21st Feb, 2022
In order to create awareness and advocacy to empower women in the country, XLRI Centre for Gender Equality & Inclusive Leadership (CGEIL) hosted its first event on 21st February, 2022 via Zoom and has initiated Path Maker CGEIL Dialogues. Ms. Liselotte Waldheim Natural, a former senior International Civil Servant, an experienced leader and an untiring champion for Women & Girls and Gender Equality was the Guest Speaker for the Inaugural Session.
The first session hosted on 21st February addressed the key issues of Gender Equality and focused on inclusive leadership. “It takes active involvement of men and women to progress the motive of gender equality. You have to grab every opportunity you have, you should never shy away thinking that this kind of work is not cut out for me”, says the youngest professional woman ever recruited at the UN Secretariat, New York, Ms. Liselotte Waldheim Natural. She also discussed her own career journey and what it takes for a woman to get recognised in their professional life.
“What should a female candidate do when her work is rejected by male boss?” , asked a participant. Ms. Liselotte replied, “It is something that we have to accept and try to prove them wrong with our hard work and good work. Your male boss will accept it. Even though they don’t, your hard work will definitely pay you in the long run. I have myself transferred to jobs. You have to be open to opportunities, and jump on to them whenever needed. You must be a fighter.”
“CGEIL has an ambitious goal, which is, to significantly increase the participation of women in the workforce within the next 5-10 years through strategic and broad-based interventions. As a first step, we have set up the CGEIL and started our sessions too, and we aim to build a world-class centre of excellence in years to come”, says Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J, Director, XLRI.
“CGEIL aims at covering the existing challenges and obstacles to women empowerment, peace and security and will be hosting monthly events throughout the year. My experience over the years has taught me that it is our need and duty to reach out to those who live in underprivileged circumstances. We must recognize women for their role and contribution they have been making for centuries”, says Ms. Alka Raza, Chairperson, Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusive Leadership (CGEIL).
Ms. Liselotte concluded by saying, “As a woman, never doubt your abilities. Pick up all challenges. Even if you fail, you will gain experience. Never be guilty of being a working mother. Let your children participate in your work experience. Encourage both daughters and sons to acquire education. Never give up your battles as a man or woman, do it together as a joint partnership, things will be easy.”
Women have independent, equal roles and make enormous contributions to the economies; in governance, businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs, employees or by doing unpaid work at home. They remain, however, unrecognized and disproportionately affected by poverty, exploitation, prejudices and discriminations. According to the statistics by World Economic Forum, India ranks 140 out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) 2021. And according to the Survival Gender Inequality Index (GII) which was introduced in 2010 by the UN Human Development Report, India ranks 155 out of 156 countries in the domain of Health and Survival. This is why CGEIL was formed. Creation of CGEIL was the initiative of XLRI Alumni, who were passionate about enhancing women’s participation in workforce and leadership. XLRI will continue working towards spreading awareness about Gender Equality.