Gender equality and inclusivity seems to be a trending topic. A data given by GCWL stated that, women unfortunately consist of only 25 per cent of the total workforce. In urban India, the numbers are alarmingly smaller with 19 per cent and the global average of 50 per cent.
In order to bring in gender equanimity and inclusivity, Genpact and Ashoka University have created the Genpact Centre for Women’s Leadership (GCWL). Globally there is a push for structural reform that empowers and promotes women’s leadership. In the US, this has led to an increase in labour force participation by 53%. In Africa and South America, women are contesting and winning elections and companies are pushing for greater diversity. India needs to catch up with these global forums.
Through the GCWL, both Genpact and Ashoka aim to research, establish thought leadership and conduct proactive advocacy to help create contemporary laws and policies that promote equality and women’s leadership. Apart from this, the centre also aims to create a strong networking platform for all stakeholders, who work on issues related to women’s empowerment.
Dr. Pramila Raj Sinha, the Founder and trustee of Ashoka Education, says,
The GCWL is likely the first example, possibly globally, of an initiative that is housed in a co-educational setting. Through this centre, we believe that by creating an impact on women’s leadership, we are also grooming gender-sensitive men as leaders.
The centre will also host an annual marquee event to showcase its activities and achievements by women, regular workshops, seminars and guest speakers. The centre also aims to create a common ground for current and emergent leaders to connect, support, educate and empower one another.
Apart from these, the centre will conduct courses; training and mentorship programmes that further enhance and develop leadership skills. It also aims to create a knowledge bank which will help establish premium standards in leadership development and add to the next generation of women leaders from India.
Importance of the centre
Tiger Tyagarajan, the President and CEO of Genpact, said that it was delightful to partner with a pioneering educational institute like Ashoka University to drive a cause that he personally believed in. He further added,
Through GCWL, we aim to create an ecosystem of knowledge, resources and advocacy that will help the next generation of women in leadership roles.
At the launch of the GCWL, the chief guest Kavita N. Ramdas said that our definitions of leadership have mostly been male-dominated, which is not right. She further added, “The entire leadership model we have adhered to in the past is nothing but a power play between men and women which has arisen due to patriarchy and gender stereotypes. They are embedded in men as well as women’s minds.”
She emphasised on the significance and need of the centre by stating that while India is a strong democracy, the women are under-represented in the Parliament and this in turn affects the decision making for 50 per cent of the world’s population.
Kavita also said that the reason that a woman should be considered for leadership roles is not because she fought for it, not because she has the talent but because she has the right as a human being to deserve a chance.
She believes that in this crucial age where crime against women is alarmingly on the rise, we don’t have the luxury of waiting. She further adds, “Finally, we have reached a time where institutions such as the World Bank as well as companies around the globe have acknowledged how important women’s empowerment is for development and the criticality of addressing issues concerning women.”
The centre aims to create a powerful knowledge back, which will help establish premium standards in leadership development and add to the next generation of women leaders from India.