Hyderabad: Gender equality is not about just branding and campaigns but about education and empowerment, was the message Niti Aayog chairman Amitabh Kant concluded with at the closing plenary session of Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad.
Moderating a panel on When Women Win, We All Win: Promoting Inclusive Environments for Women Entrepreneurs, he said that women and girls need to be given equal opportunities to empower and get education and campaigns are a right way for this to happen.
The panel also included Dipali Goenka, CEO and Joint MD, Welspun India; Kristina Davison, co-founder and MD, iEurope Capital LLC; Lerato Motsamai, founder and CEO, PETROLINK, Manish Sabharwal, chairman, TeamLease and Mark Green, administrator, USAID.
All the panelists agreed that while having women role models are definitely a big boost to the society at large, but having support of other women is also important. “It is important that VCs listen to entrepreneurs irrespective of their gender who have great ideas,” Davison said.
Speaking in terms of numbers, Sabharwal said that in the last few years, women participation in the labour force has fallen from 31 per cent to 18 per cent. “And in times like these, the notions of self employment will be a challenge. We need to formalize our labour force while also providing opportunities for women entrepreneurs,” he added.
Elaborating on what Welspun does, Goenka said that it is important that men get into roles that are traditionally considered for women and vice-versa happens. “We work with self-help groups to make sanitary napkins and other problems and that has led to empowered societies and communities,” she said.
The session ended with Kant taking questions from only women entrepreneurs and talking about how to bridge the gender gap in various fields and sectors. The closing session also celebrated women entrepreneurs who came from various parts of the globe for GES.