Women in Management and the New Facts of Life

Two-day online summit hosted by students of IIMB addresses barriers and bias

Bangalore: Students of IIM Bangalore’s Women in Management (WiM) club hosted the 7th edition of the Women Leadership Summit, which they described as “an opportunity to reflect on ways to view and shape our success from examples set by dynamic women leaders”, on January 29th and 30th.

Built on the theme ‘Reimagining Future Generations’, the summit, in online mode, featured talks by Navya Naveli Nanda, Founder of Entreprenaari and Co-founder of Aara Health, a women’s health tech startup, and Madhura Dasgupta Sinha, Founder and CEO of Aspire for Her, a startup with a vision of getting more than 1 million women to enter the workforce, and a panel of entrepreneurs and leaders, moderated by Dr. Deepti Ganapathy, faculty in the Management Communication area at IIM Bangalore.

The speakers debunked the notion of leaders being the embodiment of seniority, wisdom and power, and spoke of how leadership should signify effective teamwork. Offering glimpses of their own entrepreneurial journeys using photographs and video snippets, both Navya Naveli and Madhura encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to steer clear of self-doubt and hone the ability to learn and unlearn. Madhura had a special word of praise for millennials and people who have faced adversities in life, saying that they motivated her to put in her best.

The panel discussion featured Nithya Balasubramanian, Director, AB Bernstein, Tanya Biswas and Sujata Biswas, founders of Suta, and Susan Thomas (IRS), Director, NIFT. The panellists touched upon issues impacting leadership and examined the meaning of diversity and inclusion. They highlighted the multi-narrative on which today’s generation is raised, the meta nature of the generation and the fact that successful women are not competitors. They spoke about the lack of adequate representation of women in the upper echelons of management. Drawing from real-life examples, they also emphasized the importance of building a diverse support system to be effective decision-makers and problem-solvers.


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