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India Today Woman Summit and Awards: ‘Strive for talent diversity and not gender diversity’

13-February-2010
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India Today Woman Summit and Awards: ‘Strive for talent diversity and not gender diversity’

The India Today Woman Summit and Awards 2010 was held in Mumbai on February 12 to acknowledge the contribution of modern Indian woman to the work force. The event, in its second year, saw representation of women from literally every profession, be it corporate India or entrepreneurs, NGOs and so on. The presenting sponsor for the event was Amway, while Luxor was the writing instrument partner.

In his welcome address, Aroon Purie, Editor-in-Chief, India Today, highlighted, “Indian women have come a long way. Today she runs one of the largest banks in the country, we have a woman Chief Minister of the country’s most populous state, we even have a woman speaker, who is as stern in decisions as soft spoken she may be. This year, there was around 45 per cent increase in women employment in the IT sector, and while the number of women employment has increased significantly, the number of women in top management position is abysmal, but the situation is as bad globally too. In fact, women make up 13 per cent of the board in the US. However, despite the tremendous pressure Indian women undergo today, this generation of women have taken charge.”

KV Kamath, Chairman of the Board, ICICI Bank, at the inaugural keynote session spoke about the reasons to hire women employees and a way to double one’s talent pool. Kamath also pointed out that today nearly 40 per cent of knowledge service consisted of women and that it would not take more than 2-3 years before it became 50 per cent.

“Women are less power obsessed, they are more lateral thinkers, more imaginative and allow more objectivity in decision making, to name a few leadership qualities in women. However, the core reason to rope in a woman is to double your talent pool. I would say, aim for talent diversity rather than gender diversity. Today, a lot more organisations are going by meritocracy and are rewarding talent and going forward. This is only going to increase, however, one should drive equal opportunity agenda and make sure that no opportunity is denied to a woman,” Kamath stressed.

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