Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi of Variance.AI on “Women win, we all win” Moderated by Amitabh Kant of Niti Aayog at GES on 30th November 2017
Amitabh: Women entrepreneurs in this conference are getting smarter and the men entrepreneurs are getting dumber.
Mark: As women rise, we all rise. I would say we are feeling energy optimism and women entrepreneur having their moment.
Amitabh: We have 2.2 million self help groups. Amazing to see many women here as they return the money faster to financial institutions mush faster than the large businesses. How do empower rural entrepreneurship by women?
Deepali: At our fund we have 20% women in our portfolio. Avani Bhatra was chosen by Walmart to go to Arkansas to present what she learnt.
Amitabh: Hoe do we create unique role models like you?
Lerato: I represent the women of Africa. Our issues are very mush the same. We fight the same battles for the same causes. Women don’t build business led but they build nations. When you are in a privileged position of making a difference irrespective of the size, it is your responsibility to do make the change.
My late mother was a faceless and nameless individual who made a big difference and she supplemented her little salary to 6 others. She was not meeting the needs of our family but the of her extended families and the community at large. Access to knowledge and social media is bringing women like us. We need to find women like my mother out there not having the visibility.
We hear India on television and then I meet so many from many countries gives a different spin. I consider myself as a global citizen. One who is looking at the global sustainable goals in her own capacity. I am thankful for this remarkable experience.
Amitabh: What sort of policies companies shall have for more woman participation.
Christina: I thank Indian and US government. Ivanka was trrrific. Emerging markets have many women setup networks across the regions and we are funding them to do great so they make the network larger. There is help for women those who don’t help other women. For an VC like me to ensure we listen to women entrepreneurs not because they are women but they got a great idea. We got the Silicon valley folks invested in our fund.
Amitabh: Women participation in Jobs is a challenge. How do we change their contribution to India’s GDP in next few years?
Manish: Does India has Job problem or wages problem? The second is the truth. Self employment is more about self exploitation. Not all entrepreneurship is viable. We have a bad job of predicting the future jobs. From where I sit, I hire one every function minutes but we only hire 5%. India needs formalisation, urbanise, industrialisation and capitalisation. Formalise women labor force. Women are fine with working on forms but are not fine with informal wage methods. Formalise this and things change.
Amitabh: What can men consciously do to help equalise and improve the participation by women?
Mark: There is a digital divide in rural world and it means they are shut off information and jobs. Health challenges affect women disproportionately as say patients of communicable diseases if they are women they are more shut.
Amitabh: Your experience in women groups. Hoe have you facilitated the raise of women enterprises?
Dipali: When we moved to Anjaar, devastated by earth quake, we changed it and it had highest GDP in that area. We educated them on how to operate the bank accounts, see and their children go to school. If the kids didn’t go to school. Welspun brought the schools to their door stops. We give them an opportunity to graduate. The closest part to our heart is “sanitary napkins”. Maximum cause of death in women is due to inadequate support of sanitary napkins.
Amitabh: Nasic necessities are a challenge.
Lerato: We have decided our focus is on education. We take girls from 9-13 age group and we meet them weakly basis and we focus on entrepreneurship (SDG) to make them the solution makers. They start off by looking at the problem given such as clean water, sanitation. Gender issues and more. Because they are given the opportunity with OMG up with ideas, they are after solutions.
Then we look at leadership from the spiritual perspective. As they have gone through so much, we start from her soul. Then we put them to math tuition as foundation for 21st century.
Then we do wellness with them and girls take care of their bodies. A holistic program for the community to make them leaders.
Q) Very few women CEOs. How do we fix?
Christina: It takes the direction from the top of the board to tell management this is s priority. Priority and incentive are important.
Mark: It is not possible in this rapidly changing complicated world unless we listen to all of our voices.
Q) Markrting companies market Make in India and other initiatives? Incentivise equal wages.
Manish: You can’t incentivise equal wages. We need to focus heavily on seven states and 300 districts and education, health and water.
Q) How fonyou overcome social stigmas around women going into work?
Dipali: It is about the mentors within the community bringing in education. Here corporates shall come together. We are not only teaching them do multi task, we train the men in how to take the responsibility.
Manish: A lot of what we see is the absence of infra rather than cultural problem. Let us get our schools fixed and colleges fixed and labor force in manufacturing. Specific finite and actionable tasks is the best way to go.
Amitabh: Men need to get into the roles of what women have been performing traditionally.
Q) How fo we get women to invest and more to invest in women?
Ravanona: Have celebrity successful women to speak for other women. Not enough. It is important to have a diverse group in an investment committee in a fund and there is data to prove risks are lower.
Q) In west there is overconsumption leading to stress. Poverty is to our advantage here in India.
Amitabh: Land, Food and water are cheap in the western world. We need to do urbanisation separately. We are just in the beginning. We need to be very sustainable.
Mark: Work on messaging to men.
Christina: Emerging fun
Q) How do you make it comfortable to men to mentor women?
Christina: Men becomes much more empathetic when they have teenage daughters.
Q) I represent women of Himalayas. Please do something for us.
Q) How donyou chsnge the DNA of entitlement mentality of men?
Women to women is most important.