Against the backdrop of International Women's Day on March 8, an Indian industry expert weighs up the role of women in the workplace in order to achieve women's economic empowerment.
According to UN Women, when more women work, economies grow. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women's equality. Even after decades of progress towards making women equal partners with men in the economy and society, the gap between them remains large.
India has made strides in advancing women in the workplace; the year 2017 especially has been a transformational year. We have a record number of women in the Indian government today, including the first female Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman. Though at six out of 27, we have some way to go. A little-known fact to highlight: in April 2017, all Chief Justices at India's four major High Courts (Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras) were women. While men may jeer at our driving skills, India boasts the maximum number of pilots, with 12 per cent female commercial pilots against a global average of 5.5 per cent.
Dr Neelu Rohmetra became the first woman ever to head an Indian Institute of Management (IIM). Dr Tessy Thomas, the 'Missile Woman of India' hailed 'Agniputri' broke Twitter as the first woman to head an Indian missile project. Indeed, we welcomed Ms Shobana Kamineni as the first female President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in its 123-year history! If you are in need of more inspiration, I highly recommend 'First Ladies', a remarkable publication of India's Ministry of Women & Child Welfare.