- Women’s Day Industry Panel Discussion on Women in Tech – Accelerating Innovation with Purpose Through a User First Approach
New Delhi. 08 March 2021. To celebrate the achievements of women on International women’s day, FICCI organized ‘Tech-Thought Leadership Session on Women in Tech – Accelerating innovation’ with a purpose through a user-first approach, and comprised of industry leaders, innovators, and policy makers.
Appreciating the diverse roles women have played in the development of the technology sector in India, Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, Government of India said, “Whether it is in Defence or IT sector, women’s impact has been very significant. I remember the growth of IT in the country. India becoming the world’s largest IT outsourcing destination would not have been possible without our women. More than one-third of the workforce in IT has been women. Even in Electronic Manufacturing, something with which I have been closely associated, the role of women has been even more significant.”
Emphasizing the role of technology in empowering women, Mr R Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission said, “We are finding women shining is spheres of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Management), and therefore it is not surprising that the Government of India through its various initiatives has been able to kick-start and make sure that women are finding an equal place and an opportunity in India to benefit not only India but the rest of the world.”
Dr Subi Chaturvedi, Session Chair – Women in Technology at FICCI said, “Women in the leadership roles in technology bring about an inherent user-centric approach that brings about solutions for on-ground issues especially being faced by developing countries. Studies by Peterson Institute have concluded that wherever companies cross the 30% threshold of the female workforce, these companies demonstrated a 15% increase in profitability.”
The panellists included exceptional women leaders and experts in their respective fields such as Ms Deepali Upadhyay, Program Director- Atal Tinkering Labs, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog; Ms Gowree Gokhle, Head Media & Entertainment Practice, Nishith Desai Associates; Ms Swati Rangachari, Vice President and Country Leader, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements, United Health Group; and Ms N.S. Nappinai, Eminent Lawyer, Founder of Cyber Saathi.
The women’s day panel was organized with the view of highlighting the importance of increased participation of women in leadership roles. Addressing the apparent shortage of women in STEM, Dr Chaturvedi highlighted that there is a need to improve the percentage of women in STEM to 30% by 2030.
For International Women’s Day 2021, the theme is #ChooseToChallenge and the panel highlighted the need to challenge gender inequality through education and empowerment. The panellists chose to challenge inequality by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality. This was the first such panel discussion organized by FICCI and the work would be taken forward together with FICCI’s ICT and Mobile Manufacturing Committee between industry, academia and the government building on Women’s contribution in technology & leadership.