Indian women are at fulcrum of change, need to occupy lead roles in firms: Irani
Irani said there is a need to scale up small businesses to medium-sized organisations, for the country’s economic growth
Union minister of women and child development Smriti Irani on Tuesday said Indian women are at the “fulcrum of change” and need to occupy leadership roles in corporations.
“It would truly be transformational for the country,” she said.
Irani was addressing the session on ‘Reinforcing the Power of Inclusiveness: India’s Growth Story’ at the CII Partnership Summit 2023, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) partnership summit.
She also emphasised on transitioning female-led small scale enterprises to mid-size enterprises in order to see a “female-led entrepreneurship revolution”.
“When we look at transitioning women from small businesses to midsize businesses, how do you locate that woman or that business? What is the framework in which that enterprise which is truly female lead can be identified on different markers which have a future ready industry waiting for that transition to midsize company?”
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“If we start working at the detail of it, I think you will see the female-led entrepreneurial revolution that we speak about,” she said.
Irani said there is a need to scale up small businesses to medium-sized organisations, for the country’s economic growth.
“There is cacophony around unicorns, and startups, but we need to recognise that, if we enhance our ecosystem of mid size companies that is where we will actually kick off a new aspect of our economic growth,” she said.
Disagreeing with the notion that women are not digitally empowered, Irani said, “The pandemic has resolutely shown that women know how to use digital services and, in fact, they can become a part of the digital delivery services. For instance, we had over six million women who were working as frontline healthcare workers who went door to door and reported on what they saw with regards to pandemic at the grassroots. Be it Asha worker, anganwadi worker, doctors and nurses. They did all their work digitally,” she said, adding that their skills can be repurposed and expanded for post-pandemic world opportunities.
Irani said that even Covid-19 vaccine was digitally delivered in India.
“If you look at the numbers, all of that digital interface with regards to the delivery of the vaccine was indulged in by Indian female citizens without disruptions. It has again proved that in terms of digital engagement, women are not left behind if you give them an opportunity to engage,” she said.
Emphasising on enhancing the digital engagement of women, Irani said there is a need to develop technology in different Indian local languages. She also stressed that it is the responsibility of all key stakeholders to address the needs and rights of women.
The minister also said there is a need to promote leadership skills among women, and emphasised on the importance of imparting financial literacy among women.