World Trade Center Chennai organized a panel discussion to commemorate the International Women’s Day 2023. The theme for 2023 is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
Ms. Swapna Sanand, Digital News Columnist, Branded Content & Social Media Marketing moderated the sessions.
Panelists included – Sivapriya Balagopal, Head – Product Development and R&D, Eastern Condiments; Monica Jasuja, Product & Fintech, Thought Leader; Dr. Augustus Azariah, Director HR, APMEA region, Kyndryl.
Ms. Swapna Sanand started the discussion quoting the World Economic Forum’s 2020 report, according to which, the economic gender runs deep in India. Only a quarter of women engage actively in the labour market.
Dr. Augustus Azariah opined that there should be societal support for women. Organizations should be more willing to accept career gaps among women employees. Leaders also need to be sensitized of this matter. The Government has recently adopted a few policies that gender equality at workplace. At the same time, it also has a responsibility to ensure safe harassment free workplaces. He stressed on the importance of male allies and the role they play in changing the mindsets.
Sivapriya Balagopal spoke on how digital technology does open new horizonsl, but could be more specifically aimed at women and people from marginalized sectors to bring about changes in gender responsive digital learning, sexual and reproductive healthcare, entrepreneurship etc. Women’s participation in the tech industry in India lies at 36%, according to a recent survey by NASSCOM. She added that women should be more willing to take risks and not hesitate to ask for help or for recognition.
Ms. Monica Jasuja discussed on the need for awareness among young boys regarding the biological requirements and abilities of women that are far different from their own. As more employees are returning to work, there is a demand for relaxation of rules among women employees, however, she feels this must be allotted on a need basis irrespective of the gender.
The panelists also shared the best practices followed in their respective organizations to promote women empowerment and gender equality. Mr. Vivek George, World Trade Center also spoke.