Women entrepreneurs need to work twice as hard as men to get recognition, said Shobhana Bhartia, Rajya Sabha member and chairperson and editorial director of HT Media Limited, while speaking at an award ceremony for successful women entrepreneurs on Friday.
Well-known entrepreneurs highlighted the need for support systems in women’s personal lives and adequate facilities for women to run successful enterprises.
More than 500 women entrepreneurs participated in the two-day conference, Stree Shakti – Enabling Women Entrepreneurs, organised by The Indus Enterprises.
Society needs to be sensitive towards factors that go against women such as maternity leave and security arrangements for late night duties, Bhartia said adding, “or else we would miss out 50 % of the entrepreneurial energy.”
When a participant asked if striving in a predominantly men’s world makes women harsh, Bhartia termed change a “self-arming mechanism”. “To succeed you need to be paranoid… it does alter your behavioural pattern,” she said.
“Women have to put in 48 hours of work into the 24 hours they have,” said Chanda Kochhar, managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank Limited. “Every day prioritisation is key. Every stree has all the shakti to do it.” Zia Mody, founder and a senior partner of AZB and Partners, a corporate law firm, spoke of being a woman lawyer in the male-dominated profession.
“If a woman has an economic voice, then she has a political and social voice,” she said. “I negotiated with my mother-in-law that I would not enter the kitchen before getting married and she agreed happily,” Modi said.