Skip to main content

Women Of Empowerment: 5 Inspiring Women Leaders In India

Women in India have proved beyond their capability and mettle beyond any doubt. Indian women have produced leaders who exude confidence and dignity. Here are some who have empowered other Indian women to be their best and made us proud.

  • Kiran Bedi

A symbol of courage and an excellent leader, Kiran Bedi has been a perfect example of the fearless Indian woman. Having been a lecturer of Political Science for 2 years at Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar, she joined the Indian Police Service in 1972.

She has braved some extremely difficult postings since, including Deputy Inspector General of Police in the insurgency prone region of Mizoram. During her term in the IPS, she has brought about several reforms in the areas of narcotics control and traffic management.

She has won many prestigious awards including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1994), and the United Nations Medal.

  • Meira KumarMeira Kumar

Polite and charming, yet extremely reserved, the First Woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar, is a disciplinarian to the core. Kumar was a lawyer and a diplomat before being elected to the Lok Sabha first to the 8th Lok Sabha.

She was a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment between 2004 and 2009. She is a strong proponent of women’s empowerment in India, having strongly opposed the dilution of the Anti-dowry law.

“Safety, dignity and equality of women are very important,” Kumar said while interacting with women journalists here. Questioned on her views on the dilution of 498(A), the anti-dowry law, which some sections of civil society argue is too harsh, she said, “I am not in favour of dilution of any law which is for the safety of women.” (Source: Deccan Herald)

  • Mother Teresa

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the Late Mother Teresa was a beacon of light for empowerment and care for the poor. Her contribution to our country’s development has been indescribably immense.

She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta , and for 45 years she tended to the poor, the sick, and orphans. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and the Bharat Ratna in 1980.

The Missionaries of Charity have homes and hospices for lepers, patients with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and also counseling centers in 123 countries around the world. After her death in 1997, Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II and she came to be known as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

  • Bachendri PalBachendri Pal

The first Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest in 1984, Bachendri Pal is a picture of grit, determination and one who dares to dream.

She was born in a family of small means, and went on to first become an instructor of mountaineering and then to scale the Everest itself.

She continues to be active even today, and she is involved with the TATA Group, as the chief of the TATA Steel Adventure Foundation (TASF). She heads expeditions in the Himalayas organized by TASF for women.

  • P.T. Usha

The Queen of the Indian Track and Field, the “Payyoli Express” as she was nicknamed, is the trailblazer for women athletes in India. Her medal record in the Asian Games, and several other national and international events is proof of her fantastic career.

She was the first Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event by winning the semi-finals of the 400 m hurdles in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

At this event, she missed the bronze by 1/100th of a second. She was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1984, and the civil honour Padma Shree in the same year.

© Naaree.com

Permission is required to reprint this article.

Image source & ennapadampanchajanya

21st Century Business Women: 7 Essential Key Characteristics

By Howard Haller

When the first generation of women entered the workforce in earnest in the 1970s, they succeeded in the only way they could – by imitating men. Authoritarian leadership and tight control was the hallmark of that day’s businessman, and women were not exactly welcomed into the ranks of management.

Woman Business LeaderWell ladies, that was yesterday, and today is today! Forget what your mama or your boss told you, because following the rules can be bad for your career.  Today’s CEO or entrepreneur can no longer tap his/her company’s full potential using a “command-and-control” style.

The 21st century business woman needs to be able to build a vision based on the awareness of economic transformation, then help her partners and staff fulfill that vision.  She must draw on a wide range of skills to get to the top and stay there.  Following are 7 Key Characteristics that are essential:

  • Sell the Vision

A leader with a fresh, independent plan for her company’s growth and future has a distinct advantage in luring and keeping great talent and investors.  Vision is not some lofty ideal, but an obtainable concept that is easy to understand and will make the company grow to another level.

  • Reinvent the Rules

While women have traditionally been socialized to please others, the 21st century leader knows that good girls rarely post great returns.  The strong managers/owners today not only anticipate change, they create entirely new organizations that respond to shifts and search for innovation.

  • Achieve With A Laser Focus

Go where others fear to tread! Being aggressive and ambitious has long been considered male traits, but they are key qualities for new leaders.  Today’s business woman has the ability to home in on opportunities that others may simply not see, and then excel in that uncharted territory.

  • Use High-Touch in a High-Tech Era

When a number of leaders are conducting business by e-mail, voice mail, passwords, and PINs, the female entrepreneur succeeds because she guides with a strong, personal, bed-side manner. Today’s business woman is just as technologically savvy as her peers, but her skill with staff and customers is “high-touch” which gives her a critical edge and separation from the “pack”.

  • Challenge or Opportunity?

Women are great at turning a challenge into an opportunity instead of using the “slash-and-burn” approach.  They are able to make bold strokes, but they also win the cooperation of others in the organization in making any transformation a success.

  • A Customer Preference Obsession

In this information age which makes it easier to shop around for the best “whatever”, businesses must work harder to give people what they want before their competitors do.  There is no substitute for spending time with clients to become expert at their businesses and learn their demands.  Female leaders are almost intuitively adept in doing just that, and without the client even suspecting.

  • Courage Under Fire

Show me any career woman or female entrepreneur today that isn’t able to “stand-the-heat” in any tough-call situation.  Their decision-making skills are rooted in a high level of confidence, because they’ve had to weather and surpass any and all “corporate” storms they’ve encountered over time.

It takes a certain mind-set and bravado for anyone to start their own business and succeed, but it’s even more difficult for a female entrepreneur.  Let’s face it, ladies!  We’ve always had to be twice-as-smart and twice-as-confident as any male counterpart in the corporate world.  After all, if we can bear and raise the future generation, how can running a successful business scare us?

© 2007 Howard Haller

Howard Edward Haller, Ph.D. is the Chief Enlightenment Officer of the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based The Leadership Success Institute. Dr. Haller has over 35 years of proven successful business leadership experience, including over 20 years as a Senior Vice President, President, or CEO in major public companies. He will be turning is leadership Doctoral dissertation into a book titled: “Leadership: View From the Shoulders of Giants” To find out more go to www.theleadershipsuccessinstitute.com today!

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Leading Indian Business Women Confirm Participation At The Women In Leadership Forum In Mumbai This October 2011

Mumbai, July 25th 2011 – Leading business information group, naseba, has announced dates for the Indian edition of their global Women in Leadership (WIL) Series. It is returning to the country’s financial capital on October 13th – 14th 2011, and is being held at the JW Marriott in Mumbai.

WIL is a cutting-edge platform for businesswomen from all backgrounds, industry sectors and countries around the world. Amongst the delegates in attendance will be top Indian and global businesswomen, industry visionaries, leading politicians, knowledge thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

Women's conference

According to US corporate law firm Dickstein Shapiro: “Companies that increase the number of women in leadership roles have a competitive advantage. Compared with the median companies in their industries, organisations with a higher number of women executives performed better with respect to profits as a percentage of revenue, by a range of 18 to 69 percent.”

In line with the theme for this year’s conference: “My career – a cornerstone of my identity” – renowned personalities have been confirmed as speakers for the two days. These include: Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India; Sangita Singh, Senior Vice President, Wipro Technologies; Vibha Pinglé, President and Founder, Ubuntu at Work; Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson, Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies, and Marsha Gabriel, CSI Advisor and CEO, The Helping Hand Network /CSI Congress, South Africa.

Over the past few decades, women’s roles and their development in India have experienced tremendous change. They are venturing way beyond the traditional responsibilities of wife and mother, as a career is now an integral part of a woman’s identity.

The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India provides a suitable networking platform for businesswomen from across India and abroad, where they can discuss and celebrate their important role in today’s competitive society,” said Sophie Le Ray, CEO of naseba.

Official partners confirming their participation so far are Monster India, Radio City, Femina, Naree.com and Business Wire India.

“We are very excited about this partnership,” enthused Priya Florence Shah, Editor of Naaree.com and a successful internet publisher. “I completely support this event and believe it is high time India’s women achievers had a platform of their own. We enthusiastically invite all businesswomen in India to be part of this.”

The forum culminates with the prestigious WIL Achievement Awards in partnership with Monster India. The ceremony recognises the achievements of prominent businesswomen and gender diverse organisations.

Media Contacts:

Mitha Ittycheriah, Marketing Manager

Email: mithai@naseba.com; Tel: 080 3022 2017

Event Details:

Venue: JW Marriott, Mumbai, India

Date: October 13th – 14th

Log on to www.wilforumindia.com to register

About NASEBA

naseba produces, promotes and hosts business summits, professional training courses and business exhibitions targeting executive level attendees across multiple industries. Each event is focused on re-education, networking and creating a deal-flow platform for all participating organisations. Whether it is raising capital, expanding to a new market, vendor sales contracts or sourcing a strategic partner, naseba facilitates and supports clients’ business development.

Our team of experts conducts extensive research in conjunction with recognised thought leaders to ensure that all events are relevant, timely and at the forefront of market and industry trends.

naseba collaborates with leading media, industry and local authorities, such as International Data Corporation (IDC), International Business Consultancy Group (IBCG), Saudi Trading and Resources Co. Ltd. (STAR Group Holdings), HIL International Lawyers & Advisers (HIL), International Herald Tribune, CNBC Arabia, Zawya, Council of Saudi Chambers, Asharqia Chamber, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Ministry of Health – UAE, Ministry of Economy – UAE, Ministry of Environment and Water – UAE, Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning – Qatar, Privatization and Investment Board (PIB) – Libya, Principality of Monaco, Singapore Tourism Board, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, Department of Civil Aviation – Malaysia and many others.

Since its inception in France in 2002, naseba has organised over 400 events and played host to 58,000 executive delegates globally. Operating from four strategically located offices, naseba has on-the-ground presence in Monaco, Cairo, Riyadh, Dubai, Bangalore and Kuala Lumpur.

For more information on naseba, please visit www.naseba.com

Naaree.com Chosen As Official Media Partner For The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India 2011

PUNE, July 18, 2011: Naaree.com, the top online magazine for women in India with a focus on career and business issues, has been chosen as an official media partner for the 2nd Annual Women In Leadership Forum to be held in Mumbai from October 13-14, 2011.

The Women In Leadership event is the brainchild of NASEBA, which produces, promotes and hosts business summits, professional training courses and business exhibitions the world over. WIL has been successfully groomed into a cutting-edge platform for businesswomen from all backgrounds, industry sectors and locations around the world.

Naaree logo“The purpose of this event is to provide a suitable meeting-ground and networking platform for businesswomen from across India and abroad to discuss and celebrate their important role in today’s competitive society,” says Mitha Ittycheriah, Marketing Manager at NASEBA.

The 2nd Annual Women In Leadership Forum will provide yet another opportunity for the stalwarts and rising stars of India’s businesswomen cadre to exchange information, create new business connections and make the most of the vast field of opportunity before them today.

The event will culminate with the prestigious Women in Leadership Achievement Awards, which recognise the achievements of prominent businesswomen and gender diverse organizations.

Among the confirmed speakers for the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Forum India 2011 are:

• Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager & Country Head – HSBC India
• Sangita Singh, Senior Vice President – Wipro Technologies, Healthcare, Life sciences and Services
• Marsha Gabriel, CSI Advisor and CEO – The Helping Hand Network /CSI Congress – South Africa
• Vibha Pinglé, President and Founder – Ubuntu at Work (Worldwide)
• Shahnaz Husain, Chairperson, Shahnaz Husain Group of Companies

“We are very excited about this partnership,” states Priya Florence Shah, editor of Naaree.com and a successful Internet publisher since 2001. “I completely support this event and believe it is high time India’s women achievers have a platform of their own. We enthusiastically invite all businesswomen in India to be part of this event.”

EVENT DETAILS:
Venue: JW Marriott, Mumbai, India
Date: October 13th – 14th
Log on to www.wilforumindia.com to register

About NASEBA:
NASEBA produces, promotes and hosts business summits, professional training courses and business exhibitions targeting executive level attendees across multiple vertical industries. Each event is focused on re-education, networking and creating a ‘deal-flow’ platform for all participating organisations. NASEBA works in partnership with leading media, industry and local authorities such as Since its inception in France in 2002, naseba has organised over 350 events and played host to 52,000 executive delegates globally.

About NAAREE.COM
NAAREE.COM is an online magazine for career and business women in India. It aims to help the new Indian woman get in touch with her own needs, and achieve balance and harmony in all areas of her life. NAAREE.COM offers resources and information for Indian women to empower themselves, connect with other women, experience their feminine power and nurture themselves, in body, mind and spirit. It empowers the Indian woman to be proud of who she is and become a force for change in the world.

Grooming Leadership Talent

Career Development For Women: Skills You Need To Succeed

It has been established long ago that men and women are psychologically very different. They want different things, they have different needs and they tend to perceive the same things differently.

These psychological differences play key roles in determining one’s career path. Even on the professional front, women need a set of skills, somewhat different from their male counterparts, in order to succeed in their career.

  • Leadership Skills

For career development of women, this is the most important trait to guarantee success and growth in a career. From time immemorial, women have been dominated by men in every aspect of their lives.

Even if we shout ourselves hoarse about women’s equality and liberalization, in reality, these concepts are applied only in few parts of the world, and that too, among few people.

As a working woman you need to start cultivating your own leadership qualities and demonstrating them, even if it’s in a small way, to make your colleagues take you seriously. Then, your opinions would start to matter more at crucial juncture’s of your career.

Developing leadership skills would also ensure and better opportunities at the workplace, but it means you must also be prepared to take on bigger responsibilities.

  • A Positive Attitude

This is a quality that acts as a woman’s guide through every challenge that she would have to face during the span of her career. Having a positive frame of mind boosts one’s self confidence and instills the strength to face unfavorable situations, biases and discrimination.

A woman with a positive outlook is more likely to take things in her stride and sail through the situation with poise and grace instead of letting her self-esteem take a blow.

While some people are optimistic by nature, a positive attitude is a trait can be cultivated with time and practice. It is also one of the most important skills taught in any program that focuses on career development for women.

  • Be a Learner

No matter how many degrees we earn, as far as life’s experiences are concerned, we forever remain students. There are certain things that any woman in a professional field would have to face, and most of these are not taught in business schools.

There might be some setbacks in a woman’s career path, some phases when things just refuse to look up. Instead of crying over it, quickly analyze what went wrong and why. Then learn not to repeat them in similar situations in future. Be open to new ideas and changing trends as adaptability can take you a long way in your professional success.

  • Promote Yourself

Marketing yourself well acts as a catalyst in career development for women. Men usually do not have hang ups in taking credit for their positive contribution to the company. Women, however, are brought up to be modest and often feel hesitant to take credit for their contributions to the organization.

Whatever the reason for this may be, you need to overcome your fears and limitations and start promoting yourself strategically, especially with the use of facts and figures that support your achievements. Honesty and hard work need to be adequately supplemented with business acumen in order to climb the ladder to success.

  • Good Business Etiquette

Punctuality, the right body language, keen observation and listening abilities are some of the ground rules of thriving in the corporate world. They come in handy during business trips or boardroom meetings, as well as for socializing and networking. Seemingly minor things like a firm handshake can make or break a woman’s impression in front of other people.

Make it a point to learn good business etiquette, especially when socializing with people from other cultures and nations. Those women who invest in their own personal development and learn to present themselves well in front of others, are the ones who are given preference at promotion time.

The bottom line is that career development goes hand in hand with personal and self-development. As you grow in experience and wisdom, so will your career.

© Naaree.com

Sonia Gandhi, Indian political leader

Women Leaders In India: The Role Of Indian Women In Politics

India has had a woman Prime Minister, and a woman President, and women are entering politics in great numbers. But for Indian women looking for a career in politics the future is not that bright.

The participation of women in politics is not a new concept in India. The struggle for independence has seen many women revolutionaries playing an important role. The Freedom Movement led many women into the foray of politics and many of them made great sacrifices for the nation.

With the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, Indian women got an equal share in the political administration of India.

They are not only part of local and state administration, but are coming forward to participate in national politics as well. They have achieved a very significant role in the Parliament as well.

But when we look at the actual statistics of the Indian woman’s participation in politics, a bitter truth emerges about the world’s largest democracy – that women are always underrepresented during elections and in party structures.

India is in the lowest quartile as far as the number of women in Parliament is concerned. According to the comparative data by an international organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, India ranks 99 in the world for women representation in Parliament.

At present, India has just 59 women members out of 545 members in the Lok Sabha, (lower house). In the Rajya Sabha (the upper house), there are only 21 female MPs out of the 233 members.

India lags behind other Asian countries, such as Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh. Even African countries, such as Rawanda and Mozambique have more representation with 56.7% and 34.8%.

In comparison to the national scenario, the Panchayati Raj, the fundamental of rural government, has brought in many more women leaders and participants. States like Karnataka had made women part of rural politics way before the Constitution made it mandatory. Other states, such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand have crossed 50 per cent seats in the panchayat for women.

The primary reason why women have not been able to play a significant role at the national level in Indian politics is because of dynastic rule. Women politicians struggle to find a better position in their party hierarchies.

It is interesting that Indian women leaders attained a clear leadership position only after they set up their own parties (Mayawati, Jayalalitha, Mamata Banerjee) and through the support of their husband or family or dynasty rule (Sonia Gandhi, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Mehbooba Mufti, Shiela Dixit, Rabri Devi).

Another major problem faced by Indian women in politics in is implicit acceptance by the party rank, especially by males. The irony we face is that political parties create a hullabaloo over increasing the participation of women to 33 per cent by making reservations for them. But when it comes to giving election tickets to women leaders, they are rarely the first choice.

The problem that women in Indian politics face is that even if reservations are made for women politicians, they are not included in party policies. That fact defeats the entire exercise of creating reservations for women.

The country’s ruling Congress party is led by a woman leader and has been pushing hard for reservation for women. But the Congress party itself does not include more than 10 per cent of women members. The situation of women in Indian politics will not improve till we have made significant changes in the mindset and ideology of the Indian people.

© Naaree.com

This article may be reproduced with a live link back to www.naaree.com