For India to become a 5 trillion dollar economy, women and their economic contribution will be central. One report suggests women will at 700 billion dollars to the GDP if we improve female labour participation.
To close the gap, capture revenue, and promote sustainable business, more needs to be done. Gender balance is considered vital to success. But what’s important to talk about and discuss more at this point is that for many organisations, it is essential to a firm’s survival.
Women also are arguably the single largest underserved group of customers across many sectors from health to finance. At the G20 Empower organised by FICCI Young Leaders Forum, we put the spotlight on the power of youth and women. SheThePeople shaped the discussion on gender equality.
Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Information and Broadcasting, Govt of India said that India is diverse, democratic, and digital and it is making strides in every sector including science, sports, creativity, environment, sustainability, innovation and leveraging disruptive technologies. “Youth in India are increasingly finding local solutions for global socio-economic problems. The world is looking at us with great admiration, aspiration and anticipation,” he added.
Amitabh Kant, Sherpa – G20, Govt of India said, “We have a target to become the third largest economy by 2030 but ambition should be to grow at a higher rate of 8, 9 or 10 per cent. It is very important as the compounding market growth has a huge impact,” he added. Mr Kant further stated that India today has around 90,000 start-ups and 110 unicorns and this has happened because India has digitally and technologically leapfrogged in many ways.
SheThePeople partnered with G20 EMPOWER to spotlight groundbreaking work by women. Founder Shaili Chopra talked about the need for gender and related economic issues at platforms like G20. Bringing together four powerful voices representing different industries, the discussion spotlighted growth stories of companies that have more gender-diverse workforces.
Chopra said, “We are fifty per cent of the population, and we deserve to have at least fifty per cent of the opportunities.” India’s female workforce remains small at under 25% but active government and media campaigns are pushing to raise awareness of why women should opt for careers.
The panellists Divya Jain of Safeducate & Seekho spoke of changing skills and normalising women in logistics businesses. “Few people had ever thought that women would work in trucking businesses.”
From Nepal, Prachi Agrawal of Khoncepts spoke of leading a team of 150 employees in the interiors and furniture business. She also reflected on the challenges women face in networking and emphasised the power of having leadership groups.
Garima Bhatnagar who serves in the IPS with stints in Arunachal, Delhi (crime) and United Nations, was also on the panel. Bold, brave and fearless – these women talked of how equality is an economic objective.
Kant also stated that India has seen a huge digital revolution because of young entrepreneurs. They are not only innovating for India but for the world population who is moving up from poverty to middle class. “Indian youth must get in the sunrise sectors of growth and the value acceleration will be much more. Start-ups which are well governed, good business model and have transparency and accountability will grow more and attract capital. Start-ups should also focus on not only going digital but also green as climate will be a key issue and valuation, capital will go in those areas where the companies go green,” he added.
Cynthia McCaffrey, Representative – India, UNICEF said that India’s ambition of reaching a $5 trillion economy along with achieving SDGs must include young people.
Shashwat Goenka, Chair, FICCI Young Leaders Forum & Sector Head-Retail and FMCG, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group said that by harnessing the power of the youth, we can create a future for India. The world is changing rapidly with numerous challenges and youth will have a critical role in this.
Suggested Reading: G20 Goal: Women’s Participation In Labour To Be Enhanced