Prior to the event “I Inspire 2019”, we had conducted a tweet chat discussing about investing in women for building a better future and their role in the society and in the organization. For this tweet chat we had invited four noted guests to contribute, participate and share their opinions on the topic.
Our first guest was Dr. Tanvi Gautam a noted TEDx speaker and is one of the top 10 social media HR influencer. Our second guest was Sarika Bhattacharyya CEO of BeyonDiversity foundation. Our third guest was Kiran Manral noted TEDx speaker, Author, Mentor and a columnist and our final guest was Safecity, who crowd sources personal stories of sexual harassment in public spaces.
Benefits of investing in women and it’s effect on community goals
Our tweet chat began with the first discussion about the benefits of investing in women and how it is effective in terms of community goals. Everyone shared opinions and thoughts which comprised of women’s power in the society and prioritization of her needs.
Dr. Tanvi Gautam tweeted : “Thing is, I know men who want equality for their daughters & sons and mentors who have helped women rise to the top”
Safecity tweeted : “It is important to build on these values of women, invest in them and encourage them to be leaders, so that they can bring these values to the community and workforce too. These values make them great leaders.”
Kiran Manral tweeted: Women hold half the sky, they are also the primary caregivers to the next generation. Investing in women is recognising that women are as capable as men of contributing to the economy and socio-cultural fabric. #investinwomen #iinspire19 #BalanceForBetter
Sarika Bhattacharyya tweeted : “Stats prove when women earn, they invest in child education family health and the whole family unit benefits”
Elsa Marie tweeted: “Is it even a question or doubt that one needs to invest in women? It is sad that we are discussing this but essential. Women are not a minority. They are half the population but targeted by their gender for discrimination, oppression and violence. It has gone on for too long”
“Investing in women (as opposed to only men) means more people will benefit. Women are natural collaborators, nurturers & they spread the benefits. Unlike men who hoard & want to be at the top of the pyramid all the time. Give a woman an apple & she will feed her kids1st”
Devika Mathur tweeted :”Investing in both men and women is equally important. It is important from the point of view that as an individual the better education and experience we receive the more we can help people around us grow. Especially helping our future generation and hence the community.”
Steps and measures to promote gender equality
The next discussion was about the steps and measures to promote gender equality and how gender doesn’t create a barrier in the society and in the workplace. Everyone shared their opinions, thoughts and ideas which were mostly about transparency, change In the perspective and discontinuing policies that doesn’t support gender equality.
Sarika Bhattacharyya tweeted: “2 diverse perspectives lead to innovation
– Need to lead by examples. More such live case studies shared within an org
– Better chances of it becoming a biz agenda”
Kiran Manral tweeted: Start with champions for gender equality within the organisation, at the topmost level. Acknowledge &redress hidden biases in hiring. Recognise differing leadership styles based on gender. Remove the pay gap. Support women with flexiwork options #iinspire19 #BalanceforBetter
Kunjal kamdar tweeted: Need to educate men, so that they can understand the ground reality and work towards empowering more women at workforce. Women with senior positions in the company should mentor and counsel promising female employees.
Safecity tweeted: “HR can organise awareness workshops once in a while. Team members can organised different activities once a month that involve everybody. Role play is a good way for each gender to understand the other’s perspective and gender roles.”
Michelle Frank tweeted: “No gender screening for any hiring processes would be a start. To this day questions on marriage and child-rearing pop up during interviews. They don’t belong there. A woman and her capabilities are not defined by her marital status”
Dr. Sanchika Gupta tweeted :”Easily avail maternal leave. Equal opportunities for promotion. Strict sexual harassment policies”
Digital Innovation and its role of bridging gender equality
The next discussion was about how digital innovation can help bridge gender equality and promote it. Everyone shared their opinions and thoughts which comprised of its efficiency in the women’s livelihood and help sharing voice and spreading education.
Sarika Bhattacharyya tweeted :”Digital innovation has build bridge women from all across – rural urban, homemakers turning entrepreneurs, women getting back to work after break, & more access to learning & networks, also safety with org like Safecity organization”
Safecity tweeted: “Digital innovation can enable women to access valuable information, a broader range of business opportunities, access wider markets, take part in educational programs, and share experiences with and gain mentorship from other women”
Elsa Marie tweeted :”Digital innovation helps in many ways – connecting to opportunities, time management as women can multi task better, work remotely and with flexitime. It is changing the way we approach work and how it is managed in the traditional sense”
Devika Mathur tweeted:”Digital innovation has helped a lot of housewives in earning and spreading their voice through web by use of social media or blogging. Moreover you can always use the web to get knowledge and certification in various skills and hence increase your skill set.”
Kiran Manral tweeted:Digital has been a great equaliser, offering women access and opportunity. We’ve seen how digital has helped women remote work, begin digitally enabled enterprises. Digital has been a great boon to women for financial independence.
Nancy Roongta tweeted: Social media has amplified voices like never before! We write, see, hear more and constantly updated. Information is at tap of our fingers!
The fact that all of us today are deliberating on ‘why invest in women’?
“Think equally, build smart & innovate for change”
As the theme for the year is #IWD2019 and #balancefor better, we have asked everyone to discuss about how we can achieve the goal of “think equally, build smart & innovate for change”. Everyone shared their thoughts and opinions which consisted of changing our thoughts and opinions on equality.
Sarika Bhattacharyya tweeted :”when we think in a true inclusive way
– respect & trust people with diverse perspective
– openly listen to them we will ultimately achieve and build smarter solutions”
Safecity tweeted :”When we think of building a space that is safe for women and girls, it automatically becomes safe for everyone else too
Kiran Manral tweeted: We can achieve this goal by being women who don’t limit themselves. But believing and reaching out for our own dreams and encouraging other women and young girls to do so to. Let’s find ways to build work systems and organisations that embrace the diversity that women bring.
Ruchi Angrish tweeted :”Companies can make sure Women are paid equally and get equal opportunities like that of Men. Hiring, promotions should be transparent. Women should be given equal chance n for that we need Male Champions to support Women. Sponsor n mentor women”
Dr. Tanvi Gautam tweeted: Build smart has to do with work rules being aware of the ability of people participate in things like 7 AM breakfasts and late night networking events that automatically exclude a population for joining in.
Challenges faced in bridging gender equality
The next discussion was about the challenges faced by companies and organizations in promoting gender equality and difficulty of bringing a change in the organization.
Dr. Tanvi Gautam tweeted: 1. Still focussing on the superficial and not enough substantive steps.
2. Talking to women alone
3. Not recognizing the need for treating inclusion as a business imperative and not a an employer brand building one
Sarika Bhattacharyya tweeted :”Biggest challenge is always changing mindsets & beliefs. Biases run deep – both conscious and unconscious. Rest is hygiene which can be worked upon”
Safecity tweeted :”Ensuring safety of women employees even if they have to work late hours or travel far. Though women might be up for these jobs there is a fear of sexual harassment which sometimes deters them.”
Kiran Manral tweeted: Lack of will to wholeheartedly implement women friendly policies, the need to seriously address the gender pay gap, to put in place internal systems to address complaints of sexual harassment fairly, lack of sensitivity towards issues faced by female employees.
MASH Project tweeted:”Balance is all about achieving stability through equality.
At the most basic level, it requires us to understand an individual’s skill set and using it to drive innovation. The key is to create a space that encourages everyone to participate to their fullest.”
Sushmitha tweeted:”Gender diversity is a proven business case. Equality with merit will thrive. Women must also own their careers and life goals.”
The Twitter chat session ended with lots of ideas and thoughts shared about how investing in women would be better for building the future, how various innovative measures can bridge gender equality. Also speakers and participants pledged to think equally, build smart and innovate for change and also to pledge Inclusion for all.