By Amit Singh Negi
Edited by Nidhi Singh, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
A casual browsing through the internet for my next presentation, led me to a slidesharing website called ‘Slideshare’. Thankfully i got the right presentation and went to the Xerox shop and right something hit me, there’s something common with Slideshare and Xerox, the CEOs’ of these companies. Yes. I am talking about Women Entrepreneurs. Rashmi Sinha, CEO of SlideShare company, which got sold for a whopping 100 Million Dollars to LinkedIn in 2012 and an African woman, Ursula Burns, who joined Xerox in 1980 as a Summer Intern and is now the chairperson and Chief Executive Officer who has made to the Forbes list of 50 most powerful women in the world.
These women are the perfect example of Empowerment, who are now the leaders in their respective fields. If we talk about developed countries having high index of women empowerment, we find a significant first hand contribution of the fairer sex in the Corporate and Technical world where they are leaders and not just employees the same being not observed in India. How will a complete empowerment be enabled unless we encourage women to be entrepreneurs? Do the Indian girls lack the opportunities to be the leaders/ entrepreneurs in their respective fields? Are they able to continue their careers for long time? Well, it’s a fuzzy question.
Its a known fact that there is a lack of women employees in technical world. Yes, the coders, the scientists, the executives in corporate are mostly men and not women in India. Although there are lot of companies trying to sustain the women employees by keeping flexible hours and granting maternity leave etc., the ratio still isn’t something very attractive in the workspace! There are probable reasons for this phenomenon.
Women in late twenties or early thirties in Indian societies are more inclined towards maintaining the family or rather they are made to ‘sit at home’ and take care of the family. While this relaxation is termed as “dedicated to family” by the patriarchal society in our country, it actually hampers the career of these dynamic women. Equal responsibility towards a family from both male and female would actually solve the problem to a certain extent. There’s another string that’s attached which is considered as unconventional. A Successful Entrepreneur quality.
When one describes a “Successful Entrepreneur”, the person is supposed to be taking risks, maintaining contacts with a lot of people, demanding more contracts or funds, making employees work, leadership qualities are expected. While men are considered to be a natural at these things, the late time running towards the deadlines and risk factors along with the workspace for women is not so safe for women in India. And even after all these requirements are met, the woman entrepreneur needs to find an investor to get the business on track and again we get back to square one questioning “how many investors are willing to risk their money on a business run by a woman entrepreneur?”
Women are great managers, its evident by their managerial skills with both professional and personal life. Its just the leadership style of woman, the investors are not coherent with which should not actually be a issue. Take the case of Ajaita Shah, the Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets, the sole solar power supplier to rural areas of Rajasthan. With a dazzling degree from Tuft University and a spectacular career in Microfinancing for 8 years, she is now a powerful Woman Entrepreneur and listed as Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs of the Year award along with a dozen other awards! Well, its not an impossible task to be an entrepreneur given you have what it takes.
The IT industry has itself witnessed a lot of women as CEOs , such as Aruna Jayanthi, CEO of Capgemini, Vanitha Narayanan-CEO of IBM India to quote a few! So, clearly we can say Women Entrepreneurs are on the rise. Not just on the big scale industry but also in small scale with the help of SHGs from AGovernment.
Empowerment of Women in India is usually associated with the downtrodden females from backward and rural areas; but conveniently ignoring the professional women from urban areas who may not be getting their share of opportunities to standout and have an equal share in the male dominated workspace! We need to encourage them to be the leaders.
Amit is currently, pursuing a BTec degree in Civil Engineering from NIT Durgapur. Originally from Uttrakhand but did his schooling from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. More of an artist than engineer, he loves writing poems, fiction, social satires etc. He likes to be a story teller either through his literature or his movies. Also he is a travel-enthusiast. Loves travelling to new places and meeting new people but never forgets to tuck pen & paper in his pants before leaving.