Tuesday, February 26, 2013

International Women's Day 2013

“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
~ By Diana Mariechild

It is my honor to write few words on the occasion of Women’s day. I am sure many men, including me, would struggle to find the right words on this occasion. Should I talk about the achievements women have made in the last few decades? Or the need for equality or empowerment ? But today I have chosen to talk about something that comes from my heart and something we can all influence in some ways or the other.

There is no doubt about the ever dominant role that women have been playing over the decades in professional, political & social life across the world, especially in India. In our industry alone we have over 35% women, who not only have contributed significantly in taking us from 0 to 100 Billion USD in 25 years but have also played active roles at home and in the society. When Harriet Beecher wrote “Women are the real architects of society.”, I am sure living in the 19th century she didn’t have an idea of what the 21st century would look like because Women are not just the architects of the society, they are also the architects of the IT industry and numerous other economies & industries the world over.

We live in a complex world with myriad forces influencing every decision, it is therefore imperative that the teams we create bring diverse thoughts and skills to the table. My own experience is that women have a much higher sense of commitment and bring a unique perspective to the table, which men often lack. Margret Thatcher once wrote "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." Coming from one of the most successful politicians in the world, these words are worth their weight in gold.

"The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.", Charles Malik wrote very aptly and it is so true in the Indian context. We are on the threshold of once in a lifetime opportunity. Our strong economic growth over the last few decades has also brought about massive changes in our society. However it is still very embarrassing to see condescending attitudes that some of us have towards women. We must also realize that no society can progress if one half is continuously oppressed or considered unequal. This is a cause that will require all of us to come forward and spread the message and most importantly we must first walk the talk to start with.

Our future relies on how well we educate our daughters. Whereas I have no doubts in my mind that you all belong to a strata of society that doesn’t distinguish between a boy & a girl but unfortunately we live in a world where a large section of the population continues to be gender biased. This is where we need to pay attention. I urge all of you to come forward and contribute in whatever way you can to create equality and ensure that every girl child gets the right education & attention. Only when we have ensured that we have done well to educate our daughters across the country is when we can be sure that our next generation will be better than us.

At the end to all my women colleagues “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." Though Timothy Leary first said this but I am sure most of us would agree that women have the natural ability & perseverance to do better & reach higher heights, so go for it !

Thank you for creating, nurturing & transforming us, we will always be indebted to you. And wishing you all a Happy Women’s Day.

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