On Tuesday 9th September 2014, the GOPIO Women’s Council section in Holland in collaboration with the Erasmus University Centre for Women and Organisations, organised a succesfull debate during her second event, which was focused on ‘Balanced Leadership for Inclusive Growth’ .
This highly attended event has drawn many persons active in empowerment and managerial skills related to the Diaspora and leadership in general. For this event the council has invited a highly experience and seasoned speaker from India, Ms. Poonam Barua, CEO of the Forum for Women in Leadership, WILL Forum India Pvt. Ltd., PAMASIA Global and a graduate from the Delhi School of Economics. The WILL Foundation has many corporates such as TCS and Infosys as the founding members. WILL members include Microsoft, Pfizer India, the Essar Group, Britannia Industries, HCL Technologies, Vodafone India.
After a lively interactive session there was room for debate with the audience. According to Barua, if a company claims to have 30% women but they are all at the entry level, it is damning evidence. “Where is the pipeline of women moving up?” she asks. Career mapping, image building and networking are the other areas where women typically stumble. and many more.Barua says the best compliment she has received was when a man asked her, “When will you start a WILL for men?”.
There was a lively discussion on traditional “male” and “female” roles in top management positions. But basically the main message of Mrs. Barua was not to keep on discussing but demanding action now instead of long term policies and conferences.
The conclusion was that both Diaspora and Non-diaspora attendees were able to get many insights for their regular activities to apply and to leverage their skills including managing the gender gap.
From l.t.r.: Prof. Bevelander, Asha Tewari, Poonam Barua, Sheela Vyas and Namita Krul enjoying the plaque given to the Womens Council by the WILL foundation.