ISB Updates

ISB hosts discussion on women leadership in the corporate world

The Women In Business Club and the SREI Real Estate & Infrastructure Club at the Indian School of Business, Mohali Campus jointly organized a panel discussion on “The young & the restless Gen Y – 21st Century Opportunities in Leadership”.  With a complete focus towards women leadership, the existing challenges and the future opportunities, the panel included the likes of Ms. Lakshmi Iyer (CIO –Debts ,Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mrs. Komal Talwar(Founder & Director – TT Consultants) and Mr. Shantanu Gupta (Founder – Yuva Foundation). The panel was aptly moderated by Ms. Sudarsana (Country Director-Gender at Work).
The 90 minute session covered various topics ranging from scope of women in Indian political system to perception of women workforce in the financial world, from the need of government to implement safety and security measures to challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.  Shantanu shared some facts and figures of women representation in the political system of not only in India but other major economies such as China and the United States. While various states across India have allocated 33% - 50%  women representation in the Panchayats, the rule has been exploited where in the women handover the seats to either their husbands(sarpanch pati) or the sons (sarpanch putra) thereby curtailing women’s growth at the grass root level of political leadership.
According to Lakshmi the Financial world is not very different. This industry is devoid of women at senior positions with very few notable exceptions such as Ms. Chanda Kochar, Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Ms. Shikha Sharma to name a few. She further added that it being a high pressure job industry which demands longer hours, men are more preferred over women since women are perceived to be becoming homemakers after marriage and motherhood. However “women need to have conviction, caliber and persistence to remain in the corporate world,” Lakshmi added.
Komal shared her story of challenges, sacrifices, hardships and family support enroute her company becoming one of the top IT patent consulting firms in India. In a very interactive session Komal highlighted on the importance of a good team, sound human resource policies on one side , while funding and business planning on the other. She also shared knowledge about patenting, IP law and Trade Marks.  All the speakers along with Sudarsana feel the need of continuous initiatives by corporate and the government to assure safety and security at work to boost women workforce in the nation which currently has approximately 30% women workforce against approx 47% in the US. While the situation for women in the workforce has improved over the last several decades, many women still struggle for equity and equality in many occupations. Women are earning post-secondary degrees at a faster rate than men are, yet a wage gap persists.
The panelists further gave insight on the skills required to transition in the social and the financial sector post business school. The audience hugely benefitted from the session and they continued to informally chat with the speakers and seek advice.