GES 2017: Ivanka Trump, Chanda Kochhar Discuss Women in Workforce
GES 2017 has kick-started! The 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad puts the spotlight on India’s women entrepreneurship and talent hunt. Inaugurated on Tuesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the highlight of the event is also Ivanka Trump’s participation.
Day two saw a session titled ‘We Can Do It’ with co-panellists Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank; and Karen Quintos, chief customer officer of MNC Dell EMC, including Ivanka Trump.
Here are the key takeaways from the panel:
1.Trump opened by saying, “Technology offers a tremendous opportunity to women and women entrepreneurs.” And further added, “One thing I would like to throw out there is that these aren’t women’s issues. We are half the population, so we need to start thinking about them as critical issues.”
2. On equal gender representation, Ivanka emphasized on financial empowerment. “Women consist of half of the population. You need to take them and their issues seriously. We need policies which support women. Child care is a big factor that holds women back but now technology is reducing the barriers that women face,” Trump said.
“We’re doing many other things on skills training and workforce development to make sure that we have a well-trained next generation,” Ivanka added.
2. Chanda Kochhar, who focused on India highlighted that 40 percent of the banking sector is headed by women. “India is witnessing a demographic shift in the workforce. The changing structure of the economy is encouraging more women to start their careers resulting in more women in the fields of sports, governance and banking,” a proud Kochhar noted.
Kochhar mentioned that less than 25 percent of women graduates take part in the workforce.
4. Kochhar explained the different programmes that ICICI Bank has inducted to help rural women and underprivileged children across the country. “Of the total (people trained), 55% are women,” she added. She claimed their skills training sessions are educating around 1 lakh youth every year through the bank’s 24 urban and semi-urban centres and those in 500 villages in the country.
5. The discussion highlighted the fact that our country is developing way better than other countries if compared the issues of having more women in the workforce.
6. Kochhar pointed out that through 100 million self-help groups functioning in the country, it’s paving the path to a more liberated society.
“We allow young moms or those who have to take care of their parents to work from home. And these are not just data-entry jobs,” said Kochhar.
7. Speaking about the urging need to include graduates into the workforce, Blair noted, “A huge number of women with degrees do not participate in it. It is important to reach out to them.”
8. On how men can empower women Blair added, “Men need to understand difficulties faced by women. We’ve helped Indian women get skills and break barriers. Give women access to technology. We have to find solutions so women can do better at what they do without giving up on their enterprises. Capacity, confidence, capital — the three things women entrepreneurs need to flourish. It’s all about choice and diversity. It’s about respecting each other’s choices.”
9. Even Quintos pointed out their companies’ various policies that are undertaken to make a workplace more woman-friendly and gender-balanced.
10. Finally, Quintos concluded, “The biases that exist in society have to be addressed, and men need to be a part of that conversation. Business outcomes are great when you have diverse thinking. I’d encourage all to change the trajectory; the world is a better place when we come together with a common vision.”