An initiative of Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs (COWE), the 100 Women Faces 2018 campaign will spotlight the stories of 100 women who have carved their own niche with commendable work, inspiring and setting benchmarks for women across India.
With increasing focus on dialogue and initiatives on women empowerment, gender disparity has reduced in the 21stcentury. We are seeing more women taking up roles to change the world, be it as corporate leaders, authors, entrepreneurs, or policymakers.
While some do have the opportunity to voice their ambitions and showcase their leadership, many others are silently but constantly stirring up a positive revolution of sorts, in their own simple ways. These introverted leaders are often referred to as the disruptors, motivators, and changemakers, who are on a mission to create a new India.
And Womennovator 100 Women Faces 2018, in association with Confederation of Women Entrepreneurs (COWE), aims to felicitate 100 of these wonder women.
A jury comprising eminent personalities who have excelled in their respective fields will review applications and help COWE select the 100 women. The panel of judges includes Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise; Avijit Dutt, Bollywood actor; Naina Lal Kidwai, CEO and Country Head of HSBC India; Suresh Raina, Indian cricketer; Paresh Rawal, Bollywood actor; Shereen Bhan, Indian journalist and news anchor; Blossom Kochhar, Founder of Aroma Magic; Arunachalam Muruganantham, Founder & CEO of Jayashree Industries (the real PADMAN), and Sonam Wangchuk , Founding-director of the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) (inspiration behind the 3 Idiots movie).
While addressing the media at the Wommennovator event in New Delhi on Friday, Avijit Dutt added, “Selecting only a 100 women is a difficult task as I feel there are millions of inspiring stories that needs to be highlighted to inspire our future generations.”
Mentors on board
To nurture the selected candidates and spread their stories far and wide, COWE has also on-boarded mentors including Archana Gupta, Non-Executive Director of KEI Industries; Gauri Sarin, Founder and Director, Saahas; Rita Gangwani, Managing Director of Etiquette; Priyanka Chaudhary Raina, Founder of Gracia Raina Foundation; Meeta Sengupta, Founder of Centre for Education Strategy; and Swaroop Sampat, Trainer at Gujarat Council for Education Research and Training.
“Women’s victory and stories of courage need to be celebrated all-year round. There needs to be no specific day or date to recall their achievements. Selecting 100 winners was a very great and courageous step as all applications seem equally deserving and every story was great in some way or other,” said Rita Gangwani, Managing Director of Etiquette.
COWE will announce the 100 Women Faces on March 31, 2018. The mentors and influencers will then handhold these women founders/changemakers to provide visibility and spread their stories to a wider audience.
Tripti Shinghal, Chairperson of COWE - Delhi Chapter added: “We received entries from 18 states and applications varied across a wide range of categories, from social entrepreneurship, eco-friendly enterprises, and stories of women from difficult territories, survivors who battled serious diseases, and differently-abled women doing great work.”
COWE plans to make the 100 inspiring stories part of an online and print publication/management planner that will be sent to ministries of India, PSUs, corporates, financial institutions, banks, and embassies of all countries.
Launched in 2004, COWE is a non-profit organisation that helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains and has a presence across 10 states of India. In the last decade, COWE has emerged as one of the leading organisations working towards the goal of liberating women by making them financially independent and vibrant.