Women achievers share their in­spir­ing suc­cess sto­ries

FICCI Business Digest - - In Focus -

FICCI Ladies Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FLO) brought to­gether a panel of 14 women achievers from across the na­tion for a dis­cus­sion on 'Women in Power: Their Voices, Their Sto­ries' on Au­gust 31, 2015 in New Delhi. It was an ex­cep­tional op­por­tu­nity to hear the suc­cess sto­ries of th­ese ex­tra­or­di­nary women, who are pioneers in their re­spec­tive ar­eas. Th­ese out­stand­ing women have been fea­tured in the book “30 Women in Power: Their Voices, Their Sto­ries”, au­thored by Naina Lal Kid­wai, Chair­man, In­dia & Di­rec­tor, HSBC Asia Pa­cific.

While draw­ing out the six prin­ci­ples that In­dia's most suc­cess­ful women in busi­ness share, Kid­wai said that her book con­veys the dreams, in­spi­ra­tions, chal­lenges and ac­com­plish­ments of a range of pow­er­ful women in their inim­itable voices.

Ar­chana Garodia Gupta, Pres­i­dent, FLO, said, “We are in­deed priv­i­leged to have amongst us some of the most im­por­tant and in­flu­en­tial women in the coun­try, who have done much to shat­ter gen­der stereo­types, and have each cre­ated new par­a­digms for our so­ci­ety in vary­ing fields.” She added, “An is­sue I would like to ask for your co­op­er­a­tion on im­prov­ing women's ac­cess to fi­nance. As per Gold­man Sachs, re­jec­tion rate of women's loan ap­pli­ca­tions in In­dia is twice as much as that of men's.”

The first ses­sion on 'Women in the Work­place: Key Suc­cess Fac­tors' had Avani Davda, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Star­bucks In­dia; Bharti Gupta Ramola, Mar­kets and In­dus­tries Leader, PwC In­dia; De­b­jani Ghosh, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, South Asia In­tel; Dr. Jy­ot­sna Suri, Chairperson & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Lalit Suri Hos­pi­tal­ity Group; Kaku Nakhate, Pres­i­dent, Bank of Amer­ica, In­dia and Kirthiga Reddy, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Face­book In­dia, as the pan­el­lists and Kid­wai mod­er­ated it.

The pan­el­lists shared their ex­pe­ri­ences, chal­lenges and achieve­ments and re­sponded to the queries that con­fronted all work­ing women, from how best to bal­ance the per­sonal and pro­fes­sional lives and how to dis­man­tle gen­der bi­ases. The pan­elists unan­i­mously agreed that women were more ca­pa­ble than men in many ways, in terms of work life bal­ance and mul­ti­task­ing their way ahead. They said that hav­ing an ac­tive sup­port sys­tem around them helped in over­com­ing the chal­lenges of work life. The pearls of wis­dom that emerged from the dis­cus­sions were pas­sion, am­bi­tion, hu­mil­ity, in­tegrity, hard work and deal­ing with fail­ure pos­i­tively.

The sec­ond ses­sion on 'Thoughts on CSR, Phi­lan­thropy & Mak­ing a Dif­fer­ence' had Mi­rai Chat­ter­jee, So­cial Worker & Co­or­di­na­tor, SEWA; Sha­heen Mistri, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Teach For In­dia; Sudha Pil­lai, Former Union Labour Sec­re­tary; Vi­jay­alak­shmi Iyer, Mem­ber ( Fi­nance & In­vest­ment)IRDAI; Vi­neeta Rai, Former Rev­enue Sec­re­tary and Roopa Kudva, Part­ner, Omid­yar Net­work as the pan­elists. Sh­weta Ra­j­pal Kohli, Eco­nomic Af­fairs, Editor, NDTV, In­dia, mod­er­ated the ses­sion.

The dis­cus­sions fo­cussed on the need of in­te­grat­ing CSR to busi­ness strat­egy and pro­vid­ing the right boost to struc­tured phil­an­thropic ac­tiv­i­ties to make a dif­fer­ence in the real sense. It was sug­gested that the ap­proach to han­dling CSR can be rightly done with ef­fec­tive strate­gies, dis­ci­plined method­ol­ogy, part­ner­ship with dili­gent NGOs and build­ing long term and sus­tain­able re­la­tion­ship.

Pan­el­lists at the ses­sion on ‘Women in the Work­place: Key Suc­cess Fac­tors’.

Pan­el­lists at the ses­sion on ‘Thoughts on CSR, Phi­lan­thropy & Mak­ing a Dif­fer­ence’.

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