Hyderabad: Representation of women in the workforce needs to be improved for gender equality in developing countries like India, but even developed countries like the US grapple with the issue. Only 13% of engineers and 24% of computer science professionals out of the total in the US are women, advisor to US President Ivanka Trump said on Wednesday.
“We’re doing many other things on skills training and work force development to make sure that we have a well-trained next generation," said Trump during the plenary session on “We can Do It! Innovations in Workforce Development and Skills Training", on the second day of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad.
During the session, with co-panelists Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank; and Karen Quintos, chief customer officer of MNC Dell EMC, Trump also rooted for governments to help set up an environment for the private sector with regard to innovation. The session was moderated by Telangana IT minister K.T. Rama Rao.
Agreeing with Trump, Kochhar explained that ICICI Bank has been undertaking different programmes to help rural women and underprivileged children across the country by providing them skills training. Every year, 100,000 youth are trained through the bank’s 24 urban and semi-urban centres and those in 500 villages in the country. “Of the total (people trained), 55% are women," she added.
India is doing much better than other countries on the issue of having more women in the workforce through its 100 million self-help groups functioning in the country, said Kochhar.
She and Quintos said their companies have been taking various steps to make their offices more women-friendly and gender-balanced.
“We allow young moms or those who have to take care of their parents to work from home. And these are not just data-entry jobs," said Kochhar, adding that the software on computers at home automatically shuts off when it detects there are too many people around.
Talking about the need to bring in graduates into the workforce, Blair noted that a huge number of women with degrees do not participate in it. “It is important to reach out to them," said Blair.
The panelists concluded the session with the resolve to improve the situation globally.
Trump, who attended the GES inaugural session with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, is expected to leave for the US on Wednesday night.