Every girl should aspire to the highest office: the founders of Nimaya, Navya Naveli Nanda and Samyak Chakrabarty
It would be wrong to say that there has been no progress in women’s empowerment in the country, but there is still a lot to catch up with as regressive and patriarchal mindsets continue to hold back girls, especially small towns, breaking the glass ceiling. Big B’s granddaughter, Navya Naveli Nanda, and tech entrepreneur Ed Samyak Chakrabarty came together to help young girls break down barriers and take on the role of decision-makers in the world’s corner offices. business.
Both believe the country can prosper and the economy can gallop once women, who make up 49% of the country’s population, join the workforce with 21st century skills. In association with the United Nations, young entrepreneurs are working to give wings to young people especially girls from economically disadvantaged communities through their Nimaya project. They firmly believe that women score very high in emotional intelligence and therefore hold the key attribute for leading organizations.
Entrepreneur duo Navya Naveli Nanda and Samyak Chakrabarty share their action plan with HT Digital in an email interview.
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Tell us about your Nimaya initiative and how did the idea come about?
Nimaya means opportunity in Sanskrit. Employers now prefer to hire candidates who have mastered top 21st century professional skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and storytelling. In fact, the World Economic Forum ranks them among the 10 must-haves for the jobs of the future and recognizing their importance, the Indian government in its new national education policy has placed special emphasis on them. But the hard truth is that access to such high-quality exposure is largely limited to students of elite institutions, even if they do not make up the majority of the jobseeker pool, even in the organized sector.
Therefore, the underlying principle of Nimaya is to democratize access to 21st century skills. Location, type of university, gender and family background should not be a barrier to accessing meaningful opportunities and learning the skills required to access them. We have specifically chosen to focus on women because we believe that mastering these skills can enable them to access management positions in the corporate world. 49% of the Indian population are women; imagine compound economic growth, if they could also be active growth engines and contributors.
What is the biggest change needed for women to be well equipped for the professional skills of the 21st century?
We believe it is about having a vision, an ambition and a belief in yourself. Often times we find that there are many girls who, due to pressure from society or the constant reinforcement from a largely patriarchal system, end up giving in to stereotypes. Every girl – regardless of income, caste or religion – should aspire to the highest positions in whatever field she chooses for herself. The good news is that the founders of emerging startups, including young and progressive men, are making real efforts to enable such dreams and break stereotypes. But the fact remains, the majority of employers are SMEs and mainstream businesses, where the shift in mindset really needs to happen.
What skills do you think women have innately that organizations can benefit from?
The # 1 skill for example that all employers are looking for now is emotional intelligence. It is essential for areas such as customer service, HR, business development, and project management. In fact, if you see, it’s a much sought after skill in leadership roles in addition to critical thinking and creative problem solving. These come naturally to women. They are designed to be compassionate, practical – and you see it in their roles as housewives and mothers. Now imagine if the same innate skills were contextualized for workplace applications – the sky is the limit for how tall women can grow then!
While there has been a lot of talk around women’s empowerment over the past few decades, do you think there has been a satisfactory outcome?
It would be wrong to say that there has been no progress. Whether there are conversations at the national level – in politics or the media or that big companies are making conscious efforts to make the workplace more inclusive – are laudable steps. But, there is also the other side, a regressive and patriarchal mindset is still prevalent and a lot of work remains to be done in this space. The only way we think this can happen is if more women become role models, enter decision-making spheres so that change can happen from top to bottom and at scale. For example, here is our vision – if each of Nimaya’s learners grows up to be business leaders – they will make their workplaces more inclusive and ensure that their daughters and those of their colleagues – are never differentiated in terms of business. ‘opportunities or personal agency.
The new education policy aims to make education holistic, multidisciplinary and practical. Do you think digital learning can achieve this?
Yes, digital platforms surely democratize access to information and learning. It’s only a matter of time, we think everyone will have a smartphone in their hands. The pandemic has also proven the role of digital learning, for over a year children and young people have been studying from home. We have created the modules in a way that not only conveys knowledge but at the same time gives practical situations to assess the participant’s reaction, this is how we capture their understanding and ability to implement what they they learnt.
Talk about the gender inequality in the workplace, why do you think there are fewer women than men in positions of power?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. But based on the conversations and observations, we find that there are two contributing factors that need to change immediately. First and foremost, recruiters, especially men, need to let go of their belief systems or prejudices about what women can’t or shouldn’t do. On the other – parents, husbands and in-laws – need to become more empowering so that housework or family chores are shared and do not become a barrier for women to contribute in the same way as their counterparts. masculine in terms of time and focus.
What is the factor that prevents the majority of women from making great strides in their careers?
The external factor is often a discouraging family or peer environment, especially in Orthodox families – who still make up the majority of our population. More important, however, is the internal factor, self-imposed thinking limits and fear of navigating a male dominated business environment.
How can we help the women in their home to cope with high pressure work?
Conceptually, it’s very simple, the husband has to say “don’t worry about the cooking, I’ll take care of it tonight” or the mother-in-law has to say “I’ll get the kids from school and help. them in their studies – you are going to work! “. But more systematically, the very idea of ââwhat the role of men and women should be must change so that gender is not a factor of success. Yes, this sounds very ideal, but the hard truth is that there is no other way. However, remote working is definitely a godsend, but it is about entering the job market or being able to to work – but to lead, grow and be a role model – women will need to be there even if it sometimes means sacrificing family responsibilities if no one can share them. Only difficult steps and difficult calls will bring about this mindset and change. systemic that we all want to see when it comes to gender parity.