International Women's Day is observed every year on March 8. It is a day that encourages the society to promote women power and make an equal space for all. With time, women have managed to come a long way and broke all the barriers and Women's Day is all about celebrating the strength of women and their achievements. There are many success stories in our society that highlight women's capability and contribution towards the world. A lot of change in gender equality has changed our society and the day is not far when the gap between men and women in the world of business will be bridged.
Several women entrepreneurs have successfully adapted to the new environment by acquiring new skills, redesigning their processes, and accelerating the adoption of technology to tide over the challenges. According to India Skills Report 2021 on the talent demand and supply in post-COVID India by Wheebox, around 45.9 per cent of the youth in the country are “highly employable resources” with Delhi-NCR, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh having the highest pool of employable talent in the country. The employability of women stands at 46.8 per cent as compared to 45.91 per cent of men.
The report said that considering the population of qualified and employable human resources in India being women, Indian employers are expected to make reforms in existing infrastructure to accommodate this vast talent pool. By doing so, India can set a trend for every emerging economy to reverse gender roles and create sustainable opportunities for the future of globalization and world commerce.
It is believed that more the women enter into businesses, the more value influence is created in the community. In this scenario, it is essential to encourage women more often to enter the male-dominated sectors like businesses. This will not only change the mindset of the financial lenders and investors but also add to the economic value of the world. To make an economy a captivating place to do business, gender diversity is of utmost importance.
Yogita Tulsiani, co-founder of global tech recruitment solution provider -- iXceed Solutions, said that the government has recognized the potential in women-led startups and has allocated a good part of the budget to accelerate their growth. "Several policies have also been introduced and amendments have been made to ensure positive outcomes in startup segments. All these are helping women entrepreneurs fuel their dreams and shape them into reality. I have seen remarkable success from ideation to fruition and expanding iXceed Solutions globally, there has been learning and unlearning," she said.
According to an estimate, India has a total of 58.5 million entrepreneurs and only 14 per cent of them are women entrepreneurs. Compared to the global surge of women adorning the Startup ecosystem, the numbers in India are low but still growing.
She said that entrepreneurship is an innate quality in women as they build a home and that is nothing short of being an entrepreneur. “Hundreds of women-owned businesses are developing every single day, opening new job prospects and bringing a constructive influx in society.”
Mona Singh, co-founder of India's largest incubator and accelerator for startups -- India Accelerator, said that the startup ecosystem has been dominated by male entrepreneurs for the longest time and it was a rare sight to have females as part of the founding team.
"However, as the ecosystem is evolving, the mindsets are changing as well. There’s a growing representation of women in every sphere, right from corporate to civil services. And startups are no exceptions. It’s refreshing to see more and more female founders who have set out to create an identity for themselves in this road less traveled," she said.
Eela Dubey of EduFund -- India's first investment advisory app focusing on higher education for kids, said, "While there is still a dearth of women founders in the start-up ecosystem, we are setting new examples daily. The challenges are immense because gender biases still exist in the startup world. But with perseverance and the right team, we are making our mark across all sectors."
Priya Kumar, founder of Genius Inside, said that if there was ever a time for women to take the leap and step into the world of entrepreneurship, it is NOW.
"In the past few years, it is fascinating to see these new-age entrepreneurs are self-made having had no legacy to piggyback on! Not only is the government supporting and encouraging women to do so, but private equity firms are also extending financial help. This has allowed Indian women to overcome the deeply patriarchal mindset of their role as working women and take a bet on their passion projects. I believe that the right balance of women entrepreneurs will help strengthen the startup ecosystem by bringing in diverse perspectives," she said.
Celebrating Women's Day is not a modern act of gender equality, it is a campaign which started in early 90s. Although the women power should be celebrated throughout the year, March 8 is just a day to rethink the capability and contribution of women. International Women's Day was first celebrated in a handful of countries in 1911, but began to be observed by countries across the globe after 1975, when the United Nations started celebrating the day. The UN officially recognized Women's Day in 1977.