Inspiring LeadHers, Aspiring Outcomes

Inspiring LeadHers, Aspiring Outcomes


>Good morning, ladies
and gentlemen. Thank you very much
for joining us here for what promise
to be a very exciting conversation
because I have with me a very special
set of guests, women leaderser, leaders
in their own right who represent
a diverse set of sectors and what we
hope to do at the end of this discussion
is to really chart out a road
map of what has worked, what hasn’t
worked, what more needs to be done
by way of policy intervention. Learn from best practices
from the region and swap notes to see what
can be exported, imported and to
really make a difference and bridge
the gender gap even further. Let me set the context and give you some
data that will tell you where we currently
are according to the World Economic
Forum’s gender report 2018. Women have reached a 68% parity so there is
currently a gap of about 32%. As per that gap, it will take us 108 years
to close the overall gender gap and 202
years to bring parity in the
workforce. We cannot accept that. It has to be better. We have to do better. To really get a sense of where things
stand in terms of economic empowerment
of women as well as the
participation of women in the workforce, that’s
where a lot more work needs to be
done globally and more so here in India
and perhaps we can learn lessons
on how Bangladesh has managed
to improve its participation
of women in the workforce. In India, that number has been declining. Let’s talk about the future because as
we move towards smarter industry 4.0,
automation, will there be further missed
opportunities for women and I’ll
give you one data point to highlight
the areas we need to work on. If AI is really
the future of jobs going forward,
only 22% of all AI professionals
worldwide are women and that number looks
pretty much the same for a country
like India so this will mean that
even in terms of>>Abouts for the future
we are looking at missed opportunities, something
we must consider and work on. In the past decade,
across 131 economies, we’ve
seen 274 reforms to laws and regulations
and that has worked to increase
gender parity to improve gender quality
so what more needs to be done
by way of policy intervention, those
are going to be some of the issues
we talk about here today. Let me start with
you, Minister Irani. As I pointed
out, there is plenty to celebrate
but also a long road ahead for us
to bridge the gender gap and gender divide. Let me start by talking
to you about parliament because while we’ve
gone up from ufb 5% which is when
we had the first parliament to 14%
in terms of women representation, do
you believe that reservation is the
way forward, is the answer to improving
representation of women in parliament?>>I think it’s one of the answers
but the report you have articulated
here that we still have a century to
go to bring about actual parity is
a report which considers situation
of women across the world and your
link of that report with artificial
intelligence and the technology boom actually
is a worry that I share because
if you look at numbers of women
in STEM, numbers of women in mathematics,
numbers of women in coding which becomes
the base of many technologies,
you will find that wherever you have
more positions of power, more positions
of money, the participation of
women lowers and that’s not an Indian
or subcontinent phenomena, it is a
phenomena that has been seen across
the world. Reservation is a part
of the solution, not the solution
in totality. Why, because change is
not supposed to happen only in
parliament. Change is to be
recognised even at the grassroots. I’ll give you a small example. In 2014 when
our government came in we had only
close to 13,000 female entrepreneurs
across our common service centres which
are centre pz situated in villages,
now we have 73,000, the jump
of women means not that women have
been cultivated or curated into the
positions, it was just the number waiting
to be released so where can
we quantify the leadership skills
of women is something which
is essential. It is limited into only
positions of administration
or do we actually recognise that real
change has to emanate from
the grassroot? Those are the women who will
bring a systemic and wider aspect
of change.>>I Couldn’t agree more
with you, ma’am. That’s where I want
to press a little bit more. You atalked about the
fact be need to drive change at the grassroot
level and that representation of women
in parliament by way of reservation is part of
the solution not the only way forward. If I could ask you to be
specific in terms of what you would like to
see by way of policy intervention to encourage
more of that grassroot change?>>I think that more and
more policy system technically is directed
towards ensuring that women get equal
opportunities. For instance, we had the scheme, when
people look at the scheme they would
presume it’s just a scheme which is
focused on those families which
are economically challenged to meet
their medical goals but in the last
one year we’ve had close to 37 women
who have got themselves screened
for cervical cancer. 53 women who have got themselves for
breast cancer and remember these are
women in rural pockets of India. These are women who would not possibly
come out and openly talk about the fact
they might suffer from breast cancer
or cervical cancer. So I think the
intention of the government is to ensure
that no matter what our policy,
women are never devoid of the attention
of – the intention the policy
needs to give and the fact the government
is quantifying the impact of policy
from a female perspective is
also something extremely heartening
because we all know that for policies
to fruitify, for a women-leddindind
aI, you need to ensure that it’s
quantified, studied in terms of impact
and I also am am of the opinion that when I
said the reservation is only parts of the
solution, I have personally had an
experience with one of your panelists about when
you have a policy that needs to be implemented
and you have a female at the helm
of affairs, how that quantifies below. I remember – and I don’t think
you remember – in 20s 15, I was in
HRD and we were tasked with building
toilets for girls in every government
school in the country. I was doing a
countdown every day of how many
toilets are left. The last 44 toilets left
were under the ages of the SBI
and I remember my officer said how
do you get the bank to fulfil this
obligation? I said you call them. They said how
do you call a bank? I picked up the phone
and called her and said the last 44 toilets to
be made are under your command, can you tell
me how it will be done? She put down the phone
and before that said, “Don’t worry, in the next
72 hours you’ll get a response from us. We will get it done.”
I think that’s is the impact that never
gets quantified. Those are the stories
that never get told but that is the real change
that we all seek so when you talk about parity,
how do you define it? You define it only from
the economic perspective or do you also define
parity from the perspective of women who
are in positions of power who help give
that solution? I would like women to be
looked at from the parity perspective
from how they share power and how they
help use that power to empower other
women or help other women.>>Absolutely. Minister, let me ask you to share
with us the Bangladesh experience
because as I pointed out, that
in the region Bangladesh is actually
shown as marked improvement of women
participation in the workforce in fact
some have called it the feminisation
of the workforce in Bangladesh as
well where in the last decade you’ve
seen an improvement of quite a significant
amount. What do you believe has been
the trigger that has driven that change
and what do you believe needs to
be done to ensure that you don’t
in fact drop off?>>Thank you. Well, I actually agree with Minister Irani
because you have to quantify. You can talk about women’s empowerment,
you can talk about mainstreaming,
you have all over the world – we have
been talking about these but are we
also walking the talk? And in Bangladesh, under
the leadership of our present Prime Minister,
we are actually walking the talk and we are
talking also a lot more. We are saying – we’re formulating policies,
we are enacting laws that empower
women and we are implementing them
and we are – just like one single
thing, gender budgeting, and
with that we are quantifying how much
money – how much resources aric atually
going into women’s empowerment.>>How much are you spending on women?>>Well, in last year’s Budget, 29.65%
was allocated, used for women’s
empowerment and that’s, I think, quite
a lot and just for women’s empowerment
programs, throughout the
ministries, all the ministries, and we
are doing it as a commitment, we’re
doing it for bringing in quality
in the society at every strata and we
have a guest here in the audience who
I think represents one of the sectors
which empowers women a lot in
Bangladesh, that’s our ready-made garments
industry. And the fact that a woman
leads the association of that
whole industry where, out of 4 million
workers more than 3 million are
women, and when that sector is also
led by a woman, it says a lot about the
country, I think. And our women are
now everywhere. We just don’t say
that, OK, we will empower women, we’ll
just give them houpts. No, we want them to be in decision-making
places as well not only in politics but
across the board, in the industry,
in the academia, everywhere. We didn’t have any women vice chancellors in
the university, we had so many competent
professors but never woman vice
chancellor. We now have many. We didn’t have judges in the Supreme Court. We didn’t have
ambassadors. We didn’t have
secretaries for the government. We now have them. We have them in our peace-keepers. We now have them in all our armed forces and
that creates this whole environment>>Absolutely.>>Where you don’t have to
think that – I mean, wow, a woman is there. It’s now becoming a norm that,
OK, women will be there. They will be there.>>I Hope that it is no
longer the aberration. It does become the norm.>>It’s becoming a
norm.>>Across different sectors, absolutely. Just toic pick up on the points both
the Ministers raised here and to
take that forward, because I was looking
at the IFC data, 1.5 trillion-dollar
annual credit deficit for women-owned
SMEs, this is the global picture
but that is really at the heart of
the problem. Access to finance, access to
land ownership and these statistics
may vary across different geographies
and different countries but the
problem persists across the globe. What can be done?>>Well, if you
look at women entrepreneurship
and especially in India, we have found
that not more than 19% of the
entrepreneurs in India are women and even
when you look at the new generation,
you know the start-up generation,
even there the participation of
women is far lower. Out of this 19% also,
many of these entrepreneurships
may actually just be having women as the
figurerative head. It’s actually the
men who are driving stuff behind. Further, when we look at the entrepreneurs
we find that quite a few of them actually
have an issue in the area of finance. So where finance is concerned, it’s
their partner who’s looking at liaising
with the banks, fundraising, all
of that is done by them. Now you know these
are basically on account of
stereotypes that we have seen across
the board.>>That women can’t handle money.>>Yes. Minister Irani said this
is something, you know, which is very
strange because at home it’s the women
who are handling the money but when
it comes outside, when it’s something
else, when the risk-taking ability
is supposed to be there, there, either
women need permission to take
that risk or they themselves are unwilling
to go out and take that risk and
if you look at the financing gap, you
know one reason of course is that even
– not more than 1 or 2% of the real
estate in the entire world is owned by
women so collateral is always a problem
especially when you are trying to
scale but we know of women who even are
not willing to bring in as collateral
their own jewellery they have
received from their parents
place without the consent of their
husbands. So , you know, we need reforms
from stage 1. As the Minister was saying,
we need STEM education and STEM
education, we need to encourage women
in STEM education. Even today if you
go to the IITs you see how few numbers
are of women. I chaired a summit
and I’m glad to say this time though is
a new IIM, out of the 1en had people
who have been taken in, 46 are women and
it’s the highest, even ->>Out of a class, 46?>>Out of a class of 100, 46 are
women and I have been asked how
we did it. The fact is you’ve got to have
some amount of affirmative action
in certain places because unless and
until you give them the confidence to
go ahead, to do things, it becomes
a problem. Women entrepreneurship,
one others problem is you need equity
in a business. Other than collateral,
you need equity. For men, it is
far more easier to raise money
though women – I personally believe
– are far better repayers.>>That’s true.>>It’s been proven time and
time again. They repay far more.>>We probably
wouldn’t have had an NPA issue if
we had more women who were borrowers.>>But the fact of the matter is that
when raising finance is concerned,
either they are a little afraid of
the numbers to go ahead and confidently
state that this is the growth we are
going to achieve. You look at these
start-ups, you know these youngsters,
they tell you we will achieve 300%
growth, 500, I don’t see a woman doing
that ever. She will be very
conservative in her views and that is not
something that gets you that money. So both equity and
collateral, I think both of these two are the
things that really are at the root of the financing deficit.>>Absolutely and
holding women back from entrepreneurship.>>I Think this is an issue
which is not only limited to finance. It’s an issue overall with regards to women.>>Absolutely.>>If
you look at the nonprofit sector
which is not supposed to be
driven by finance particularly, or which
is not supposed to be driven by
any government intervention, the
report says that wherever women are
had a nonprofit, 70% of the managerial
positions are held by women but
wherever a man heads a nonprofit, only
15% managerial roles aric taen up by
women but the interesting part
is wherever a nonprofit has economies
of scales less than 5, you have more
women, whenever the number goes
beyond 5, you have more men. Whenever there is a risk-taking factor,
you have women who are not>>Squeamish, they
just don’t want the aftermath
of a failure on their shoulders. It can not that they don’t have the
confidence or don’t know what to do,
it’s just they don’t want to suffer the
aftermath either at work or at home and
that is the crux of the problem.>>Which is also part of
the conditioning that women have had to go
through and face but Assange, let me ask you,
because while we talk about what’s happening
in edge education, policy
intervention, access to finance sets,
for someone like yourself, and you
started off playing the sport in a country
25 or 26 years ago when it was unheard
of for a woman to professionally
take up a sporting career, what is the
big change you see today? Because there
are a lot many more women role models
from the world of sport who are
making India proud today. What’s changed?>>I think that definitely
I think I feel extremely proud that
maybe I had a little bit part to play in
that 25, 26 ->>Don’t be modest. You ahad a fairly big part.>>25 or 26 years ago. Whereas today, as opposed
to 25 years ago, the only sportswoman
I could look up to was already a couple
of generations before I played and
today we’ve got at least we can name
a number of women. You can literally
name so many people which wouldn’t have
happened if the culture of a woman
oera girl picking up a sport hadn’t
stopped being frowned upon. I think we still have some ways to go but
it just shows you – and we come
back to equal opportunity about
giving equal opportunity and I
still don’t think it’s equal opportunity. I think the ratio of boys playing
sport is far greater than girls
playing a sport but we still have superstars
coming out in form of women
who are playing different kinds of
sports and outside of a few cricketers,
I think these are the biggest superstars
you have in sport and I feel
extremely proud to be part of that change
that’s happened over the past 25
years and imagine what will happen if
they get the equal opportunity.>>When you say
if they get the equal opportunity,
what is it that you believe needs
to be done from the government’s
perspective, from the corporate world’s
perspective to encourage and try
and bridge this gap?>>For example, I
can speak about tennis. We have no system in
place, for example. Anybody that makes it out
in tennis or makes it to a professional level
comes out because of their parents
and the sacrifices and the hard
work that goes behind.>>It’s individual
effort?>>It is an individual
sort of effort that goes into it. What happens is that I think to start with,
when parents or the aunties and uncles
and neighbours start telling you
of how dark you’re going to become and
nobody’s going to marry you when you
play a sport ->>Was that the number
one concern?>>That was it! I was it and everybody
thought nobody is going
to marry mebuse I would become dark
and at 8 I was like, “I think I’ll be
fine.” You know. I think it is so deeply
embedded, this culture of a girl
needs to be pretty and she needs to somehow
be fair to be pretty, I don’t know
why, and that if you go out and play
you’ll become a Tomboy or you’ll
become, you know, “What are you doing? Come inside and play with girls, play
with dolls.” Can think that culture
needs to change. I want to share a small
story which I shared backstage. It happened with me day before yesterday,
I was in Mumbai at an airport and
this legit happened and I couldn’t believe
it and this gentleman came up
to me and said, “You know mother hood
is really suiting you.” I said, “Thank
you.” He took a picture then his
next sentence was, “So where’s your son?”
I said he is in Hydrabad and I’m taking
a flight back. His next sentence
was, “You should be with him.” I said,
“Where’s your child?” (Laughter)
he said, “Well, he is at home.” I said,
“Well, you should be with him too.”
So, the fact of – (applause) I think that once
– you know and he didn’t think there
was anything insulting or wrong
to ask me that. That’s the problem. The problem is not that he told me that
so I think that until we get that
out of our culture, where a woman is
supposed to stay home and look after the kids
and if she goes out to work or whatever she
wants to do, she becomes too over ambitious and
she’s not a homely person, which we’ve all
heard I’m sure on this stage at some point in
our lives and when a man does it he’s driven and
he’s ambitious and he’s the man to marry because
he is the person who’s going to work for 14
hours a day and you know. So I think that that is
something that is so deeply ingrained in our
culture and needs to change.>>Absolutely. I see this play out
literally every few minutes in our lives but
I want to pick up on the larger issue
Sania raised. Ma’am, let me start by
asking you about that because one of the big
problems for why had women opt out, especially
in the mid management level, is because of
access to affordable childcare. There are women who can
attain leadership roles but choose to opt out
because of this thing that it’s the women’s
responsibility. When what can the
corporate sector do? The government has
brought in the maternity bill which makes it
mandatory for childcare facilities for a company
over a size of certain employees but what can
the corporate sector do by way of affirmative
action to ensure that you create this pipeline
of talent and people are not forced to make
the choice of either deciding between
work or home?>>Well, I headed HR of SBR
for a short while and during that
period we’d done a survey to finds out
why at entry level we were having 33%
women and at senior management it would
fall to 4%.>>33 to foyer%?>>That was the drop. And we found that there
are three times, at least in India it
is true, when a woman leaves. One is of course the child bearing years. The second is when your child is
in the classes of 10 to 12. That’s the period of time where in India they
take the joint entrance exams and the
mother is supposed to be around to ferry the child
around to all the coaching classes and to
wake him up at 3 in the morning with
the hot cup. If the child doesn’t make it,
it’s the mother’s fault not the
child’s fault. The third period we found is
when people were – either the parents
or parents-in-law fell sick because
geriatric care in India is extremely
costly and then at that point of time
the irk wither, the female employee,
feels absolutely guilt-ridden and
therefore give up the job and go into looking
after their sick parents or
parents-in-law. And two years after we
put this in, I’d made a 2-year sabbatical
for child and elderly care which
could be taken in three slots during
the entire period and about two years
after we did this we did a survey to
see how many people had availed. About 676 women had availed it and one
of them actually came and told me
that, “Ma’am, for this thing, my entire
career was saved because I took leave
in order to look after my mother-in-law. Very sadly, she passed
away in three months time and I came back
to work but nobody knew it would be only
three months and I would have left
my job of 27 years in order to look
after her for those three months but
my career is saved because I took
a year’s leave. I didn’t need it. I’m back at work again
and I’mer are fine.” So we need to understand
what will keep them back in the workforce. Similarly, you know when
they take off during childcare and then after
that they want to come back in, they find that
they have become junior to the people who were
junior to them and that – in the corporate
seblgter, at least, it doesn’t sit well. They don’t want
to do that. In that case, what we
really need to try and do is to encourage
entrepreneurship.>>Yes.>>And there again,
as I said, is the problem of equity and
risk appetite and collateral. So, all of this is –
you know nothing is isolated. We need to look at the
problem entirely and try and see what
interventions are needed at which stages
in order to ensure that the workforce
numbers go up because, frankly,
on any international forum I find it
extremely embarrassing that India’s numbers
just seem to keep dipping. There’s no way of holding them up and we do
need to hold them up otherwise whatever
we are promising ourselves, the GDP,
or the fact that we’ll be a middle
income country, will never come to pass.>>Absolutely. You’re right, we
need to take a much more proactive
approach. Let me ask you, the point
that was raised, flexibility in terms
of HR practices, flexy hours and so
on and so forth, we’re seeing some
corporates adapt to that in order for
us to see this pipeline of women
talent and leaders being built up
but what can the government do not
just to push the agenda for women but
men and I’ll give you an example. One of our start-up unicorns in the country,
they decided they’re going to
do a concept of parental leave where
it’s open to both the men and women
to take the 26 weeks puhadternity or
paternity leave. What was interesting
was when they made that announcement
he said men from across the world wrote
in, employees, saying that great
idea, thank you very much, and in India
only two men responded saying
it’s a good idea so how do you encourage
the men to be active participants
in parenting and these decisions?>>I don’t think the experience is the
gold standard of how Indian men are
to be measured.>>I Hope not. (Laughter)>>I think that the fulcrum of the challenge
lies in the individual unit as
Sania said, that until such time
there is no presumption about
a woman was role or a man’s role. That is something that has to be actively
addressed. Even from a finance
perspective and we talk about risk taking,
I’ve just seen the numbers for the amount
of money that has been loaned to
women’s self-help groups in the country. Close to 2 lack row rupees for three
women self-hope groupses, that
is a large number.>>Very small ticket
size.>>Now when it comes to the
smaller numbers, why do women
find themselves comfortable taking
the risk or going forward? Had that is an issue of analysis. Only when the numbers
get bigger and the aftermath of the impact is larger, do we
find women cringing but should we in
any capacity then dissuade people from
looking at that change which is
happening at that cross-road? 70% of the beneficiaries are women, out of
20 loans given. This varies from 50,000
to 10 la. Rupees which means women
who have possibly had a good experience
in the self-help group framework have
gone ahead in the individual framework
as well and gone from 50,000 rume
to 10 latch situation. I think that
more and more where credit is
available from the ground up, second,
what was said, at situations and
institutions, I had the distinct privilege
of having women come on board of
all the technology institutions. Dessy Thomas was the first one to lead
the IIT council and the reason there
was an absence of that female leader
at the table of IITunse coilis because
the men said we don’t have female
leaders in technology. (Laughter)>>You appointed me>>Thank
you for remembering that. The issue is the minute
you have these institutions led
by women and as was said the SBI experiment
– here are women who have
themselves gone through that challenge
or look at a challenge from a female
perspective and provide solutions. They are not providing handouts, they’re
just providing a solution and if
you are a party to that solution and
if you have capacity you’ll go beyond
and I think that is also an area of study. Do we suffice to say
it’s OK to give women handouts and that’s the
solution or do we say we are giving a
solution which is practical both for
the organisation and for the individual
concerned? I think that is where
the solution lies. For instance, I, as
Minister, had the privilege of giving
a man parental leave. He is the one ->>That was the question
I was going to put to you.>>The joint secretary
said, “My son has to sit for
competitive exams,” he took the leave
and I made sure he becomes an example
in the entire institution and that
was in HRD also. I think that just
because two people applied in Zomato
that’s not the gold standard for all
Indian men. The stories where Indian
men have come forward need
to be told. For instance, today’s platform. Why don’t we have a man here? (Applause)>>Where are the organisers?>>We cannot think that solutions will only
be driven by women because we are
passionate, there are men who are
passionate about ensuring parity and those men
need to find that their voices are heard
and need to be on platforms such
as this because men are not the problem. The thought process is the problem. This can only be addressed when
both genders or all genders sit together
at one table. It can not be the
responsibility only of women to bring
that change.>>I Completely agree,
I think we need to have both on the
table to take this discussion forward
to find wholistic answers. You awanted to comment
on the specific things perhaps you can share
with us, what you’ve done in Bangladesh to
be able to see the improvement?>>As I said, there were policy intervention
s, there are new laws but you have
to implement them and see that they
reach the grassroots level.>>Were there
penalties for people who didn’t
comply?>>Maybe in some iscas but mostly
people tried to comply but it’s
important to change the whole narrative. It’s important to change the culture
and that’s not so easy. That doesn’t happen
overnight so for that you need
champions, for that you need enabling
environment laws and you need to equip
women also. And the traditional
thinking that women are bad in STEM, I mean
that’s – neuro science now says
it’s completely wrong. It’s absolutely
wrong so we need to say this
to women, to girls, and we need to make
it available for them and that is
what in Bangladesh the government is
trying to do with our technical education,
with our ICT education. We are trying to bring in more women and with
the 4th industrial revolution comes
up, we must think about women, are they
going to be more vulnerable in
the workforce? So we have to equip them
for the new and make them relevant
for the new work environment and that
is why we need to change the whole
narrative that women can do – I mean,
they are doing everything, it’s just
that they don’t – as was said – they
don’t say, “OK, I can profit 500%,”
they just don’t go out and do that but
I think they have proved in every sector
that they can, given the opportunity,
they can do everything and they
are more, I think, conscientious
when taking the responsibility.>>They certainly are.>>It is important
that the government does
its bit but only government cannot
do everything. There has to be – the private
sector has a big role and when
we have role models in the private sector
as well and also in the NGO nonprofit
sector, social sector – in sports,
like Sania, she is a role model for the
whole south Asia, I think, and now we
have so many girls coming up and our
girls’ football team, girls cricket
team, they are doing so well. So government is giving them full back-up
now but it’s the government – the
government needs to think for the women
and for the whole society because without
the women the society is not
going anywhere. In our case, we are lucky
that our leader is a woman and she is
thinking along the lines and she is
doing everything possible to make
our society a more egalitarian one.>>Smriti Zubin Irani is dying to jump in. Go ahead.>>I Think one of the
issues which I said about having a man
on the table as well for these issues,
also reflects on the larger context
of who delivers solutions for women. Is it only the responsibility of
women oerdo men also have that responsibility
or that desire more so to
be a part of the solution? The fact that Prime
Minister Modi was the first Prime Minister –
and I’m not defining him by gender – to say
that let’s have a menstrual hygiene
protocol . Menstrual hygiene is not
a glamorous politically-driven
idea at all, in fact one would
assumoon the subcontinent men
would be squeamish about wanting to
set that protocol. The issue even today
is when Sani, an is approached by
somebody they don’t see 20 years of being
a leader in your sport, they define
her by her new chapter in her
life which is her motherhood and also
that reflects on a larger issue, how
many times do women celebrate their
achievement and say that it’s because
of me? Forget about the fact we are taking
risks how many times have you seen
Arundhati run stand there and
say, “I got this done.” She never
says it. How many times have you
done that? I say it. That’s why I’m going
to be the trouble maker. (Laughter)>>I think that that
is where change comes from, the fact
that not only do you get to take
that risk and say, yes, that’s my
responsibility,” and not shrug away from
it but also the fact that you say
that, yes, I got this done. The challenge
there is that if you do not
denote your own achievement to urrio
family, your maternal instinct,
people will say, “Oh, my God, she’s
quite impressive.” That is another problem,
that you do not have women leaders,
no matter what their position,
in finance or otherwise, come forth
and say, “I got this done.” Until
such time girls do not find such women
I think becomes a challenge that,
fine, I will take theisk are, I will
get this done, there will be nobody
to celebrate. There will be
nobody to watch.>>I Wouldn’t be
apologetic to own that.>>So I think that
is another part of the problem,
that you ado not – because women want
to sur survive their successes. Nobody talks about it. Phew, I survived. I came, I did this. I was very, very
good at my job and they let
me survive. That is another problem nobody
talks about. When that becomes
an example, young women start
emulateling. With the example, was is that
women were not applying to management
institutions? They were. They saw at the helm a woman who made
it and was not apologetic. Hence you saw the
numbers change. Until a woman is
at the helm the success will not be
replected because she is part of
the success. She’s not spoken about it,
it is reality. The fact we had to wait
until 2015, 16 to get her there
speaks volumes. We are supposed to be
happy about one example, the issue
is I need more of her.>>Absolutely.>>And
that ambition is never spoken about. (Applause)>>Sania, what was it
like for you? Were you surviving
your success? Were you celebrating and
owning your success?>>I think everybody here
or probably most people know I’m not apologetic
about a lot of things. (Laughter)>>Good for you.>>That has gotten me in trouble
a lot of the times but like has
been said, every time I meet someone
and it’s happened to me after I won
2015 Wimbledon, the weirdest things happen
to me, I don’t know why but this
happened to me.>>Because you
succeeded.>>I Was sitting at a pres
conference after the Wimbledon victory
with the Wimbledon trophy and I was
asked a question at that saying, “OK,
that’s great. Congratulations
so what plans for mother hood?” As
if you’re just not complete as a woman
no matter what you do if you don’t become
a mother or you don’t – after you
become a mother of one you don’t become
a mother of two and if, God forbid,
you’re not married by the time you’re
24, my God, what’s going to happen? That journalist didn’t
think there was anything wrong in that’s question
and I literally looked at him and
said, “First of all, it’s none of your
business and, secondly, I’m sitting
here after winning Wimbledon,
I’m number one in the world right
now and I want to become a mother but
I don’t think that is going to define
me as a person or what I have done
or will do in moo ilife.” And that,
again, is a — do in my life. That, again, is
a change that we have been speaking
of right now. For me, I think,
picking up a sport, coming from Hydrabad
which was a small city many, many
years ago and my parents saying –
and I am thankful they came from a
very progressive mindset where they
were like, “It doesn’t matter what
our daughter wants to be a professional
10ess player,” to picking up a sport
where people question every move
we made, every move. Every move of,
“So do you ink think she’s going
to ever play Wimbledon? Is that what you think
is going to happen?” These were the questions
we got and it was from close family members
not random people. They are the ones that
question you most and make you doubt
your abilities and your talents the
most and every step of the way I was
questioned whether, “How do you think
that’s going to happen? You’re physically
not there,” and the minute you
do a photoshoot, “You want to become
an actor qua-E. I still get that,
believe it or not, saying, “What plans
of Bollywood?” I was like, “That is
not the end all and be all for me. I’m really good with what I’m doing.”
I think that that sense of no matter
what a woman does, if she gets married,
oica, when are you getting married. When you get married, when are
you going to have a kid? If you have
two girls, God forbid, when are
you going to have a boy? That is deeply
embedded and an ulcanture change
that needs to come about probably in
the world but it is more pronounced in
this parts of the world.>>It is a world
epidemic.>>You’re right about that. We’ve got a couple of
minutes left and I want to ask the two of you
specifically because you’re pretty active in
social media, let me ask you, how do you deal
with – and women do have specific
challenges to navigate and negotiate
on social media – I mean, the kind
of abuse, the kind of reaction that
you get even to something innocuous
you may have put out. How do you, as a leader
and as a woman, deal with that because that
to a large extend the conversations on social
media are now also shaping the public
narrative.>>I Ink it had that one has to be extremely
self assured to know that comment
does not define you and you do not
seek help just because a hurtful
comment has come forth because you
don’t dignify the person behind
that comment. And I have been very clear about
it, that’s let’s say my Twitter
handle, that’s an ervaofficial handle,
I don’t read personal on it. My Instagram ask a different ball game.>>I Have noticed.>>I Am just me on. The issue is we decide
how we communicate. If you judge us, too bad. Like Sania says, none
of your business. Too bad, does not affects me. The minute it starts
affecting me, I dignify and give valuable time
and position to that person who is
trying to harass or trying to attract
attention and namelessly doing
so many times and would not have the
gravtaus or for that matter a sense
of self to stand before you if they
met you in person so given the complexity
of the psychology of the
person concerned, I don’t have time
to waste on such issues. I’m genuinely
a mother of two and my kids basically
keep me off my Instagram to comment
back because they feel that, “Mama,
there is a particular – when
Sania says people around you judge
you, people around you judge you many
times because they don’t want you hurt
so your kids don’t – she’s got
11-month-old, I have almost a guy approaching
18. They don’t want you
hurt because they see the abuse so it has
an affect on your family as well but
ultimately you need to be that example
within your own family that, yes,
there will be consequences of
being a woman in a position of authority,
of being a woman who is celebrated
for her achievements or
her talent and you face those consequences
and you don’t get weighed down by it. I think that when you instill
that sense of responsibility
on your children, irrespective of
boy or girl, there will be consequences
even if you’re a boy, you do this to
another woman and you go to jail and
that is what you teach your sons. Do you disrespect women? This is the law,
sorry your mother is the one
who will march you into the police
station. Those are the examples
which will bring about the change because, yes,
as Minister says, that there is so much
that policy can do, there is so much
that law can do. Why do you have more
women in let’s say the garmenting
industry? 70% of those in the
apparel industry in India are women. Why? Because we found that whenever workers
are given, families are assured they
live in a secure environment, women
get their monies and don’t leave
the job. They recognise economic
security. They stay the whole hog. They also – and there have been so many
stories of women, for instance you have
a textile leader who inherited the
business from his mother and he’s
not squeamish or apologetic that his
mother started it. What does he
pay forward? He ensures girls that want
to attain higher education get
into managerial postserse, finish
education and are skilled enough to
get to the next level of position. I think that those are the changes
driven from home. They were not driven
by any particular policy. That’s an individual upbringing oafter
person that is reflective. At the end of
the day, you have those two
elements to come together susitale
and administratively for that change to
be seen but I think that the time has
come for us as society not only
in the subcontinent but the world over,
isn’t 100 years too long a time?>>Not acceptable.>>You
have to come to that conclusion first. We cannot be satiated 108 years. No. How do you bring
that time down? How do you collectively
do it? How do you individually
do it? That’s where the
answer lies.>>Absolutely. Sania, a quick
word from you? To the point that the women are
always blamed for everything, including
the loss of the World Cup cricket ma.. You were blamed for the Pakistan
team’s loss as well and I know that
you responded very effectively on Twitter.>>And I’mer not even from there. What powers I must have! (Laughter)>>No, I ink the that that comes down to
– I think that that comes down to people
accepting that a woman is a strength
and not a beakness. Many times, including
ouric It team, I have seen
many teams where they’re like, OK,
wives or girlfriends are not allowed on
this tour because the boys with will
be distracted. What does that mean? Like, what is it that
the women are doing that are going to distract
the men so much? See, the thing is that
that comes from a deeper problem which says
a woman is a distraction, she cannot
be a strength. Why? It’s proven that
team sports, the guys play much
better when their wives and girlfriends
and families are with them because
they feel happier when they come back
to the room. They don’t come back
to an empty room. They can go out
and have dinner. As a sports person, I
tell you the tour is the loneliest place
you can be. Imagine coming back
to an empty hotel room 35 weeks a year
whether you win or lose and lot of
times you lose and when you lose
that room feels humongous and feels
like it wants to come to bite you so when
you have your wife or partner there, it gives
you support, it gives you love, it gives you
that to get out the next daiand give it your all
again because the amount of pressure you’re under
every time you’re playing for your country
is so immense and that kind of support comes
from your family. So, like you said, I
mean, I was blamed if a cricket – if Iraq
makes a zero, what does it have to
do with anything? Had if we address the
problem a woman can be a strength or is
a strength rather than a distraction
or weakness we might conquer these
issues and I feel privileged to be
sitting here with amazing women who
– and because they are older than me
probably had to fight even more
to wreech they are because, you know,
as I said over the last 25 years I’ve
seen a change happen, I can imagine
another five, 10 years before that
it must have been even harder. So for me to be sitting here gives me great
pride and I really do hope that next
time we have the discussion we have
a full room of people listening to us.>>I Certainly do hope so. We’ve got the
last minute, I’ll start by asking
you 30 seconds, the single biggest
priority you would like to see addressed
to close this 108-year gap. As we pointed out, it is not acceptable. We’re not going to have it. The single biggest
priority?>>Well, the single
biggest priority still has to be
education and I think, you know, ensuring
that the women stay the course through
the years is very, very important. It has to be education,
skill education, whatever you take it. I think that’s the single biggest priority.>>Ms Moni? Education the number one
priority?>>Give them the required skills
and not just government champions
but also media. Media has a huge role. We were talking about some movies
that portray women in toxic relationships
and that’s not OK. Gender based violence
has to end and it’s not something
that is acceptable so unless
we create an environment where
women think that they are individuals
and they are there to achieve
things under their own rights we’re not
going to be there and we have to
be there because without full
participation of both genders we’re
not going to achieve what the goal is.>>Absolute lay. It has to be both
coming together. Sania, 30 seconds.>>I Think I’ve said everything I had to. All I want to say is that
bring up your girls believing that they are
equal, bring them up believing that they
can achieve efrbg an and they don’t
need to be in an if/or situation and
if they do have a situation of if/or
it doesn’t make them bad. Stop putting
them under the guilt, “You chose
this which is why you’re in this
position.” I think teach your boys
how to also not be like that with –
I have a son and I promise you he will
be the biggest feminist in this world. (Laughter)>>More power to you and I hope we do see
a generation of feminist men. Mrs Irani, the final word to you.>>Thank you for making sure female have
a final word. I think that is what we are
in need of across all segments
of society. Sania talks about women being
blamed for aic cricket match. They’re blamed for traffic jams. Ask anybody. That gentleman is
smiling there. (Laughter) you will
have a male driver saying… (Laughter) and
I think that the stereotypes emanate
from those stories.>>Yes.>>So the
stories of men who are equal
participants in ensuring quality have
to be told. The stories of women who are
empowered and empowering others
at the grassroots have to be told
and 108 years to ensure gender
parity has to be unacceptable to every
citizen across the world. The solution
needed is not a solution that will
be arrived upon only by governments
or only by policy forums, it’s a solution
that has to be driven susitale and
by individuals and families.>>Absolutely. I think we’ve brought together
several important, interesting, diverse
perspectives here on what needs to be
done both by civil society, by governments,
by the social sector, by individuals
to try and draw up a charter for
change because, you know, s as we pointed
out at the start of this program, 100
years is just not acceptable. I mean, none of us should accept the fact it’s
going to take us close to that long
to be able to bridge the gender
divide and gender gap. May we see many
more champions of change like yourselves
here on this panel. May we haven an empowered generation of women
and may we have a man on this panel
next time. Thank you very much,
ladies and gentlemen for joining us here
this morning. (Applause)

10 thoughts on “Inspiring LeadHers, Aspiring Outcomes

  1. Gender equality will be achieved only when there will be a balanced panel having both women and man😊.But the thing is that gender equality will be achieved if we start from our family giving equal opportunity to both boy and girl,make our family understood that boys are not only the " bansh badhanewala", women are not meant for household core only, man can also take part in household core,women can be also successor of their parents property rather than dowry, women only don't have to change their surname.women are very good in preparing food at home but can't appoint as chef in big hotel,same as tailor,very less man nurse.These stereotype s need to be changed in our self first,in our family and society

  2. Country that discriminates aganist minorties ,which is found in a survey,that India is the wrost place for foreigner to work in,can be talking about economic development ?

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