Prof. Sriparna Basu, Professor of Communication, FORE School of Management
New Delhi, July 28: The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) recently organized the Women Empowerment Summit 2022. The summit hosted a panel discussion on the topic ‘Role of Women in Progressive Economy’, which saw the participation of 5 women excelling in their respective domains, namely Prof. Sriparna Basu, Professor of Communication, FORE School of Management; Lakshmi Krishnan, Society for the Promotion of Women and Child Welfare; Bhawna Agarwal, Country Head India – HPE; Rashmi Ranjan, AGM – SIDBI; and Tripti Khanna, Gramin Vikas Trust, Supported by KRIBHCO. The discussion was moderated by Jyotsna Chauhan, Sr. Vice President-Marketing, Smartworld Developers.
“Women today need to be trained well, majorly on the lines of skill development and entrepreneurship, career mentoring, women-friendly policies and how to use technology to build job generation skills”, said Prof. Sriparna Basu, Professor of Communication, FORE School of Management.
Skill Development needs to be focused on both rural and urban spaces. The need is not just training but capacity building and technique-oriented skilling. Job generation does not happen on its own, so identification of entrepreneurial opportunities needs to be identified. For example- Private sector (Airbnb trained women in Homestay Services) so it is a collective responsibility of everyone and not just some NGO and Govt. In terms of CSR, companies try to shove off their responsibilities by just giving money but do not actually get involved on the grassroots level.
Career Mentoring is extremely important as people do not know what to do with their acquired skills. They need to be guided on how to avail help in starting their own ventures or be a part of already established ventures. And this proper mentoring should start right after senior secondary education. Digital literacy is the need of the hour, and everyone should know how to utilize it to learn more.
Women Friendly Policies or Women friendly ecosystem is required in offices, factories, and all workplaces. Flexible work arrangements, crèche for new mothers who are willing to work but are unable to, and hiring women who were neglected post covid need to be reinstated in the workforce again. The world focused on hiring men first, but now women need to be brought back as well.
The use of technology in building job generation skills is important. Connect technology to people so that they are aware of what resources they can use for upskilling. Digital financial literacy is also important, i.e., the use of technology for commercial purposes such as using e-wallets, internet banking, and getting consultations online for their loans and for small investments.
When asked what she would do for the women in the country if she was the PM for a day, Prof. Sriparna Basu said, “As a PM for a day, I would want to promote women’s success stories not as a niche content, not as something which happens once in a blue moon but as a norm story, something which is common and achievable and should be promoted more.”
As a conclusion to the entire discussion, Prof. Basu added a comment, along with other panelists, that the total percentage of women in the workforce is 20%. 6 trillion dollars could have been added to the economy with women working right now, so job restoration post covid needs to happen to bring women back into the game and achieve women empowerment in real sense.