Last month in February a news caught our attention that 16 women crew members of Air India embarked on an unusual journey of ‘Women Only Crew’ flying 15,300 KMs in a non-stop international flight, it was certainly a moment of pride that I and many other women take in being a woman. From flying planes to taking the lead in protecting our country on the border to being the Rocket women of India and handling the Mars Orbiter Project, women are doing it all and breaking the stereotypes every day.
However, if you observe closely, women still haven’t got the right share of empowerment and growth as compared to their male counterparts. According to Forbes’s Most Powerful People of 2016, only 6 women’s names made to the list. And there are still parts of the world where women are not treated as first rate citizens and employees. There are many pioneering issues that are looming large and hindering women’s growth globally:
- Poverty and lack of jobs and opportunity
- Disparity in wages between men and women
- Human Trafficking/exploitation
- Poor health and maternity benefits
- Social obligations and stigmas
What has gone right?
However, we also see small positive steps taken in the direction of addressing these issues, especially by the government and corporates, for example:
- Universal Women Helpline to protect women from violence and exploitation
- Several Training and Employment Program for Women
- Government initiated Micro-Finance services for women to help them with small home based business set ups
- Medical benefits and work relaxation during and after pregnancy.
Corporates and MNCs have also taken a few big steps by giving preference to women in terms of recruitments and hiring and even extending the 12 weeks’ maternity leave to 24 weeks, and supporting NGOs that work for the empowerment of women. Be it the corporate ladder or the family structure, it’s all about providing equal opportunities and platforms to women to help them become an equally deserving member of our society and work places.
At FIIB it is our persistent effort to provide equal opportunities for our female students, from internships to placements and acknowledging alumni achievements. Girls make 33% of our student strength and with each batch we are striving to achieve a higher percentage.