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BW Businessworld

Leading From The Front

In our special 38th anniversary issue, we showcase 38 Most Influential Women leaders of the country to have impacted businesses and policy

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A woman is like a tea bag — you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. — Eleanor Roosevelt

Anniversaries are occasions to sit back and take stock of the year gone by. What’s been the most momentous event of the year gone by? There have been many. Some of them have recurring episodes of a phenomenon witnessed in the past. Some of them have their genesis in the past but the event continues to unfold through several layers.

We at BW Businessworld observe our 38th anniversary and we thought what better than to look at the state of the women leadership in the country.

True, we did an issue on Wonder Women Entrepreneurs only recently, but look at the crisis that Indian women have had to face — especially in the economic space, and you will understand why we consciously chose to focus on women leaders.

While the Narendra Modi government may claim otherwise, the fact remains that demonetisation — effected more than two years ago — has had a crippling effect on large segments of the society and the economy. Women, the most vulnerable among the workforce, had to suffer the most, especially those in the unorganised sector.

According to data put out by CMIE, women’s participation in the labour force has come down to 10.97 per cent in February 2019 from 16.81 per cent in January 2016. While other factors might have been there, DeMon did play a part.
Look at the state of women at the other end of the spectrum. According to a recent report, startups are hiring lesser number of women to skirt 26-week maternity leave rule.

What then happens to the women workforce? Whether it’s the boardroom or Parliament, sports field or newsroom, we need more women. We need more women leaders.

It’s been often said that corporates don’t comply with the statutory requirement of one woman director on the board.

With general elections around, political leaders are promising 33 per cent women’s quota in government jobs and legislatures. While we will wait and see if this actually happens, is there a dearth of women leaders around?

Since it was our 38th anniversary, we decided to do a survey, and zero in on the 38 Most Influential Women who impact businesses and policy. While some of the names in this Corporate India survey were on the expected lines, some were not that familiar at all.

In our special 38th anniversary issue, then, we showcase 38 Most Influential Women leaders of the country to have impacted businesses and policy.

I am sure the issue will be a ready reckoner for corporates, businesses, policymakers, journalists, students and others trying to study women leadership of the country.

This promises to be a collector’s item.

In addition, the present issue of BW Businessworld comes with all other regular features and columns.

Do keep sending in your feedback.

Happy reading!

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