The Economic Times Best Organisations for Women 2023 was held on March 24 at ITC Maratha in Mumbai with the purpose of recognising organisations that have championed the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality (DEI) agenda to facilitate a level playing field and promote gender equality at all levels of business.
Attendees included several influential women who are shaping the future of their industries. They gathered to discuss how to achieve gender equality, reflect on the DEI agenda’s successes thus far, and plan for its future expansion.
The conference also honoured select organisations that have advocated the process of facilitating and encouraging difficult conversations to address gender biases, modelling vulnerability, or taking small steps to normalise differences in order to significantly improve the workplace experiences of individuals.
Noted women leaders, entrepreneurs, and game-changers took to the stage to share thought-provoking narratives to inspire the attendees and encourage the new-age women leaders of tomorrow.
In her keynote speech, Priya Agarwal Hebbar, Chairperson, Hindustan Zinc & Non-Executive Director, Vedanta stated, ” There is nothing more powerful than happy women. The most powerful woman is one who is happy and has a sense of achievement. Your role model is you. It is a combination of a lot of people, it is primarily who you were yesterday, who you are today, and who you are going to be tomorrow.”
Filmmaker Guneet Monga, whose film The Elephant Whisperer won an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category this year, said, “If I, as a woman, can do it, then any woman can do it. It is years of work, and it will not change overnight that women are making a mark in the male-dominated Indian filmmaking industry. The impact will take a decade. Feminism is nothing we are born with, but we learn new things about it every day. Inclusivity, conversion, and celebrating each other will make the required impact.”
Boxing legend M.C Mary Kom talked about the challenges she had to overcome to achieve success despite all odds. “It’s very difficult to achieve, and at the same time, being a woman and a mother, it’s a long journey filled with challenges. I had to prove myself again and again. We, as women, can achieve no matter the challenges we face. Every woman is strong, and they are all equally empowered, Kom stated.
Later, Mary Kom and Gunnet Monga unveiled the Coffee Table Book Cover “The Economic Times Best Organisations for Women 2023” in presence of industry experts and prominent women personalities.
During her keynote address in the evening, Dr Swati Piramal, Vice Chairperson of Piramal Group, emphasised the importance of learning.She said, In the corporate arena, we expect more women to join by creating a bright and right mind. You must build your skills in whatever you do, you must do your best. Knowledge is something every woman needs to imbibe. Don’t stop learning.”
Parineeta Lakra, Country People and Culture Manager at IKEA emphasised the need for more women in the workforce and said organisations needed to be bull-headed and determined to bring about an equitable workplace.
In a panel discussion titled, – Gender Bias at recruitment stage: How to bring parity? Dr. Pratibha Jolly, Academic Consultant, NAAC, Former Principal, Miranda House, University of Delhi, Likitha Nanda, Director, Talent Acquisition & Employment Brand, Target, India, Ashwini Deshpande, Professor of Economics at Ashoka University, Author of ‘The Grammar of Caste: Economic Discrimination in Contemporary India’, Benaifer Palsetia, Head HRRM and HR COO, DBS Bank, Rajani Athreya, Senior Director- HR, Insights Division, South Asia, Kantar and Srinivas P.M, Head – Human Resources, P&G India talked about gender-biased hiring decisions, eliminating gender bias in organisation and beating burnout among other things.
A few notable panel discussion sessions that took place at the event were:
- Stronger together – HR blueprint for diversity & Inclusion
- DiversitRethinking masculinity at the workplace
- The New Narrative: Empowering women, Empowering businesses!
Dr. (Smt.) Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana and Lt. Governor of Puducherry was the guest of honour at the event. She spoke about development and the empowerment of women.