Champions, changemakers, catalysts–70 inspiring quotes of 2022 on women entrepreneurs and leaders

By Madanmohan Rao & Rekha Balakrishnan
December 31, 2022, Updated on : Sat Dec 31 2022 02:06:32 GMT+0000
Champions, changemakers, catalysts–70 inspiring quotes of 2022 on women entrepreneurs and leaders
As the year comes to a close, we celebrate the achievements and aspirations of women entrepreneurs and leaders in this quotes compilation. Read, repost, reinvent!
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Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a regular feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our past articles. Share these gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.


Growing numbers of women are taking up leadership and founder roles in a range of organisations and sectors. The pandemic – the worst of which is hopefully behind us now – brought out some of the contradictions of the work-from-home model for women leaders and mothers.


A number of investment firms are stepping up their bets on women entrepreneurs. More mentorship and sponsorship are called for with respect to women leaders in the corporate world. Whether the proverbial glass is half-full or half-empty, it is women who are filling the glasses now.


Women are not just breaking barriers in entrepreneurship; they are creating a level playing field in whatever domain one can think of – proving that the only limit we place is on ourselves. Social impact is also high on their agenda, whether it’s tech for good, philanthropy or being the social “change they wish to see”

Their contributions have far-reaching impact as we move towards an equitable world.

In this quotes compilation, we shine the spotlight on the resilience and creativity of women in the startup and corporate worlds. See our earlier annual compilations from 2021 and 2020.


We have divided these 70 quotes into seven categories: The big picture, Entrepreneurship, Investment, Leadership, Barriers, Organisational culture, and The road ahead. Make it a habit to check out our Daily Capsule, Weekly Founding Roundup, and quotes compilation StoryBites.


YourStory wishes all entrepreneurs and readers all the very best for 2023 and beyond, with much success and happiness!

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The big picture

Women make up half the population, creating relevant and relatable products to cater to this market could be done better by nobody other than women themselves. - Chinu Kala, Rubans Accessories


Increased social mobility of women is a sign of a vibrant community and a strong nation. - Rajan Samuel, Habitat for Humanity India

If women representation improves in roles that are closer to value creation, then equity would seem to be a more achievable goal. - Mansee Singhal, Mercer

Women today are creating exceptional and ground-breaking accomplishments in every sphere of life and are optimistic about what the future holds for them. - Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Minister of State for MSME


[Working from home] levelled the playing field and opened many doors for women, who were earlier ignored or relegated to household duties. - Neha Shah, QWEEN

Women—no matter where they belong, whether urban, rural, or tribal—want to be changemakers. They are the nation’s soul. - Heera Lal & Akshita Rajpal

Women have the ability to multitask inherently, which is one of their biggest strengths. When this ability is combined with a calm mind and overall wellness, the outcomes will be great. - Swathi Kulkarni, Elda Health

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Entrepreneurship

Every woman investor inspires many more women to become entrepreneurs and create their own success path. - Padmaja Ruparel, Indian Angel Network


We [women entrepreneurs] have the power of strong intuition. Don’t second-guess yourself and keep moving. - Vaishali Sharda, Mellow


When we speak about the balanced development of our country, we certainly cannot miss out on the critical contributions of women entrepreneurs. - Shilpa Khanna Thakkar, Chicnutrix

Well-equipped women entrepreneurs help in opening newer growth avenues bringing about positive outcomes at the community level. - Saumya Kumar, I-Venture @ ISB

With women entrepreneurship slowly but steadily on the rise, we are getting closer to bridging the gap but have a long way to go to significantly impact the overall gender gap. - Roma Priya, Burgeon Law


As more businesses and professionals recognise the rewarding impact of gender-equal workplaces, we have the unique opportunity to help women become more employable and entrepreneurial in today’s digital era. - Ashutosh Gupta, LinkedIn


Access to quality education is critical to decent employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women and girls. - Susan Ferguson, UN Women India


We are also seeing a generation where women entrepreneurs today support each other and encourage one another to put their best foot forward. - Richa Jaggi, Awshad

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While we have a lot of women entrepreneurs in rural areas, not all of them are in the formal financial system. And that is the gap that we need to address quickly. - Kalpana Ajayan, Women’s World Banking


Everyone has to find what drives their passion, and for me, it's about finding out how many women are going to shift from plastic pads to biodegradable products. - Anika Parashar, The Woman’s Company


Women are not very comfortable with their (often judgemental) gynaecologist and need someone trustworthy and comfortable to open up – and that is where we feel femtech startups can fill a gap. - Surabhi Purwar, Titan Capital


Starting up is a waiting game – it takes a lot of thick skin and efforts for women to fend off criticisms from family members and society. - Vidya Sridharan, Riskcovry

We now find women leading some of the world’s oldest and largest organisations and even launching their own with great success. - Chinu Kala, Rubans Accessories

Women aren't taken seriously, by men and even other women. That makes women entrepreneurs doubt themselves and forces them to work harder than their male counterparts. - Vaishali Mehta, Swa Artisanal Syrups


As women, we are natural problem-solvers. Because we can preempt things we will make for fantastic entrepreneurs. - Priya Kumar, Genius Inside


One of the most crucial aspects to enable women entrepreneurs to thrive remains to create a supportive ‘ecosystem’ for them that starts from their homes. - Richa Jaggi, Awshad

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Investment

There is tremendous [gender] disparity on the investor side, which also affects what kind of startups get funded. - Shrishti Sahu, SSV


When women invest, they tend to have a better average annual return from their investments than men. - Marci McGregor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Now, women VCs can offer a nuanced understanding of the demographic and make a difference by adding a deeper perspective. - Vineeta Singh, SUGAR Cosmetics


When their [women's] personal commitment in terms of marriage or children goes up, everyone starts doubting if they will be staying committed to the business and that doubt is what makes many investors not really want to bet on the women. - Falguni Nayar, Nykaa

If women were represented at least 50 percent in the VC firms and investment space, more women founders could have freely approached them, had more informal conversations just like men get to do. - Stuti Gupta, Amrutam

Microfinance companies also focus on women borrowers because they enjoy a better track record of making timely repayments than their male counterparts. - Alok Misra, MFIN


Women want to be financially independent and recognised for their skills but do not have easy access to opportunities to learn or earn. - Nishtha Yogesh, Hunar Online Courses


Women need working capital for delivering procurement, they want advice to creating a revenue stream on social strategy. - Tripti Singhal Somani, Womennovator


Due to cultural and gender prejudices, women are frequently rejected loans—many institutions prefer to support male-owned firms. - Sumana Iyengar, Goavega Software

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Leadership

The onus is also on us, as women leaders, to groom and mentor more women, and for the mentees to ask for more, and put themselves out there. - Sonal Ramrakhiani, Tata Technologies


Women have always have had astute business and leadership sense. They just need to start believing in themselves. - Dia Mirza


Hopefully someday we will no longer feel the need to create a separate category of 'top 100 women leaders'. Instead, we will just find women entering the ‘top 100 leaders’ list. - Jyotsna Krishnan, Elevar Equity


Having women in leadership roles has this crucial duality of not just showcasing the voice of women in decision-making, but also in inspiring other women to pursue their ambition fearlessly. - Divya Gokulnath, BYJU'S


With an overall positive perspective on ESG, sustainability, and diversity management, one could acknowledge that women can make a significant difference in crucial leadership roles. - Sakshi Vij, Myles


Tracking metrics like pay parity, retention among women at different levels, leadership opportunities given to women, and publishing these metrics also helps raise awareness in organisations. - Padmini Gopalakrishnan, AMD

An ecosystem of support first and foremost starts with giving women leaders a space to voice their needs. - Tara Singh Vachani, Antara Senior Living

Increasing female representation in senior leadership is only possible by sustaining and maintaining the middle management years and empowering women by giving right opportunities and responsibilities. - Vijayashree Natarajan, Omega Healthcare


Women bring the balance between performance and people, and that is vital. - Kinjal Pande, DB Schenker


By making empathy-led decisions, women build an empire where people work with a common goal to acquire business growth. - Nitisha Agarwal, Digidarts


With just the quest to learn, a passion to create unique solutions or by exploring a simple idea, women today can create an empire. - Aayur Kaul, Skillshare

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Barriers

There are a lot of women who want to get into sports, but they are unable to figure out how they can do it. They are unable to find the right mentors or right advisors with the right expertise and knowledge. - Vaidehi Vaidya, Women in Sport, India


While companies have put in place a comprehensive framework to encourage women to hold key positions, the figures show that there is a wide gap between the idealised criteria and reality. - Ravindra Kumar, Tata Motors

Women should not be told that some jobs can only be done by men. Who says we can’t climb electrical poles and do maintenance work? - Roshni, Tata Power

Women often run businesses in the most precarious and least lucrative industries without right mentorship support. - Senthamarai Gokulakrishnan, Yuukke


As we move up the talent pipeline, the drop in representation of women at senior levels is stark. - Saundarya Rajesh, Avtar

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Organisational culture

Increasing the participation of women and bringing about a balanced representation of women and men in all sectors will restructure everything. It is time to create a more women-friendly environment within companies. - Pooja Bangad, SheWork


A zero harassment policy that aims to help women to come forward without any fear of being judged will create a conducive work environment and ensure that they don’t feel unsafe. - Sumanpreet Bhatia, Exotel


Hire initially without bias, ensure diversity since inception. Enough studies show that women tend to hire more women. And this sets the ball rolling for diversity throughout the organisation. - Divya Gokulnath, BYJU’S


Women need more sponsorship, not just mentorship. - Janelle Estes, UserTesting


A diverse workforce fosters creativity and innovation – with men and women having different experiences, backgrounds, and viewpoints. - Anjali Mahajan, Amdocs


Upskilling and re-skilling of women and their participation in training initiatives will indeed open up a plethora of opportunities to help them move towards more technical and higher positions. - Nipun Anand, Zeal Global Corp.

What women increasingly demand from their employers is better work-life balance and greater flexibility. - Subramanyam Reddy, KnowledgeHut

There is a lot of investment that happens to help women grow in an organisation, but the woman also has to seize these opportunities. - Nasreen Dawood, Kyndryl


Women who network can also learn strategies to ask for promotions, seek fair pay, and even become mentors to others, creating a positive cycle of change for women in the workplace. - Anita Kishore, BYJU'S


Women’s representation continues to improve when we looked at a five-year data frame. However, we must note that the increase is primarily because of more women at the entry level. - Saundarya Rajesh, Avtar


Don’t just focus on diversity alone, but make sure you are including this diverse population while making important decisions. - Kalpana B, Grant Thornton dGTL


Women tend to be good listeners, which helps them in winning and managing customers. They are thoughtful and invest more time in the emotional connect that contributes to an engaging workplace. - Namita Thapar, Emcure Pharmaceuticals

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The road ahead

If we focus on ensuring that our maximum outreach is to women, we will be achieving our SDGs (sustainable development goals) much faster than we think. - Nidhi Bhasin, NASSCOM Foundation


Don't let your crown fall and let yourself become your biggest supporter. You can do wonders when you believe in yourself! - Arthi Raghuram, Deyga

When you’re working on gender equality, it is essential to work with both men and women, as it’s equally important for men to realise the presence of a women partner or member in their lives and family. - Sara Abdullah Pilot, CEQUIN

Believe you can do it. No one else can convince you that you are powerful, you are skilled, you are smart, wise and knowledgeable unless you believe in yourself. - Sarah Vee, Women Of Hong Kong


Women’s economic empowerment is central to poverty reduction and shared prosperity. - Megha Phansalkar, Tisser Artisan Trust


YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

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