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‘Women bring fresh perspective to their work'

Staff Correspondent

Indu Sahani urges women to maintain their passion for work

MANGALORE: Women do not have adequate representation on the boards of top corporate companies, said Indu Shahani, Sheriff of Mumbai, here on Saturday.

Ms. Shahani was speaking during a seminar on women's empowerment organised by SDM College of Business Management here. She said less than 8 per cent of women were on the board of directors of big companies. She said the number of women in college was high, but it dropped once one looked at the number of women who take up jobs after completing their studies.

She said women bring a different perspective and “fantastic” common sense to their work. She urged women to maintain their passion for work. “There will be family challenges but we have the strength of joint families,” she said and illustrated with an example from her own life.

Ms. Shahani said the role of teachers and students stood reversed today, with her students “mentoring her” rather than the other way round. Illustrating with an example, she said when she was first made Sheriff of Mumbai, she had not even heard of it. She said she had only 10 minutes to prepare for an interview with the media waiting for her. So she sent messages to her students asking them what they would want the Sherrif to do, and was flooded with answers.

Her work as the Sherrif of Mumbai has brought her in contact with several remarkable people who had evolved business models for the betterment of society. She said a woman had left a high salaried job to start a women's helpline and run an ambulance service. She said the women's helpline had received 16,000 calls in three years, and that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had called her to ask how the model worked.

The ambulance service was sustained by making the rich pay for the poor. She said people who wanted to be taken to a private hospital had to pay for it, but those who asked to be taken to a government hospital, the service was free.

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