Bringing women to the boardroom could start with a job in rural India

Since we shifted to India last May, we have been working hard to enlarge our existing network of people and organizations that can contribute to our ambition to create one million jobs for women in rural India.

This month, we have been invited to participate in three conferences. Apparently our local presence gets noticed. On December 11th, Ronald participated in a panel at the plenary session at CSR-CSO Bridge, ‘Forging Partnerships in the North East’ at Guwahati. This seminar was organized by CII, Confederation of Indian Industries. And it must have been that CII was happy with his participation, because that same week he was asked to speak at the Inaugural Session of CII’s Conference on Women Empowerment ‘Bringing Women to the Boardrooms’ at Gurgaon.

Due to other travel obligations Ronald suggested I could speak. So there I stood on December 17th telling the delegates about how Women on Wings empowers women by creating jobs. And that those women can be an example to their daughters. Like Durga from Delwara in Rajasthan is to her daughter Anjali. Read more about them.

That same day Women on Wings published its latest results: 100,000 jobs for women in rural India. It was a special moment when the delegates applauded after I shared this great milestone.

The result of this conference: many interesting new contacts, a lot of business cards and promises to meet in the New Year. And believe it or not: a red rose from a very special Indian lady. She was too shy to speak English, but could understand mine though. A lady from CII translated: “I have heard what you do and that is just great. I brought the most beautiful flower for your most beautiful gesture”.  WoW!

The day after the conference, I received a very warm email from CII: “I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of CII and on my personal behalf to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to interact with us at the Conference on Women Empowerment on 17th December 2013 at Hotel Westin, Gurgaon.
The delegates really appreciated your address in the Inaugural Session of the conference. We wholeheartedly appreciate the passion and sense of belongingness which you share for Women Empowerment and we are keen to work closely with you on this through our future initiatives. I thank you once again and we look forward to meeting you in the near future.”

Sounds great!