Why then are there fewer women decision makers? Why aren’t there as many women as there are men in politics and administration? How come there are very few women in boardrooms, managements and CxO levels? Why is the ratio of women to men very weak in almost every industry? Why aren’t there enough women Entrepreneurs in the scene?
I had the opportunity to attend the launch of FICCI Ladies’ Organization (FLO) Bangalore chapter. FLO is the women’s wing of FICCI(Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), which is India’s largest and oldest apex business organization. FLO focuses on empowerment of women in the forms of women entrepreneurship, professional excellence, education and health for women. Shubha Kulkarni is the chairperson of the Bangalore chapter.
Through this event, I had the opportunity to meet many successful women entrepreneurs, professionals, socialites and administrators. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson & MD of Biocon was the guest of honour for the evening. I was really inspired by her speech:
Some of the points that got me ticking were:
- Kiran urged women to be more assertive and aspire for larger roles. She urged women not to waste their education. It is not enough to get opportunities because of a gender disparity or quota, but women should become competent to take on major roles.
- It was very moving to hear her story about being rejected for a business loan because she was a woman entrepreneur and being offered a loan from the category “loans for women, handicapped, unskilled and backward class entrepreneurs”
- Kiran reminded women that there was no need for them to expect special privileges or opportunities to be given to them. She assured that without any such privileges, women could still succeed just as easily as men.
- She reminded the audience that women play an important role in the society and that when women are repressed, the societies also remain repressed and are not progressive.
I still don’t have answers to questions I started this article with, but I am pleased to see that we are in an era of change. I am pleased to see so many women coming out of their kitchens and living a life of their own. We must encourage women to embrace newer avatars, as that will pave way for a better tomorrow. Personally, I have seen the failure rate of women entrepreneurs to be far lesser than that of men.
For all you women entrepreneurs out there or women who aspire to be entrepreneurs, I would like to quote Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
Srikanth Acharya is a passionate Entrepreneur and believes that tomorrow clearly belongs to the Entrepreneurs. He is also a business coach. Follow him on his blog www.srikanthacharya.com for fresh perspectives on Entrepreneurship.
image credit: FastCompany