Speaking up: An Imperative for Gender Parity

Business Wire India
On 29th March 2023, Mumbai witnessed an eclectic event that brought together leaders who are championing inclusion at the workplace. Jointly organized by the 1000 Women Initiative and questW and titled “Portraits in Inclusive Leadership”, the conference emphasized the urgent need to accelerate the journey to achieve gender parity.

“Look around and ask yourself how many women speak up?” – Apurva Purohit (Business leader, Entrepreneur, DEI Advocate).

As the keynote speaker, Apurva enthralled the audience with inspiring and thought-provoking stories from her experiences. What stood out for us was the need for women to become vocal and visible, showcase confidence, silence their inner critic, navigate paternalistic biases and most importantly speak up. She spurred the audience comprising of Board members, CXOs and other leaders, to open up about their own experiences and challenges.

The panel discussion, “Allies for Future: Identifying and nurturing leaders who foster diversity, inclusion and equity”, had accomplished leaders from diverse backgrounds sharing insights and strategies for creating more inclusive workplaces and communities. Ravi Chhabria (MD India at NetApp), Swati Mohan (ex-CMO at Netflix), Martin Maier (Consul General of Switzerland in Mumbai) and Akanksha Bindal (GM International Business at Pernod Ricard), couldn’t have been more distinct from each other in terms of their own journeys. But they were united in their belief that with the right intent and committed allyship can not only contribute to divergent thinking but also to business and social impact.

With India set to become the world’s largest workforce, it is imperative that one can unleash the full potential of women at work, starting with creating role models. One of the key takeaways from the event was the need for companies to prioritize diversity and inclusion as a core values, not just as a token initiative on a checklist. This requires leadership commitment and a deliberate effort to create a culture that embraces differences and celebrates the unique perspectives that come with them.