DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality
Published on : Wednesday 08-03-2023
Industrial Automation celebrates women achievers in the Indian industry on the occasion of International Womens Day.
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. According to the UN Women, the global champion for gender equality, this theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67, March 6-17, 2023), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
Women today have stormed all the male bastions globally. While the world of politics had witnessed an early entry of women leaders when Sirimavo Bandaranaike took office as the Prime Minister of Srilanka in July 1960, it was considered an exception rather than a rule. But she was followed by a galaxy of women leaders across the globe to high office by Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Isabel Perón and Margaret Thatcher, among several others over the last six decades. At the height of the Covid pandemic, a research study published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum after analysing 194 countries, even indicated that countries led by women handled the pandemic better. The famous five – Germany’s Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen and Finland’s Sanna Marin – were considered effective leaders of their respective countries, and the study suggested the difference was real and “may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses” adopted by female leaders.
In the contemporary scenario, scores of women globally are heading tech companies with multi million dollar turnovers. A case in point is Revathi Advaithi, the Indian American CEO of the US$24-billion Flex, an electronics manufacturing behemoth. Before Revathi, there was Indra Nooyi, former PepsiCo Chief Executive widely credited with giving the global MNC a new and healthy direction, literally and metaphorically. Revathi, along with Bela Bajaria, are the only two Indian American executives who made it into Fortune's list of the most powerful women in business for 2022. While Revathi, ranked 37, had worked in senior executive positions with automation giants Eaton and Honeywell before joining Flex as CEO in 2019, Bela placed 44th, is the Head of Global TV for Netflix and had a long stint at Universal Television previously. The glass ceiling thus lies shattered as far as these highly talented women have proved.
Today, women are present in every field of employment from fuel station attendants to cab and auto drivers; they drive heavy-duty commercial vehicles as well as railway locomotives and metro trains, are employed by the thousands in electronic assembly units are also being trained in skilled welding tasks where again their are found to be better than their male counterparts. They also serve in senior executive positions across the Indian corporate sector, some even heading the businesses from segments as diverse as Finance to Fashion. The Indian armed forces have finally accepted women officers in regular permanent cadres in combat roles. Earlier women were given permanent commission only in medical services. In the Indian Air Force women fly the latest multi-role fighter aircraft, and in the Indian Navy, women are also serving on warships besides flying combat aircraft, thus conquering the ultimate male bastions.
For six years now, Industrial Automation has been celebrating the success of women in executive roles in the world of business and technology and profiled scores of women during this period. This edition brings a few more women achievers in the following pages.
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