“CWL Seminar on Women in Decision Making Roles in Corporate – 15th September, 2023.”

The Centre for Women and Law conducted a National Seminar on “Women in Decision Making Roles in Corporate” sponsored by the National Commission for Women on 15th September, 2023. The Seminar consisted of six technical sessions conducted by inspiring women who shared their insights on how they made it in the corporate world.

The first session invited Ms. Priyanka, the Chief Operating Officer at Manupatra. She shared insights on career challenges for women, focusing on Imposter Syndrome. She emphasized the evolving perception of women's careers and their significance in life. Discussing biases and self-perception issues, she advocated for women to overcome doubts, embrace their qualities, support each other, and take up opportunities with confidence. She underscored the importance of inclusive corporate cultures and encouraged women to leverage their inherent leadership qualities for transformative change.

The second session was conducted by Rahimunnisa Begum, a member of the district consumer dispute redressal commission in Vishakhapatnam and a notable Vizag-based social activist and NGO leader. She addressed various laws, citing Article 14, 19, and 21 for gender equality and sections of the Indian Penal Code related to women's issues, such as dowry and crimes like acid attacks. Begum stressed the need for global efforts to combat crimes against women and suggested remedies for the same.

The third session was taken by Dharitri Patnaik, Chairperson of Diversified Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Highlighting the crucial role women-owned businesses play, she acknowledged the challenges they face, including limited representation and societal expectations. Patnaik stressed the need for a level playing field, encouraging women to unlock their potential, embrace government schemes, and utilize women-friendly policies. She urged women to seize opportunities.

The fourth session was taken by Sofia Firdous, who recently made history by becoming the first female president of CREDAI, Bhubaneswar. She highlighted her journey in real estate, emphasizing the critical initial years that offer practical knowledge through perseverance and seizing opportunities. She emphasized that women play a crucial part in decision-making, bringing qualities such as honesty, transparency, empathy, adaptability, and the ability to turn criticism into a positive force.

The fifth session was taken by Neelasha Nemani, currently working at Clifford Chance LLP. She stated that throughout her career she faced gender-based challenges such as intrusive personal inquiries during job interviews and subtle biases affecting professional opportunities and in client interactions, showcasing the existing disparities in the legal industry. She stressed the need for enhanced female representation at the top levels of the legal sector, recognizing the importance of female role models to guide successful careers and address distinct challenges women encounter.

The last session was taken by Madhuram Aparajita, deputy head legal at Vedanta Limited. She discussed gender-based barriers in the corporate world, including societal inquiries on marriage and motherhood. She emphasized the importance of stepping out of comfort zones to gain diverse experiences early in a career. Addressing structural bias, she pointed out pay disparities and unequal infrastructure. Societal bias was highlighted, focusing on effective communication and challenging stereotypes in the manufacturing sector.

After the technical sessions, the Centre for Corporate Law (CCL) and the Centre for Women and Law (CWL) presented their research on this topic. Following that, students from various universities were welcomed to present their research papers.

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