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FICCI’s Greater 50 Virtual Conclave & Exhibition focuses on gender equality in MSMEs

New Delhi, Sept 27 (KNN) During the inaugural session of the two-day day Greater 50 Virtual Conclave & Exhibition, organized by FICCI, Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development (WCD) expressed her views on how many in our country want to enable more women in the organised sector speak of gender diversity. They speak of such plausible proposal within their organisations because there have been many studies that have shown gender diversities make companies report profitable and more productive.

Minister Irani spoke about ‘Gender Intelligence’ as a nomenclature not often discussed in Indian organisations. Organisations that are still flummoxed over grappling with gender diversity now need to look at gender intelligence. While gender diversity is about encouraging organisations to have more women at the workplace, but gender intelligence is about ensuring that those women stay at work.

  Further, Union Minister Irani noted that the Greater 50 Call to Action Report highlights that the SMEs now feel overburdened at the prospect of catering to specific needs of women, which in turn, impacts their recruitment and retention of women at their workplace. “We hope that we can look at pathways to help SMEs in our country hire and retain more women,” she said.

Further, the Minister said that FICCI has taken a giant step towards ensuring that not only is gender diversity is embraced but also understood and how leadership roles need to change from the perspective of gender and be all inclusive.

Speaking at the event, Uday Shankar, President, FICCI said that FICCI will leave no stone unturned to address issues related to gender gap and digital divide that exist in the country. He noted that as per the Economic Survey 2020, even though women make up nearly half of our total population, the female labour force participation in India is not only low but in fact has been reducing over the years from about 33 per cent in 2011-12 to 25 per cent in 2017-18.

He further said that India’s female labour force participation is the lowest in South Asia. As a result of this low participation, working women contribute only around 17-18 per cent of the national GDP, which is much lower than the global average of about 40 per cent. Moreover, in the coming decade, nearly 75 million women are expected to enter the workforce in India.

He urged the private sector to create and push for adequate job opportunities for women in their respective organizations. “This will enable aspiring women to work, contribute, succeed, and realise their true potential. At the same time, it is also our responsibility to ensure that the structural barriers that usually restrict women from accessing employment are addressed,” he added.

Ujjwala Singhania, President FLO, said that when we talk about empowering the Greater 50 per cent, we talk about not only empowering women, but the families, the community and thereby the society at large and the country.

“The Greater 50 mission has strived and thrived hard to touch the lives of women on the ground-in rural, semi urban and urban areas. We must continue to come together to create conditions for them to contribute to society and economy to the best of their abilities. Through the multifarious approach and with the support of some of the finest minds in the country, we aspire to touch the lives of many more women and help them realise their dreams for themselves, their families, and the nation,” she said.

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