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Last updated: 15 Apr, 2017  

FICCI Logo New THMB India today is defined by openness to change: FM

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Saurabh Gupta | 15 Apr, 2017

Union Minister for Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley Friday unveiled the transformative pattern of Indian society where India is more open to change than any other country and where the nature of the economy was defined by ideas, knowledge and the depth of innovation.

Speaking at the 33rd Annual Session of FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), Jaitley said the pre-1991 India was controlled, where businesses manufactured what they were advised to produce. Post-1991 India has seen the growth of an aspirational society where there is a yearning amongst people to unleash their creative capacities.

Jaitley, however, struck a note of cation. Illustrative examples of excellence in various fields, he said, were not enough. In fact, these tantamount to tokenism. Yet this was changing and it was most visible in award functions of universities where an overwhelmingly large number of awardees were female students.

On the occasion, the Finance Minister released the Gender Parity index: A Toolkit to Evaluate Gender Diversity & Empowerment of Women in the Formal Sector in India. The Index compiled by FLO and Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI), is a broad and holistic which measures where an organisation stands vis-à-vis others while presenting a step-by-step guide to achieve higher levels of gender parity in different dimensions. It is designed to encourage change in the way organizations think and work and in the process provide women with unprecedented opportunities, promote economic empowerment and provide tools to tackle new challenges.

Jaitley also gave away The ICON Awards to eminent personalities, who have not only contributed towards sustainable economic development of the nation but have also been catalystic in making women empowerment a success by playing exemplary role in creating successful women in various fields.

The awardees were Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson & Editorial Director, Hindustan Times Group; Anita Dongre, Fashion Designer & Founder - House of Anita Dongre; Renu Sud Karnad, Managing Director, Housing Development Finance Corporation; Farah Khan, Director, Producer, Actor & Choreographer; Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Founder, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited and Mahavir Singh Phogat, the man who inspired the film 'Dangal', Olympic Coach, Wrestler and Dronacharya Awardee.

Vinita Bimbhet, President, FLO, said, “Weaving around the theme of FLO’s annual session ‘Gender Parity’, we have created a program about women who have overcome the ‘Gender Challenge’ and reached the very top and been really successful in their chosen careers or business. These women can be great role models for other women across India, who aspires to work in perceived, male dominated sectors.”

Speaking about ‘FLO Gender Parity Index’, Bimbhet said, “A number of global indices focus on empowerment of women and gender parity; however, most of them look at the subject from a macro view; almost all quantify the dimensions of control over resources and outcomes. None address gender parity at a micro level, in the formal sector.”

Later, the recipients of The Iconic Awards shared their journeys and ups and downs that came in their wake. The endeavour was to spread their stories to inspire and give hope and strength to those wanting to walk that path. FLO aims to actively support women entrepreneurs via its 15 Chapters spread all over the country.

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