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Private sector engagement crucial for bringing Gender Diversity into the practice, minister and bureaucrat deliberate at the third CII IWN Leaderpreneurship Conclave

Debkumar Mallick, Takmaa News, Kolkata, 20th Jan 2023 : The third edition of Leaderpreneurship Conclave was organized by CII IWN West Bengal Chapter in Kolkata today with the theme of Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. While addressing at the Inaugural Plenary, Dr Shashi Panja, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge , Departments of Industries, Commerce & Enterprises and Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal said that the Government is focusing on Social Protection and Women Empowerment with utmost priority through various schemes that are in place. Dr Ghosh referred Oxfam India’s ‘India Discrimination Report 2022’ which shows that discrimination causes 100 per cent of employment inequality faced by women in rural areas in labour market and 98 per cent in urban areas. She emphasized that the engagement of the private sector is important to make West Bengal gender diverse and help women employees grow to scale. A commensurate improvement in ESG Policy would make bottom-line business sense and thus Gender Diversity can be achieved in true sense, she elaborated.

While addressing the Inaugural Plenary, Ms Sanghamitra Ghosh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal spoke elaborately on the government initiatives in this geography. The State Government has prioritized the development of Women and Child at the forefront through facilitating supplementary nutrition and early child education through 119481 Anganwadi Centers to 14 lakh mothers and 70 lakh children. This programme is an evidence of bringing gender equity in practice, Ms Ghosh said. The State Government’s flagship project ‘Kanyashree’, launched in the year 2013 to extend support to the girl child for continuing education, benefitted 81 lakhs girl child. This United Nations Public Service Awarded programme has doubled the girl enrolment number in higher education, the Principal Secretary said. She mentioned that Lakshmir Bhandar, which is the biggest Social Protection Programme in terms of financial inclusion across the country, benefitted 1.9 crore women across the state every month. Ms Ghosh elaborated on the strategies of the government engaging the private stakeholders in terms of implementing Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.

Giving the Address at the Inaugural Plenary, Mr Subir Chakraborty, Managing Director and CEO, Exide Industries Limited mentioned that India has to go far to achieve true gender equality at every perspective, be it corporate or social context. Mr Chakraborty referred the recent report on Gender Diversity by World Economic Forum where India has slipped to 140th from 128th out of 156 countries. We should practice equality at every to bring it into the social fabric, he added.

Ms Sriranjani Joshi, Chairperson, CII IWN- West Bengal & Director, The George Telegraph Group Ltd in her welcome address said that Gender equality is not only a fundamental right or a sustainable development goal, but also a necessary pillar for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

A ‘Thought Leadership paper on Gender Diversity through ESG frameworks in India’ was unveiled at the conference.

The Leaderpreneurship conference had deliberations women leadership, importance of ESG in business, women entrepreneurs and a talk on unconscious bias.

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