Women’s Day in 2023, we want to reaffirm our commitment to empowering Indian women to achieve their highest potential. We appreciate the millions of women who are breaking barriers and building the careers they deserve. While we acknowledge that there is still a long way to go to achieve truly equitable representation, we believe that with the right technology and a sincere desire to be inclusive, companies can start making a difference today.’’
Snehal Samprati, Director – Product Management and Technical Marketing Engineering, FlashBlade at Pure Storage: “Today we see efforts being made by companies and the government to increase the representation of women in the tech industry. Worldwide, only 33% of women are researchers and about 22% of them work in advanced technology streams such as artificial intelligence, machine learning etc. This tells us that we still have work to do in making women pick and stick to STEM fields.
To create a more inclusive tech sector, we need to motivate the next generation of women to pursue and develop their careers in technology and inspire them to become leaders. There is a need to retain women who are already in technology, attract more girls to STEM and sustain their interest. This will demand time, efforts, action and support and equal opportunity for women in the industry and women tech leaders who can be catalysts for a new generation of women aspiring for a career in the industry.”
Subhashini Ponnappa, Head HR & Administration, 75F, APAC region:“Women are important societal pillars that are crucial in paving the way for constructive change. Despite facing significant barriers, they have been making incredible strides in the fields of science and technology and other unconventional sectors.
Even though women have begun challenging the status quo by entering the otherwise male dominated industries, the percentage of women assuming leadership positions, especially in fields like IT, is very small. According to Entelo’s “Quantifying the Gender Gap” report, women hold just 10% of executive roles and 16% of high-level IT employment. However, as time progresses, women are seen to continue their unwavering pursuit of gender equality through their sheer grit and resilience.
We, at 75F, firmly believe that women are one of the crucial building blocks of all our big achievements. At 75F, we endeavour to include as many women as possible and ensure enhancing their skills in developing a culture that accords them respect and equal opportunities to progress in their professional lives. This International Women’s Day, we celebrate their outstanding accomplishments across the world and in our industry”.
Deepak Malik, Director of Human Resources, Aeris Communications : “The tech industry is constantly evolving, leading to a significant increase in more opportunities and roles for women. At Aeris Communications, we strive to place women in the forefront of our work and maintain a balanced mix of women and men in our workforce. Through our ‘Women in IoT’ platform, we aim to demonstrate the importance of personal style and confidence for women in business. This platform also helps women share their work experience with like-minded women professionals and engage in meaningful discussions and network. We also organize in-house training sessions, SME workshops and senior executive programs at esteemed institutes like the IIMs for the growth of our employees”.
Renu Shekhawat, Director & Head of Human Resources, India & ANZ , Pitney Bowes: “Women are seeking challenging opportunities that empower them to succeed in their careers, and it is the responsibility of organizations to provide them with an inclusive and bias-free environment. While equal opportunities are important, they alone are not sufficient for true inclusion. Organizations must approach inclusion through the lens of ‘Intersectionality’, recognizing that every individual has a unique starting point and that programs must be tailored accordingly. To improve gender ratios, a reliable strategy is to focus on women’s career advancement at all levels. At Pitney Bowes, we prioritize the development of in-demand skills. Our Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a year-long intensive program, empowers women to supercharge their leadership and management abilities in driving digital innovation”
Reetu Raina, Vice President and Global Head of Talent Management, Amdocs:”In an industry that has traditionally faced challenges attracting women, we believe a gender-equal future is ours to create. However, in order to achieve this, organisations must allocate appropriate resources, and provide fair opportunities to women employees. At Amdocs, we continuously seek opportunities to develop and reinvent female talent, offer training in cutting-edge technology and leadership competencies, and eradicate all types of unconscious bias in order to foster a culture of inclusion and innovation. In India, we launched the Back2Work Bootcamp as a springboard for women returning to the workforce. The five-day bootcamp included tech skills such as the Java Developer Course and covered topics such as growth mindset, interview skills, LinkedIn skills, and more. Participants are further provided with the opportunity to interview at Amdocs.”
Anjali Byce, CHRO at STL: “In technology, there have been some barriers to entry for women, effectively halving the available talent pool. This needs to be proactively rectified. At STL, we take pride in leading the way towards a diverse and inclusive workforce. We are looking at skills required for a role in an environment where organizations are looking at fungibility of resources and building capabilities.
We strongly believe that women in HR tech are at the forefront of this movement. We recognize the critical role that technology plays in promoting gender equality and creating an inclusive workplace. By leveraging technology and data, we make better decisions regarding workforce planning, recruitment, and employee engagement. We have implemented technology-driven policies and programs to support women employees, including mentorship, training, and leadership development initiatives. Additionally, we utilize AI-based resume screening tools. This eliminates any bias in the selection process, streamlining the time-consuming task of reviewing resumes to identify the best candidates.
At STL, our job evaluation process is empowered with a scientific and fair approach for leveling roles across our businesses, functions, and geographies based on role complexity. This helps us to implement all our policies and benefits aligned to grade levels in a fair manner. We are convinced that by building a culture of inclusion and implementing the latest HR tech, we can attract, retain, and develop female talent, ensuring that our workforce is diverse and inclusive.”
Ramya Parashar, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Board Member, MiQ : “On this International Women’s Day, as we observe the theme adopted by the United Nations, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” it reminds us of the immense potential technology holds in advancing women’s empowerment regardless of location and socioeconomic background.
In my opinion, women now have access to a wider range of job opportunities, including some traditionally male-dominated roles, as companies are offering remote work options, flexible working hours, and online courses and training programs so women can develop new skills that can help them find better job opportunities. With improved technology women have easy access to financial services such as mobile banking and online payment systems that give them greater control over their finances. Even when it comes to healthcare, technology as bridged the access gap especially in remote areas with the help of telemedicine and mobile health apps, that remove the traditional barriers of infrastructure and geography. Additionally, technology can also make women feel safer in public places with the help of GPS enabled devices that can be used to track the location of women in distress.
We are now creating new opportunities for women to break down barriers and succeed in their careers by creating more flexible and inclusive work environments. Gender equality defines development, and we should stand together and celebrate the progress we have made so far, but also look ahead at how to keep the momentum going.”
Mr. Ashish Saraf, VP and Country Director, India-Thales : “On this International Women’s Day, Thales is proud to celebrate the incredible achievements of women around the world. As we mark 70 years in India, we reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We remain dedicated to promoting gender equality and empowering women in our workforce through leadership and mentoring programs, flexible working arrangements, networking forums, and employee resource groups. In fact, our efforts have been recognized by Avtar The Power of Diversity and Seramount, as we have been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies for Women in India’ for the fourth consecutive year. We have launched a program called Fly High, which is targeted at leadership development for women. We firmly believe that a diverse workforce is essential for driving innovation and growth, and we are proud to accelerate the recruitment of women at all levels and promote them to higher levels of responsibility. We believe that by working together to build a more inclusive world, we can drive meaningful change and build a future we can all trust.”
Archana Khosla Burman, Founder Partner, Vertices : “International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the success of women achievers and ruminate on the road ahead to build an inclusive ecosystem for growth. Women entrepreneurs and professionals have been playing a significant role in driving the economy. Entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups founded by women are generating employment at a considerable scale. Their journeys are inspirations for other aspiring women entrepreneurs.
However, to make a deeper impact on the economy and the GDP, there is an urgent need to create a level playing field for women entrepreneurs. They have proven their mettle in the highly competitive start-up ecosystem by setting up successful businesses. The time has come to create an enabling ecosystem for them so that they shape economic growth and make it inclusive in the true sense of the term. Setting up gender equity is the need of the hour to ensure equitable outcomes for women professionals and founders and for the economy as a whole. Promising women-founded ventures should no longer remain as missed economic opportunities due to the absence of funding support. It’s quite encouraging to see the government initiating measures and schemes to address funding requirements of women-led ventures to accelerate growth.”
Deepshikha Sharma, CEO, of Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals : “Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 with great enthusiasm across the world to honour and cherish the women in our lives and womanhood in general.
When the world is celebrating International Women’s Day as an appreciation of their contribution in our lives, it is important to understand the importance woman should put into their health, especially eye care.
Most women do not know that their lifestyle affects their eye health. In general, they are so busy taking care of their jobs, their families, and their lives that they do not always have time to think about their own eye health. We live in times where people are highly conscious of attractive appearance and also increased health and wellness maintenance.
Recent studies published in The Lancet Global Health revealed that women carry the greater burden of visual impairment. Across the globe, more women than men have impaired vision due to cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and dry eye disease.
Furthermore, women are also more susceptible to dry eye syndrome, a condition more frequent in post-menopausal and pregnant women, due to hormonal fluctuations. Apart from that, we all are aware of the significance of make-up in the lives of women.
It is important that women make their vision health a priority to help detect vision issues early. Early and consistent treatment for most eye diseases can significantly reduce the risk of vision loss.
The eye health gender gap poses a multi-faceted challenge for vision care practitioners, academia, and industry. It needs to be tackled in a multi-pronged manner. If we are to bridge the gender gap, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Women are not a monolith; different women face different hurdles on the path to accessing quality eye care.
Although, better education, spreading awareness, and using modern information technology are important. Women can lead by example – wear your spectacles proudly and spread the word about the gift of good vision. This day belongs to you. May you prosper and stand to be affirmed in the course of life. Happy International Women’s Day.”
Neha Vernekar – Development Manager, Interface Products, Texas Instruments : “As we celebrate women’s day, we must understand that awareness around creating an inclusive environment is now more important than ever. As digital transformation becomes the core of everything that we do, we must create a unique space for women leaders to flourish and be leaders in STEM. For this to be a reality, younger women must be educated and provided with the right skillsets. As more and more women enter the workforce, they should feel confident about their decisions which can only come from a good understanding of the space and the presence of strong role models. Additionally, organisations must also focus on creating an environment where equal opportunities thrive for women as they climb up the ladder.”
Mirunalini Motilal, Director – India & Global HR, Volante Technologies : “As the world is evolving and inching towards attaining gender equity for woman’s advancement, it is critical for the emerging industries including IT, technology and telecom to overcome the long-existing gender prejudice and encourage women to take up leadership roles by creating ample opportunities for them. We as employers at Volante Technologies, committed at constant upskilling and providing leadership opportunities specifically for females as vertical Leads, Managers, and Management cadre. Modern trends like career comeback plans and customized career roadmaps in the technology industry is imperative for modern organizations these days and require to be ingrained in the company’s core framework to construct an inclusive environment for women at the workplace.
Volante plans to expand its gender diversity efforts further with an initiative, called ‘Women@Volante’, which aims to augment diversity and inclusion at the workplace. The shift from gender equality to gender equity is significant progress to building a genuine inclusion strategy at any workplace and on this International Women’s Day, we stand to bring a change right from grassroots action to wide-scale momentum.”
Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer & Head – Marketing, Tech Mahindra : “Every year on March 8th, we celebrate International Women’s Day to honor the numerous sacrifices, struggles, and successes of women throughout history. While women and people of all genders are consciously defying stereotypes and are actively contributing to break barriers, I truly believe that we have a long road ahead in overcoming conscious and unconscious biases. Having said that, we can all come together to bridge the gap by being supportive allies and creating a sense of, not just inclusion, but belonging at work for women.
While our quest of creating a diverse, equal, and inclusive world will take time, what we can collectively do today and each following day is to sow the seeds of change that will bear fruit in the future. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I urge every woman to stay true to their purpose, stand tall, and march ahead to lead the world and bring about a positive change.”
Sqn Ldr Dimple Rawat (Retd), Director HR at Barco India : “As more and more women make their mark in technology, we have also seen remarkable growth in the innovation quotient, leading to better and more advanced solutions and output. The Indian IT industry has shown tremendous improvement in bridging the gender gap and empowering women in technology. Gender parity remains essential to a resilient future, and there is a strong need to provide adequate mentorship and equal opportunities to women in the global STEM ecosystem. Moreover, organizations need to implement a consistent strategic approach to strengthen equality and foster an appropriate ecosystem with policies aimed at enhancing women’s career paths and unlocking innovative upskilling possibilities and technology-based education, starting at the grassroots.”
Rituparna Mandal, General Manager, MediaTek Bangalore : “According to the UN, more women in the technology space results in more advanced solutions and has greater potential for innovations that promote gender equality. It is imperative that the global STEM ecosystem step up and provide women and girls with innovative upskilling opportunities and technology-based education, starting from the grassroots, to unlock a sustainable future for the planet and humankind. Additionally, organizations need to deploy a strategic and continuous approach to strengthen equality and equity by creating appropriate ecosystems and policies to grow their career path and to assist them in building long-term careers in tech.”
Vaishnavi Shukla, HR Head, Comviva : “With the wave of digital transformation across sectors, it is also crucial to bridge the digital gender divide and create a future that is inclusive and equitable for all. The past few years have magnified the existing gender digital gap, but it has also presented an opportunity to accelerate our efforts towards digital as well as financial inclusion for women, enabling them to achieve their maximum potential. As women leaders, I believe it is our responsibility to advocate for policies and initiatives that will help close this gap and guarantee equal access to education, training, and job opportunities. We need to find more ‘STEM girls next door’ and encourage them to innovate, fail and most importantly, fuel the growth mindset. The government and policymakers can help address this issue by investing in digital infrastructure and skill development and promoting gender equality. Let’s aim to work together to create a world where diversity and innovation are encouraged and where all women have equal access to technology. We at Comviva have a strong culture of encouraging growth mindset and challenge the stereotypes. We believe that inclusiveness is the only path to sustained success.”
Ms. Niroopa Padmanabhan – Vice President Design, Smartworks: “Women are breaking gender stereotypes and stepping into this sector, which was once perceived as male-dominated. But that’s not the case anymore; there is a change in perception, and the unwavering determination, hard work, and honed talent have pushed the influx of women upwards in real estate in the last few years. The hiring conversations have moved from gender to experience and meritocracy. From entry-level or mid-manager roles, women today lead functions such as Sales, all-men-led Operations teams, Projects, and more.”
“Leading a team of 50+ people have its challenges, but when you know you are trusted and supported by the higher-ups, it makes all the difference- showcases that your skills and perspectives are recognized.
What’s worked well for me over the years is my continued investment in reskilling and upskilling, keeping up with the trends and industry updates. The organization has been instrumental in my growth by providing me with the resources and opportunities to grow, such as leadership training, involvement in key projects, mentoring, and networking opportunities.”
Padmini Gopalakrishnan, Senior Director, Software Development, AMD India : “Equal opportunities are no longer enough”
I like to use the metaphor of a garden when thinking about this year’s IWD theme of embracing equity to build an inclusive world. Conditions vary across the garden; for each individual plant to thrive, it must receive what it needs to grow – sunshine or shade, space, water, or extra fertilizer, sometimes a support to grasp.
At the workplace, providing equal access to jobs is just the first step. It must be accompanied by providing support in the form of mentoring and sponsorship, and access to networks and successful role models, challenging assignments, and opportunities to fail, learn and grow. Embracing equity helps not just women, but minorities everywhere!
Samra Rahman, Head of People & Culture, Hero Vired : “Being the leaders of a diverse workforce, I believe women should set achievable goals and create steady milestones. While it may be a known fact that self-love is important, I would reiterate that all women should invest in their health. In my experience, a combination of shorter goals and a self-appreciative attitude helps women become better at their work and added activities such as yoga and meditation provide long-term benefits in managing stress.
Additionally, women should continuously invest in upskilling themselves and should embrace their natural leadership style without compromising on their Emotional Quotient (EQ). We can lead by example and empathy and we should leverage that to make a positive impact in the workplace.”
Ms. Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Serial Entrepreneur & CEO, Great Place To Work® India: “The theme for International Women’s Day 2023, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” highlights the pivotal role of technology and innovation in promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. The theme also underscores the need for concerted efforts to address the gender gap in access to technology and education in the digital age. As we celebrate the progress made in advancing women’s rights and gender equality, we must also recognize the persistent challenges faced by women and girls, especially in developing countries. Gender disparities in access to technology, education, and economic opportunities continue to hinder women’s full participation in social, economic, and political spheres. The theme for IWD 2023 calls for leveraging innovation and technology to promote gender equality and empower women entrepreneurs. It is an invitation to use technology and innovation as a tool for positive social change, where access to education, training, and economic opportunities for women are enhanced.”
She also added, “Innovation and technological change in the digital age offer a unique opportunity to break down the barriers that hold women and girls back. Technology can create new markets, provide access to new services, and transform the way we work, live, and interact. It can help women entrepreneurs overcome traditional constraints and access global markets, connect with suppliers, and customers, and scale their businesses.
Education in the digital age is also essential in equipping women and girls with the skills needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Digital literacy and skills enable women entrepreneurs to access information, financial services, and business tools, expanding their opportunities and driving growth. According to the United Nations, India needs to generate 10-12 million jobs annually to sustain its growing population, and many of these jobs require STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. The Indian government also has recognized this need and launched various initiatives to promote STEM education, including the Atal Innovation Mission and the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations. In conclusion, the theme for IWD 2023 is a call to action to harness the potential of innovation and technology to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. It is a reminder that we all have a role to play in building a more inclusive and sustainable world, where every woman and girl can reach their full potential.”
Dr Priyanka Goyat, Co-Founder, Rejove Aligners said “Women’s advancement in the medical technology profession is addressing the crucial and long-overlooked need for improved gender equity within the healthcare industry. More women are pursuing graduate degrees in technology, science, and math (STEM). The development of technologies today gives gender and race more consideration. Women are redefining the health technology sector by creating innovative, individualised healthcare solutions. the use of software that strongly includes artificial intelligence and machine learning. At Rejove, 90% of the employees are women, including healthcare professionals. Every action we take opens the door for more women to follow in our footsteps, encouraging a new generation of women to follow their passions and have a profound effect on the world. At Rejove, we utilise 3D Intraoral scanners, 3D printers, microscopic endodontic treatments, and dolphin software, which predicts surgical outcomes in orthognathic situations”.
Agendra Kumar, MD, Esri India : “Advancements in technology are rapidly reshaping the world, and the contribution of the women workforce in this dynamic scenario is phenomenal. At Esri India, we are proud of creating an equitable work environment for all and attaining an industry-leading women representation of 37% in our workforce. Esri India recently got recognized by The World Geospatial Industry Council as a trailblazer for building an equitable and inclusive culture in the geospatial ecosystem. This, I believe, is an excellent testimony of our increased focus on Embracing Equity. Also, as part of our CSR initiatives, we focus on making rural women technologically adept so that the digital divide is reduced.”
Prof. Rudra Pratap, Founding Vice Chancellor of Plaksha University : “To be able to embrace equity in a full-fledged manner, Women’s Day needs to celebrate the feminine in everyone and we need to ensure this celebration every day, every moment. It is only by celebrating the feminine that we can nurture empathy, something that is both crucial and critical in a volatile world that we live in. At Plaksha, we ensure a safe and inclusive space for everyone and that is key to celebrating their individualism, without which great education and research is almost impossible. As we reimagine technology to address major global problems, we believe it is important to assimilate reimagination at every stage of life to be able to practice it. And Women’s Day too needs to be reimagined in that light. As we step forward for a more responsible future, it is important to acknowledge all that identity, besides celebrating the feminine attribute in every individual to bring out the best of Women’s Day.
On another note, we are doing all it takes to bridge the gender gap in STEM by promoting women in STEM education. By 2027, we aim to have a cohort of 50% women students across all academic programs at Plaksha, aligned with our intent of fostering a diverse and inclusive community.”
Ms. Puja Srivastava, Co-Founder & CTO at spocto, a Yubi Company : “A report published by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2019 estimated that if women’s participation in the global economy were to match that of men, it could add $28 trillion to the global GDP by 2025, which represents an increase of approximately 26%. To achieve this, we must start encouraging women to take up STEM as an academic and professional option. And most importantly, women need to be taught to make financial decisions.
Equality and diversity should be more than just buzzwords in organizations. They should be actively pursued as a core value and an actionable outcome. We, as organizations, should strive to create an inclusive and welcoming culture for individuals from all backgrounds and demographics. Individuals must begin treating men and women equally by abolishing biases by asking men and women the same questions, not stereotyping women into some specific kind of roles & most importantly, changing the ideology that the part of the primary caregiver is only limited to women. Adhering to the same, at spocto, we have initiated extended parental leaves that allow men to be caregivers.
I’m very proud of the diversity at spocto is at a whopping 63%, comprising many women leaders. Be it HR, Legal, Pre-sales, Marketing, Sales, Technology, or Engineering, almost every vertical is being led or co-led by a woman. That sets a very good example for other women joining the workforce.”
Tarini Malhotra, Founder, Nai Subah Foundation: “As India aspires to become a US$5 trillion economy, it is no secret that this goal cannot be achieved without deeper involvement of women in the workplace. Further, tapping into the entrepreneurial instincts of women will certainly make a huge difference not just to economic outcomes but changing women’s role in our Indian society.
As a young Indian social entrepreneur, I encourage all women to shape their own destinies and join the growing community of women leaders and business owners. The world knows that Indians make great entrepreneurs. Now it’s time for Indian women. Our daily struggles, resourcefulness and adaptability, command over English, and work-life balancing skill makes us uniquely positioned to become trailblazers. Today, around 20% of all enterprises, big or small, are owned or run by women in India. The time has come to forever change this dynamic and make this 50% or even higher”.
Medhavi Singh, Head of Enterprise, India, Criteo : “Criteo is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace that supports the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights in the industry. To equip women with the necessary skills to pursue a career in technology, we offer programs such as mentorship, training, and networking to bring women to the forefront of innovation. Our Pay Parity Action Plan and our global Women@Criteo Community are examples of how we are continuing to ensure representation, equal access, and advancement of women across our organization. Our efforts have resulted in nearly 50% of our employees globally being women, which is above the tech industry average, with a zero salary gap between men and women.
At Criteo, we understand the challenges women face in re-entering the workforce after a career break, and we offer several programs to support them. Our Return to Work program provides a six-month transition program with a permanent contract, including flexible working patterns and hours, mentorship, training, extended onboarding, and more. We also offer flexible work arrangements, networking, and mentoring programs to create an inclusive culture that values and supports all employees. Our goal is to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and we have implemented inclusive hiring practices such as blind resume reviews to ensure a fair and equitable hiring process. As leaders in the industry, we believe that embracing equity is crucial to our success, and at Criteo India and globally, we leverage innovation and technology that reflect the diversity of the audience and markets to create a more equitable and inclusive world for all..”
Rakesh Prasad, Senior Vice President- Strategy and Solutions, Innover : “Our Women workforce is at the forefront of building cutting-edge solutions in Metaverse, AI, Design Thinking, Data Analytics, Blockchain and more for our customers. We have launched multiple Hackathons in collaboration with Analytics Vidhya to hire women in the field of Data Science. We have also initiated internal campaigns like “Jobsforher” for successful internal women referral programs. This has resulted in an increase in the women workforce in the past 1 year. Women leaders are leading large teams and driving tangible impact for the organization. We have a very formal and documented approach to diversity and inclusion that has been implemented and included in hiring, promotion and all HR practices and we measure the effectiveness of our diversity and inclusion practices regularly. We monitor gender diversity across all levels in the organization and have mandatory training for all people managers. Innover is also focused on promoting equality in communities – we are a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) under the guidelines of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (NMSDC), and a proud member of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC). Our unwavering commitment to gender diversity and equality is core to who we are and makes us more innovative.”
Nehal Gupta (AMU Leasing)
How the rising participation in the workforce has empowered women in the EV (Electric Vehicle) sector.
“The number of women employed in India’s EV industry has increased significantly over the years. Consequently, more women are represented in the industry which eventually has provided them with a platform to demonstrate their skills and abilities. A variety of skills, including engineering, design, marketing, and sales, are needed in the EV industry. As more women join the EV sector, more endeavours are being invested to advance their skills so they can contribute to the industry at their highest calibre. It must be noted that many reputed automobile manufacturers are keen to have 50% of their workforce to be constituted of women by 2023. A rise in the drive to impart equal opportunities to women has been observed. Various EV enterprises are granting equal opportunities to women in the field of training, skill advancement, strategic planning, leadership etc. as compared to men. Women’s involvement in the EV domain has provided the sector with a fresh outlook. Women contribute an effective combination of perspectives, experiences, and skill sets to the industry, which can spur innovation and boost the sector’s performance as a whole, hence, by generating vital employment avenues, India’s EV sector has certainly empowered women across the country.”
Shilpa Arora (Insurance Samadhan)
Title: How the Insurtech sector has contributed towards the development of women in India.
“One of the leading commercial industries in India, Insurtech has endeavoured towards the elevation of women’s financial and professional status in India. Women nationwide can now avail of various employment opportunities due to the Insurtech industry. Several enterprises and startups from the Insurtech ecosystem provide convenient employment and flexible work schedules to women, thereby, empowering them financially. Women have the opportunity to acquire new skills and gain experience in competitive times by working in the Insurtech sector which can substantially enhance the avenues of their professional growth. The Insurtech sector has paved numerous opportunities for women to become entrepreneurs and establish their commercial ventures which ultimately has empowered them financially by simultaneously contributing towards the overall growth of the sector. Indian insurtech firms have facilitated women with access to insurance products and services that are customised as per their preferences. These products include life insurance plans that impart women and their families financial protection as well as health insurance programmes that pay for childcare and maternity expenses. It must be highlighted that Insurtech firms in India are promoting the ideology of financial inclusion for women. Such businesses support women’s financial empowerment by bridging the gender gap in financial inclusion and providing products and services that are affordable and easily available. The Insurtech industry is playing a pivotal role in the overall emancipation of women pan India.”
Geeta Nallani (YOU.ART)
Title: How the Art & Culture industry is empowering women in India.
“By providing women with the platform to demonstrate their talent, skill sets, and leadership qualities, India’s Art and Culture sector is significantly contributing towards the empowerment of women. In recent times, the participation of women in the art industry has increased significantly and women are actively contributing towards the sector development through a variety of roles, such as art gallery founders, artists, curators, art patrons etc. By enabling women to experiment with disruptive concepts, aesthetics, and artistic expression, the Art & Culture industry is promoting creativity and innovation which encourages women to hone their artistic acumen and curate enticing artwork that portrays their social perspective. Notably, the Art & Culture industry in India has generated numerous employment avenues for women in diverse fields of dance, music, theatre, fashion, and art design etc. which has granted women financial independence.
Sudha Gattu (YOU.ART)
Nowadays, women are actively assuming leadership roles in the Art & Culture sector, such as art directors, art exhibition sponsors, proprietors etc. Various women entrepreneurs from the art industry, such as art gallery founders are facilitating platforms like art exhibitions and several virtual avenues where women artists, art enthusiasts, patrons etc. can cohort to admire art and work collectively towards its progression. As per the industry experts, the Art & Culture industry in India is anticipated to generate more financially sound avenues for women, which will continue to empower them in the approaching years.”
Irani Srivastava Roy, CHRO, India Subcontinent, Signify Innovations India : “On International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate the many strengths, perspectives, unique voices and ideas women bring to the table. Our communities and companies need diversity in thinking to succeed, build a strong culture and drive overall success of the business. At Signify, we are mere catalysts to enable these women of tomorrow, the real power lies within them. Our DE&I initiatives have enabled us to increase our women employee footprint in India significantly over the last years because we have been able to create a secure and trusted environment for them. We strongly believe in creating an equitable workplace, where all employees are able to bring thier whole selves to work.We will continue to further our efforts in this direction”
Neha Suyal, Co-founder and COO, Woovly on your esteemed platform.
“Women play a crucial role in modern society, serving as a vital component for its effective functioning and driving positive change across the globe. In today’s world, women have attained powerful positions across various industries, not only in society but also in business. Observing contemporary women reject gender norms and pursue their careers, including management and commercial decision-making, fills me with hope.
To enable women to advance in their professions, governments, and organizations worldwide need to create an environment that fosters their growth. Similarly, women must seek out more significant challenges to progress further in their careers.
Despite the significant gender inequalities that persist, as women, we hold the power to shatter stereotypes and create new paths. Let us use our voices and actions to build a world where gender equality is not merely a dream but an actuality.”
Kunal Gupta, Chief Executive & Business Head, Skills & Careers (SNC), NIIT Ltd. : “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recognize and honor the remarkable achievements of women around the world. Their contributions are essential for driving innovation, growth, and sustainability in any sector. As a leading global talent development corporation, we recognize the significance of empowering women through upskilling and reskilling for their career advancement. It is not just a social responsibility, but an economic necessity to invest in women’s education and career development, which has a profound impact on individuals, families, communities, and the broader economy. Thus, on this International Women’s Day, we reaffirm our commitment to empowering women through upskilling, and we look forward to continuing our work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive world for all.”
Sarita Das – Co-Founder and CHRO 3SC Solutions : “To create a truly inclusive future, it is essential that we ensure that innovation and technology are designed to meet the needs of everyone, regardless of their gender, race, or any other
demographic characteristic. This means prioritizing diverse perspectives throughout the design process and understanding the unique challenges faced by underrepresented groups. To do his, women need to not just be considered potential consumers but also equal participants in the teams that design these products.”
Maheshwari Dhayanandan – Vice President econ Systems : “Gender equality is not just a matter of fairness and equal opportunities; it is also a key factor for economic growth and development in the innovation and technology industry. If we exclude women from the industry, we are missing out on a significant portion of talent, skills, and Perspectives that can contribute to innovation and progress. Investing in women’s potential in the industry is, therefore, not just the right thing to do, but it is also an economic imperative.”
Apoorva Sharma, Partner, Stride Ventures : “1 A) Well, women are a natural fit everywhere! It represents about 50% of the world population. Sectors where the end consumer is a female or the decision maker of the purchase is a female, in most households, is a natural fit. Such categories include mom and baby care, beauty and colour cosmetics, personal care, female hygiene, women apparel, home decor, kitchen appliances etc.
Women have a higher nurturing spirit, so I would imagine any sector which needs micro entrepreneurs, like social commerce, or where your vendors/ suppliers/factory workers are women, or sectors which need high EQ like mental wellness should leverage women leadership. Media and Content companies should also leverage women leadership, as again the consumption patterns are also driven by women audiences.
1 B) There is an immense growth in startups that are focusing on products and services for women. There are more women coming into the workforce hence more independent women with capability to spend more and make their own decisions. Women can become active ambassadors of your product, if the quality is good and they see value.
2) The VC ecosystem has more male decision makers, which could mean lesser understanding of certain categories. This needs to change, as a prudent decision should capture the perspective of both genders. Also the questions around marriage and children and life post childbirth, are almost always asked to female founders. Of course one needs to have a supportive ecosystem, but lesser opportunities because of such biases is dangerous.”
Mrs. Kirti Kabra, Director, RR Global : “Since childhood, I was very keen on being a businesswoman and I was fortunate enough that after marriage as well my family encouraged and supported me to pursue my dreams. Our family has been in the electrical industry for decades now. 22 years ago, when we started our cable and wire manufacturing business in India, it was primarily dominated by unorganized players selling sub-standard products thus endangering the lives of the customers. The Uphaar cinema incident had shaken the entire nation which inspired us to bring world-class quality products to India which also ensures that the safety of consumers is not compromised. Wires and cables is a low-interest category product and to top it all creating awareness about the product where we have to ensure that the consumer is involved in the decision-making process has been a challenge ever since. Challenges like this inspire me to take that lead in the business and continue working in this field where I am also instrumental in creating a difference in the lives of consumers. When I see the results of our efforts, it is quite fulfilling to me and inspires me to continue down the same road.
Every woman is special. She is a creator, multitasker, capable, focused and sincere, you have the right to pursue your dreams. Take pride in whatever you are doing and wish to do, you have the power to achieve everything that you aim for just trust yourself, be confident and keep moving towards your goal. You deserve everything and more. Respect yourself and the women around you, inspire and support each other, and celebrate the spirit of womanhood every day. Wishing you all a very Happy Women’s Day”
Meghna Agarwal, Serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of IndiQube: “Digital empowerment today is not a question of ‘whether’ but a question of ‘how soon’. Technology and Innovation are the main pillars for economic progress in the modern world and women need to embrace this shifted focus in order to make substantial contributions to the economy. This will equip them with the innate ability to seize new possibilities and ascend the ladder of success in the near future. Women in the workforce who are digitally empowered can influence the hardware, software, and other layers of applications in commercial real estate, paving the path for the development of an ecosystem of smart buildings.
In the world of technology, very few women hold positions of high leadership. While it is true that
women are adept at handling functional positions, there is a common misconception that they are less skilled at handling core technical roles. Along with developing their technological skills, women today must fight this stereotype and establish themselves as being capable of managing diverse resources including tech architects, coders, developers, and UI specialists, among others. This will enable women to become sector and industry agnostic, and pave the way for a generation of women to venture into unconventional sectors alongside fostering an ecosystem of mentors for future generations of women. A digitally empowered woman workforce can thus have an immense impact on any industry and even more so in commercial real estate.”
Sujendra GS, VP, Human Resources, Creative Synergies Group: “What counts as equity? In a workplace, do women have the same opportunities to rise up as men? Will giving them equal opportunities without considering their needs count as equity? Not in most cases. The first step to embracing equity comes from recognizing the fact that differences exist.
Post pandemic, as we slowly transition from remote work to hybrid work model, organizations need to uniquely support women – especially mothers and caregivers who are juggling multiple roles in their workday. Their outside obligations are different than some of their male co-workers and they need to be given the flexibility and support to get their work accomplished without looking at quitting as their only solution. Businesses thrive in their DE&I initiatives when they make efforts to provide a level playing ground to their employees, despite the differences.
With the ongoing economic uncertainties, the demand-supply gap in India has increased, with a supply rate of 21%, which is the lowest among top tech locations such as the US, China and UK. However, there is a large untapped resource that can help companies address the skill gap: women. This is an opportunity for Indian businesses to reassess their investment in skill development, equip women within the organization with high-demand skills, and look into hiring more skilled women professionals. A recent report from Skillsoft found that more than work-life balance, and other organizational incentives, 52% of women in IT value learning and development. Empowering them with equitable opportunities can allow decision makers to redress the balance, and wholeheartedly embrace equity.
We, at Creative believe that upskilling during a break is a great way to learn and stay relevant. Our Sabbatical policy is specifically designed to ensure that “Creative” women can utilize the break to reskill/upskill themselves. Creative also has policies in place for reimbursement of professional career development costs. We are exploring newer initiatives to renew our commitment to “Creative” women in a more concrete and meaningful way.”
Gurmukh Roopra, CEO, Namdhari’s Group: “Women play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing. Women in rural India make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience. Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do but is essential in uplifting rural livelihoods. Giving women the same opportunities as men could raise agricultural production by 2.5% to 4% and reduce the number of malnourished people by 12% to 17%. Namdhari’s is committed to empowering women in agriculture. We currently have around 500 rural women across multiple entities, who form the backbone of many of our farming ventures. We provide each of them with at least one nutritious filled free meal, healthcare with an in-house clinic and other statutory benefits amongst other facilities. Most importantly, we feel that they are integral members at the heart of our family. Achieving gender equity in rural areas is especially challenging and agribusinesses can do their part by empowering the rural women who work for them.”
Gitanjali Singh, Head of Strategy and Client Success, Visionet BFSI
Digital gender gap impacts not just women adversely but also impedes the growth of the national economy
“To address the digital gender gap and the role it plays in widening socio-economic inequality in the world, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. According to a UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report, women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade—a loss that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action’. This is worrying according to Gitanjali Singh, Head of Strategy and Client Success, Visionet BFSI who believes digital technology can indeed foster gender equality in the labour market. She adds, “This must be addressed on an urgent basis because the digital gender gap impacts not just women adversely but also impedes the growth of the national economy.”
Gitanjali, who has been recognized as the ‘2021 Woman Of Influence’ in the mortgage and housing industry by the leading US magazine, ‘HousingWire’, adds, “The reasons that prevent women from accessing technology are many and could range from family restrictions, lack of technological resources and infrastructure, and economic challenges. Gender-related fault lines are rooted in complex socio-cultural factors and patriarchal norms, but digital illiteracy deepens them because it deprives women of the chance to be economically independent and work in a job market where digital skills are essential.”
Rampant digitalisation and automation are transforming the job market and according to training and consulting provider CloudThat, by 2030, an estimated 85 million jobs will go unfilled globally, due to skill shortages. Gitanjali says, “This is one of the reasons that we at Visionet developed a free skilling initiative called ‘Unnati for India’ in 2020 to skill young women, and men from tier 2 and tier 3 cities so that they can work in the technology sector or start a business via digital platforms. We want to create role models and show women that skills can take them far beyond just the dream of a well-paying job.”
Gitanjali, herself is one such role model and manages high-performance sales teams and data operations, works on strategic initiatives, and also scales global businesses but the number of women in leadership roles are still less in number. LinkedIn, in its 2023 report has stated that only 13% of women professionals have leadership roles in sales functions and Gitanjali adds, “This is why industry leaders need to think harder about accessible and affordable skill modules for women from all walks of life. More skilled women in the workforce will lead to a higher number of women in leadership roles and that in turn will create a more inclusive and diverse work culture.””
Ms.Manshi Modi-Chandarana, Co-founder, KwikFix Auto: “International Women’s Day is a reminder of the importance of celebrating the achievements of women in all fields. As a female entrepreneur in the auto-service industry, I am inspired by the progress we have made and excited about the future.
While it’s true that the road to success has not always been easy, I am proud of the hard work and determination that has gotten me to where I am today. I believe that every woman has the potential to succeed, and it’s up to us to create a supportive and inclusive environment where all women can thrive.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us continue to break down barriers and pave the way for future generations of women. Together, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.”
Veena Ashiya, Ceo & Founder of Monrow Shoes: “Woman have the capacity to nurture and enable a team so they can perform best of their capability.I believe Women entrepreneurs should encourage other women in their family or their team to play to their strengths.I have faced challenges as a woman entrepreneur for being the solo founder getting challenged for my capabilities but i have played to my strengths in the field of marketing and finance and have always been ambitious. Women empowerment is about promoting a sense of self-worth. It is the ability to upskill and arm women with knowledge and resources to make them independent.”
Suvarna Mishra, Head HR, Sodexo : “On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the incredible achievements of women across the globe and reflect on the journey toward gender equality. We are committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and empowering women to realize their full potential.
We recognise that women face unique challenges conventionally, and especially at the workplace, thus we are committed to providing a supportive environment that allows women and all those around them to thrive. We are proud to have implemented various policies and programmes that promote equality and support our female employees’ all-around growth and development.
As a People Leader, I am personally keen to drive change and promote a culture of gender-agnostic belonging and well-being. We believe that practicing equity, inclusion, and diversity is a moral imperative that greatly contributes to driving innovation and business growth.
On this International Women’s Day, we pledge to continue working towards a world where women are valued, respected, and have equal opportunities to succeed. By harnessing the power of diversity, we will build an equitable and sustainable future for all.”
Rajita Singh, Chief People Officer, Kyndryl India : ““There has been many improvements in the opportunities and working conditions for women in the tech industry over the years, but in my opinion we still have much more to achieve. Organisations need to build an environment that values inclusivity and diversity. At Kyndryl, we strive to build a workplace that empowers women to bring in their unique perspectives and leverage their experiences for growth. We strongly believe that this should also reflect in an organizations engagement with the larger society and that companies must use their strengths to empower the community as a whole. Kyndryl has recently launched an initiative in India called Cyber Rakshak which aims to provide 100,000 rural women (village level entrepreneurs and self-help groups) with cyber education in order to safeguard their financial assets.
For all young women talent who aspire to succeed and reach top leadership roles in technology, I would like to advise that a positive mindset is key – we can achieve amazing things if we really set our minds to it. Try everything, do everything, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. Everyone makes mistakes and you’ll learn more from those failures than you would from any of the successes. Resilience is a skill best learned and tested the hard way, and if you test it hard enough, it becomes grit.”
Romita Mukherjee, Associate Vice President, Human Resources at Whatfix: “International Women’s Day 2023 focuses on the notion that equal opportunities alone are insufficient for achieving gender equality. Despite equal opportunities, women still encounter significant obstacles to success, including gender bias, unequal pay, limited access to leadership positions, and not being included in making critical decisions for the company. Breaking down systemic barriers like sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and unequal access to education and healthcare that hinder women from accomplishing their objectives are steps toward genuine gender equality.
Employers can also leverage technology to support their female workforce. This can be achieved by introducing digital mentoring and on-demand coaching programs, creating inclusive communication channels that allow women to participate fully in discussions and decision-making processes, adopting gender-neutral recruitment and selection tools, and implementing data-driven diversity and inclusion initiatives to measure and track progress toward diversity and inclusion goals. By implementing these technology-based solutions, companies can create more inclusive and equitable workplaces and support their female employees. Focussing on making Inclusion as a strategic agenda will help foster women employees’ enablement more meaningfully.”