In order to improve gender balance in the workplace, it is vital to engage men. Women have led the way in advocating for, and achieving the improvements needed in an organization’s culture and working practices to support greater gender equality. But how can we drive real and sustainable change if we leave half of our population out of the movement? In order to accelerate this change, we need to actively engage men in the debate – be they colleagues, partners, family or friends. Men at all levels of an organization can play a vital role in moving the dial on gender equality. Male leaders in particular still hold many of the positions of power and influence. The actions of both women and men together will create the greatest impact. In order to take this theme further, Lean In India in collaboration with UChicago and Chicago Booth Alumni Club of India hosted a distinguished event on “Champions of Change : Lean In Together” on Thursday August 9th, 2018 at the UChicago Center in Delhi. This invite-only event featured a panel of thought leaders and experts from interdisciplinary fields who shared their journeys – their ideas, strategies and actions that helped/are helping elevate women’s representation in leadership. Our distinguished Panelists included:
- Anna Roy – Advisor NITI Aayog
- Apurva Purohit – President, Jagran Prakashan Limited
- Douglas Webster – COO, Delhi International Airport Limited, GMR Group
- Suresh Narayanan – Chairman and MD – Nestle India Limited
It was very evident from the discussion that although we see a lot of women entering the workforce but there is a leak in the pipeline at the middle-management when women are getting married or are ready to have kids and hence contributes to below average representation of women in leadership roles. Champions of Change feel there is a need to change the policies around unconscious biases and be more mindful of women’s situations so more women continue to be part of the workforce and participate in Leadership roles.