New Delhi, April 22nd 2016: The Genpact Centre for Women’s Leadership (GCWL), a collaborative venture between Genpact and Ashoka University at Sonepat, celebrated its first anniversary at the India Habitat Center in Delhi by launching research findings featuring insights on corporate India.
An Executive Briefing on the research “Creating Equitable Career Paths for Women in India” was released to a select group of senior women and men on Friday, April 22, which was designed to provoke fresh thinking on women’s career advancement. First in a series of research initiatives by the Centre, this qualitative research involved in-depth interviews with 93 women. Ten leading Indian multinationals across five industry sectors (e-commerce; fast moving consumer goods; finance and banking; information technology; and pharma) participated in this research study.
Notable for its scale and in-depth approach, the research has generated provocative insights on why women’s careers falter. Seminal questions were raised such as: Is ambition a male prerogative? Does the “net” work for women? How can companies practice “everyday feminism”? And how can they help to sustain the careers of their female employees?
Vanita Shastri, Dean of Undergraduate Programmes at Ashoka University who spearheaded the research project said, “It has been a very fulfilling journey, hearing real stories of the women we interviewed. I see that change is happening at all levels, but it needs more structural support and attitudal shifts to equalize the work place for women.”
After presenting the research narrative on “Creating Equitable Career Paths for Women in India” small-group discussions to source ideas from the experienced invitees, on how women can rise, and be recognized in the workplace were undertaken. This included interviewees from the companies that participated in the research, who also had a chance to hear the findings of the study.
Another featured session included Shikha Sharma, award-winning MD and CEO of Axis Bank, who was in conversation on challenges she faced during her rising career trajectory and threw light on her unique contributions as a leader who happens to be a woman. This was followed by a panel discussion with couples at different stages of married life – Vidhu & Som Mittal, Anshu & Sandeep Bhogra and Asheesh & Shalini Chopra Bakliwal, who gave candid insights on adjustments that couples must make for both the woman and the man to have productive careers and lives.
The day concluded with Kali on the Move, a performance by Ashoka students fusing poetry, music and dance. Set to poetic narrative, three women danced out of traditional social and mythological roles assigned to them. They re-imagined the future as Kali-yug not Kalyug - where powerfully creative feminine forces give birth a different kind of world.
Meena Wilson, Executive Director, GCWL said “We are excited to host a symposium that puts multiple perspectives on the table. Women from the 10 companies participating in this foundational research are here today. Our breakout sessions are a tremendous opportunity for us to think together about “What’s Next” for accelerating the careers of talented women. We expect to provoke reflection that inspires action.”
The “Women on the Move” event was an interactive symposium to embolden and inspire professional women to step up and step out in their careers and society.