In its effort to create an equitable, inclusive and equal world for women in workplaces, the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) in association with KTECH, Karnataka Skill Development Corporation, Government of Karnataka launched Women@Work (WOW) Program.
Present at the event were Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon, Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N., Hon. Minister of Higher Education; Minister of Electronics, ITBT and S&T and Skill Development, Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, IAS - Additional Chief Secretary to Government and Dept of Electronics, ITBT, and S&T, among others.
Despite an increase in India's job opportunities, several Indian women have quit working prompting the nation to critically review its gender diversity policies. Given the slow pace of the economy post the pandemic, while women’s education has risen, its labour-force participation has fallen significantly, indicating that three out of every four Indian women are neither working nor looking for a paid job. This places India among the world's ten lowest countries in terms of female labour participation.
The W@W Program will act as an enabler for women to actively participate and join the workforce through industry upskilling and reskilling programs, mentorship, institutional and organisational networking, and amplifying the efforts of corporate programs on attracting women workforce among others
Kiran Majumdar-Shaw said, “KDEM’s W@W Program augurs well with the vision of creating leadership roles for women to contribute to the nation’s digital and economic growth. The pandemic taught us that a hybrid, work-from-home model can be created successfully for women to play a dual role in building homes and a successful career. What is needed now is to motivate women to reskill, upskill and apply their STEM knowledge in a formidable career. It is important for organisations to build an inclusive, diverse and equitable culture that nurtures and respects women workforce for their expertise and domain knowledge. Women can contribute significantly to leadership roles, as seen in our organisation and in the fields of technology, manufacturing, etc, and work towards strengthening the nation’s economy.”
Addressing the event on the importance of women in the workforce, Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N., Hon. Minister of Higher Education; Minister of Electronics, ITBT, and S&T and Skill Development said, “The disruption in the industry thanks to digitalisation gives women the opportunity to use the hybrid model of work and reshape their careers. Business leaders also hold the power to improve gender representation and create gender-balanced leadership. Upskilling and reskilling will play an imperative role in changing the existing scenario and ensuring this balance. KDEM’s W@W Program will definitely act as an enabler for women to get back at work with industry-led skilling, guidance, and training. I am very happy for this equitable platform that recognises the importance of women in the workforce and ensuring they contribute to the nation’s progress.”
A McKinsey World Institute Report noted that India had a small 25% female workforce in 2018. It also highlighted that the country’s GDP could be boosted by providing equal opportunities to women. Businesses are now recognising the need to create more diverse, inclusive, and fair prospects for women as they are known to be self-driven, innovative, and committed. This Women’s Day, the KDEM aims to honour and respect this dedication through the W@W platform.