International Women’s Day: Businesses, Experts Take Notice As Women Create Digital Selves

Women are no pushovers in the corporate world and digital marketplace. Be it the start-up world or established businesses, every entity wants to cater to this segment, while women assume leadership roles in the new economy
March 8 is celebrated as International Women's Day.
March 8 is celebrated as International Women's Day.

Armed with digital ammo, the Indian woman consumer is poised to capture the universe—offline and online. She is creating several niches for herself and exploring uncharted waters, be it through her online shopping and investing behavior or zeal for online learning—both of which are aptly reflected in the burgeoning numbers. Having said that, while she has come a long way, there is a longer way to go. 

Outlook Business spoke with women corporate leaders about their experiences to understand what they think about the world they live in as leaders, investors, consumers, and, above all, active participants. Also included are views of the other stakeholders and experts who are witnessing a shift in trends.

On Being A Woman Leader

I experienced gender bias in my own company [Mamaearth] when three members quit saying they would not work under me as my experience won’t add value to theirs. I was taken aback and began doubting myself. I had a similar experience with our third-party manufacturing partners who couldn’t accept taking instructions from a woman. Even when we were looking for investors, we used to get questions like “isn’t there a male founder?” Today, the same people share great relations with me.

Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth

On Representation

Proportionate representation of women as decision-makers is not prevalent in leadership positions. Women have the opportunity to change that narrative. It is time for women to reach out, create their inner circle and start building their entrepreneurship journey.

Ankita Vashistha, Founder & CEO, Saha Fund & StrongHer Ventures

On Matters of the Moolah

We realized that a lot of women shy away from asking questions because most of these platforms were dominated by men. There is a fear of being judged. 

Priti Rathi Gupta, Managing Director and Promoter, LXME

On Taking Charge with Education

Evolving job specifications and industry dynamism are encouraging women professionals to proactively upskill themselves, particularly in technical and soft skills, a trend also observed in upGrad.

Mayank Kumar,  Co-founder and Managing Director, upGrad

On the Digital Nudge

We see more women looking for connection, seeking a safe space for expression, and wanting to build a financial and social identity. They are also looking to access opportunities—from building skills and launching their online businesses and stores to accessing credit, mentorship, and a peer network.

Sairee Chahal Founder, SHEROES

The adoption of social networking platforms such as Facebook and Instagram by women across age groups adds an additional contribution of social influencing and marketing-driven adoption of products and services. Increasing category and brand awareness, shopping convenience and the benefits of browsing products in the home environment have benefited the woman shopper.

Angshuman Bhattacharya, National Leader, Consumer Product and Retail Sector, EY India

With more than 800 million internet users in the country, only 33 per cent are women. This gap needs to be bridged. At Meta, we are making efforts to bring gender parity to the internet by not only giving access to more women but also giving growth opportunities and platforms to women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.

Madhu Singh Sirohi, Head of Policy Programs and Outreach, Facebook India

Women are becoming more aware and difficult to please but they are also coming out strong in terms of having a digital presence.

Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth

On Changing Times

Diversity was not a trending topic six-seven years ago when I had started out in the field of investment, but things are changing. The numbers were staring at me and the opportunity was huge. Years of research have shown that women-led companies have given more than 37 per cent returns as compared to the ones led by men and have scaled businesses with efficient use of capital. Without women leadership, there was no way inclusive products and services could have been built to serve 50 per cent of the population out there.

Ankita Vashisth, Founder & CEO, Saha Fund & StrongHer Ventures

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