Women achievers share their inspiring success stories
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’.