US envoy speaks about gender diversity at the workplace

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 07, 2013 13:01 hrs

"Companies gain by recruiting the most talented employees, irrespective of gender," said U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell in her keynote address at the 'Best Practices for Gender Diversity' conference here on Thursday.

"Research shows that creating a gender-inclusive work environment yields concrete positive results...If you systematically eliminate half of an available pool of contributors to business, government and broader society, you will also lose half of the potential. And that half could have included the next Bill Gates or Albert Einstein, not to mention Marie Curie or Hillary Clinton - if they had been given the same opportunities at education, advancement, nurturing, mentoring and access to opportunities," she said.

"Increasing women's voices in the decision-making process is also, simply put, smart management. Those of you in the consumer goods and service sectors are probably well aware of analyses showing that women are estimated to control 15 trillion dollars worldwide by 2014 - that is, next year. And by 2028, women will account globally for about two-thirds of consumer spending. A gender-friendly workplace does not mean preferential treatment for one group over the other. To the contrary, good policies promoting greater diversity in the workplace work to the benefit of everyone," she added.

The one-day conference was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce, India in association with the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai.

The two panel discussions discussed "Increasing Women's Participation in Senior Management" and "The Strategic Importance of Gender Diversity".

The other speakers and panelists included; Saundarya Rajesh (Founder-Director Flexi Careers India); David Lobo (Director-HR, GE India); Samik Basu (Chief People Officer, PepsiCo India); Amita Kasbekar (VP-Diversity and Inclusion, Deloitte Consulting); Anne Weisberg (Chief Strategy Officer, The Future Works Institute, New York); Joginder Singh (President and Managing Director, Ford India); Aruna Jayanthi (CEO, Capgemini India); Kami Narayanan (Co-CEO, PreMedia Global, Inc); and Franz Gastler (Executive Director and Founder Yuwa-India). (ANI)

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