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2 The economic

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empowerment of women has been one of the most remarkable revolutions of the past 50 years: millions of people who once were dependent on men have taken control of their own economic fates. It is remarkable also because it has produced so little friction as it has been widely welcomed by men as well as women.

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Passline News Service

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feminization of the workforce has been driven by the relentless division. Wipro Technologies, rise of the service sector (where women can compete as well another IT giant, has appointed as men) and the equally relentless decline of manufacturing Ms Sunita Rebecca Cherian, here is a new theory (where they could not). General Manager of Talent running around that Lehman Demand has been matched by supply: women are Engagement and Development, Brothers would never have increasingly willing and able to work outside the home. The one of the topmost positions a happened if it had been Lehman expansion of higher education has boosted job prospects for woman can aspire to occupy. Sisters. This is put forward by women, improving their value on the job market and shifting In Technopark, many in the corporate world in the their role models from stay-at-home mothers to successful Thiruvananthapuram, there are context of the recent financial professional women. The best-educated women have always about 28,000 IT/ITES disaster that shook the globe to been more likely than other women to work even after having professionals working, out of stress the point that ‘womanly children. whom nearly 45% are women, qualities’ are becoming ever more V P Nandakumar The trend towards more women working is almost certain according to Mr Mervin Alexander, Dr. V A Joseph MD & CEO valuable in business. The financial to continue. In the meantime, women have certainly performed Chief Executive Officer. In Chairman, Manappuram Group South Indian Bank crisis, they argue, proved that the better over the past decade than men. In the European Union Thrissur-based South Indian Bank, out of the nearly 5,200 sort of qualities that men pride themselves on, employees, the percentage of women is 35.46, women have filled 6m of the 8m such as risk-taking and cut-throat competition, says Dr V A Joseph, Managing Director and Chief jobs created since 2000. In can lead to competition and ultimately to crises. Executive Officer. Mr V P Nandakumar, Chairman America three out of four people What are these ‘womanly qualities’? “Women of the Valappad (Thrissur)-headquartered thrown out of work since the are less aggressive and more consent-seeking, Manappuram Group of Companies, feels proud ‘mancession’ began have been less competitive and more collaborative, less that women constitute 39.39% of the workforce male. By 2011 there will be 26m power-obsessed and more group-oriented,” say in his companies. It is 30% with the Sterling more female than male university social scientists. They insist that women excel at Group, Kochi, the total number of employees students in America. ‘transformational’ and ‘interactive’ management. there being 80, says Mr Shivdas B Menon, A recent study shows that They are ‘better lateral thinkers than men’ and Managing Director. within the next few months ‘more realistic’ into the bargain and that some of In Synthite and V-Guard Industries, Kochi, women will cross the 50% the best companies are favouring ‘collaboration’ the percentage of women employees is less than threshold and become the and ‘networking’, skills in which women have an that in the companies quoted above. Whereas majority of the American inherent advantage. It has also been established workforce, Women already make Kochouseph Chittilappilly Synthite has only 12% women, V-Guard has still George Paul that, on average, women have a ‘higher Director, Synthite Industries Founder & MD, up the majority of university less—only 11%, according to Mr George Paul V-Guard Industries Ltd emotional intelligence quotient’ than men. graduates in the Organization for and Mr Kochouseph Chittilappilly, Director and There are also companies using the unique management Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and they earn Chairman, respectively, of the companies. wisdom of their female employees. Several consultancies, at almost 60% of university degrees in America and Europe. They A frustrating factor found by the WIL study is about the least in the US and Europe, teach firms how to listen to women run some of the world’s best companies. pace of women’s progress in business at the middle and the and exploit their special abilities. Many of the most successful Women’s economic empowerment is perhaps the biggest top levels. This is to say that women are still unrepresented at women are to be found in hard- social change of our times. Just a generation ago, women these levels. The study found that edged companies, it is pointed out, were largely confined to the kitchen, to repetitive, menial jobs. though the entry-level inflow has rather than the ‘soft’ organizations Even if they were employed, they were expected to abandon been as high as 40%-50% in firms of the feminine imagination. Areva their concerns when they married and had children. Today like Wipro, the number was (nuclear energy), Anglo-American they are running some of the organizations that once treated decreasing towards the middle and (mining), Archer Daniels Midland them as second-class citizens. the top, driving organizations to (agribusiness), DuPont India Inc is not lagging behind. Though substantial progress think why women were leaving (chemicals), Sunoco (oil) and Xerox in retraining women on top has not been achieved, companies midway. “Women constitute just (technology) all have female are increasing representation of women at almost all other 5% of the boards of companies in bosses. Among the very few ‘soft’ levels. Women in Leadership (WIL), a forum set up in 2007 by India. This means that at the companies headed by women 1,000 women professionals from 150 companies, finds that 9,000 listed firms in the country, stands out PepsiCo, whose Indian companies like TCS, Zenzar, Tata Steel and JSW Steel there are only 400 women board Chairman and CEO is Indra Nooyi, had 5%-6% more women in senior positions in 2009 than in members. These figures may not an Indian. 2008, and multinational companies in the country such as present a complete picture as 200 Mervin Alexander Shivdas B Menon Modern business firms have PepsiCo, KPMG, Citigroup, GE and Pfizer increased it to 15%- of them belong to family-owned CEO, Technopark MD, Sterling Group seen a growing demand for 20%. firms. So, the number of women women’s labour. When brute strength mattered more than A recent report said that companies like Titan, where 10% who have actually climbed the ladder is just a sad fraction,” brains, men had an inherent advantage. Now that brainpower of the employees are women, employ more women in senior says the report. has triumphed the two sexes are more evenly matched. The positions. IT major Infosys has a woman heading its Australian To page 5

PASSLINE

Aug 31-Sept 30, 2010


23

The initiatives of the Doha Conference should be nurtured and developed further for the benefit of Keralites all over the world. It was a team effort to hold the conference in Doha and all of us in the Organizing Committee are very pleased to hear that all the delegates had a fruitful and memorable experience in Doha.

A memorable experience for all

By Biju John

T

he Seventh Global Conference of the World Malayalee Council and the 15 th anniversary celebrations in Doha were held from July 28 to 31, 2010 under the patronage of Mrs Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, Ambassador of India to Qatar, and the guidance of Mr C K Menon, industrialist, as Chairman. The charismatic Global Chairman, Mr Soman Baby and the local organizing committee under the able leadership of Mr Varghese Chacko as General Convener had been making all efforts for many months to see that the function became one of the most memorable and successful ones in its history. The continuous

stream of feedback we still keep receiving from diverse sectors gives us great joy and immense satisfaction as they are proof that the various events held as part of the conference were well received and appreciated by the delegates and guests alike. First of all, on behalf of the WMC Doha Province and the Global Conference Organizing Committee, we wish the re-elected Chairman and his new team of global officebearers all the very best to take forward the ideas and ideals of WMC. We are quite sure that under the able leadership of the new team WMC can achieve greater heights of community service and their commitment to the young generation will result in bringing up a new brigade of socially committed young leaders. About the commitment to the young generation, the highlight of the Global Conference was the interaction between 16 young people flown in specially from Kerala (thanks to the generosity of Mr C K Menon) and the students from various schools in Qatar

PASSLINE

for showcasing what they gained through Altius training camps in Kerala followed by the Altius seminar. All those who witnessed the Altius sessions firmly believe this is a great step in the right direction as any attempt to be a guiding light to our children is a service to the future generations. The goal of the Altius programme is to bring in changes in the spheres of knowledge, skills and attitude thereby making our young people “globally competent and socially committed”. The visionaries behind this programme have well thought about India’s position in the international arena and what is required to bring the new generation of Malayalees to its forefront, contributing in a

Aug 31-Sept 30, 2010

major way to the new world order evolving today. One of the guiding forces behind the Altius programme in Kerala, Mr T P Sreenivasan, talked at length about the attitude problems inherent in Kerala society and what is required to be done to overcome these issues. Addressing the seminar, Mr Jose Panachipuram talked about the presence of ‘enthios’ (the God within/the strength within/ the spirit within) in every human being and the need to light it up so that greater potential is achieved by our young people. The seminar also highlighted ‘Samanwaya’, the work done by Altius among the schoolchildren to bridge the gap between urban and rural children. To page 24


24 PASSLINE Youth told to find the light within August 31-September 30, 2010

From page 23 Addressing the seminar, Kerala’s Education Minister, Mr M A Baby, who has been involved with Altius since its inception, exhorted the young people to always ask questions and told them not to go by who said what but look at the acceptability even if something is said by someone who opposes our views. Mr Abdus Samad Samadani at the seminar reminded the youth that the memory of society is history and remembering the past will help the young people to fight the erosion of our value system and become the watchdogs and ambassadors

in preserving and promoting our values. To overcome the emotional weakness in our society, emotional education is required today and that can be achieved by nurturing the basic values of our society in our young generation thereby recreating the human being. Saudi-based writer and critic P J J Antony called upon parents to inculcate values in their children and bring them up as good human beings. Going forward, we need to spread the message of Altius in the Middle East region, as we have a new generation of children growing

RN 65561/94 Reg. No. KL/EKM/116/2009-2011

up in this part of the world, far away from the realities of life in Kerala. Probably their competence levels are high, but what is the level of their social commitment to their home State? We need to think of ways and means to stimulate the sense of social belonging and commitment in our children growing up outside India, as by doing so our ultimate reward is these young people themselves and their commitment to their home country and the larger interests of society. In a society where every move is based on selfish motives, it is essential that we have a new generation of socially committed people to care for our homeland and be its ambassadors in promoting its global competence all over the world. The central theme of the literary and media seminar was ‘Changing faces of literature and media’. The seminar was inaugurated by actor Mukesh, who is the Chairman of the Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, Kerala. As Chairman of the session Mr Samadani underlined the fact that immortality is the essence of literature. Mr Jose

Mrs Nirmala Jose requested mediapersons to keep the family and child perspective in mind while covering events and incidents. The business seminar attracted the attention of a large number of Keralites doing business in Qatar, in addition to the attendees of the conference. Inaugurating the seminar, Kerala’s Minister of Industries Elamaram Kareem showcased the various opportunities in Kerala to start new industries. Kerala’s professional institutions produce over one lakh skilled graduates every year and we need to employ them in Kerala. If not, the exodus of young people in pursuit of employment will continue and Kerala will become a State of old people by 2030. While targeting to bring more large-scale industries, we should not lose focus on social justice as well as agriculture and public sector enterprises. Kerala’s Revenue Minister K P Rajendran promised that problems of land acquisition will not stand in the way of starting new projects in the State. Through his keynote address, Doha Bank CEO R Seetharaman presented a model for the development of businesses in Kerala and he detailed the

Revenue Minister K P Rajendran releasing the Passline WMC Special Issue by handing over a copy to Indian Ambassador to Oman Anil Wadhwa in Doha, Qatar. Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa and former Union Minister O Rajagopal are also seen.

Panachipuram suggested that the theme can be rephrased as ‘Changing faces of communication’. About the changing faces of literature, P J J Antony took us through the historical development of modern literature in Malayalam starting from O Chandu Menon through Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer till the contemporary writers. Mr T N Gopakumar shared the dilemmas of the visual media and the rules imposed on them while others do not observe the rules. Mr Abraham Mathew highlighted Kerala society which encourages negativism.

initiatives required to achieve this goal. Mr T Balakrishnan and Mr Alkesh Sharma, State Government officials, spoke about the next phase of growth in Kerala which will be brought about by infrastructure development which has lined up investments to the tune of Rs 1,50,000 crore for the near future. Mr Mohamed Ali of the Galfar Group stressed that times have changed from the days when the Government started PSUs and today the Government needs to disinvest and hand over the industries to the private sector and use those resources for infrastructure development which is the need of the hour. The valedictory function was inaugurated by Education Minister Baby. He exhorted the young people to search and find the light within. The dais was adorned by many leaders from Kerala’s political, social and cultural spheres as well as WMC global leaders. The meeting was followed by various cultural programmes, the highlight of which was the tantalizing dance performances by Methil Devika and Rajashree Warrier which brought the curtains down on the conference. The initiatives of the Doha Conference should be nurtured and developed further for the benefit of Keralites all over the world. It was a team effort to hold the conference in Doha and all of us in the Organizing Committee are very pleased to hear that all the delegates had a fruitful and memorable experience in Doha. It was our proud privilege to host all the delegates in Doha and we sincerely hope that every delegate, guest or attendee had something to take back and cherish those memories for many years to come. (The writer is General Secretary of the WMC Doha Province and was the General Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the WMC Doha Conference)

Printed and Edited by Varghese Paul for Keethara Publications Pvt Ltd. 6802, Convent Road, Cochin-35Tel 3294564Email:pasline@hotmail.com and Printed at Ayodhya Printers Pvt Ltd., Cochin-26 Design & Layout by Vinosh Ponnurunni


Passline August 2010  

passline buinsess magazine August 2010

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