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  • Writer's pictureGGI

Take a close look at the list of unicorns in India and see if you can spot anything strange about it

None of the unicorns have a female founder (except Byju’s Co-Founder Divya). The observation holds true - not just in the world of startups, but also in the world of politics. There are only two women Cabinet Ministers in India today. That’s one more than what we had in 1947 when India had attained its political independence. What’s the solution? Promote communities based on gender-based exclusions - like a few clubs are doing in India, or better provide political reservations? I don’t think so. In fact, the culture of promoting woman only controlled ecosystems is an extremely dangerous trend. At GGI, women thrive not because they compete with men, but because they collaborate with both men and women. During my time at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, there were almost 50% women in my #MBA cohort - and almost all of them were there because they had a strong support system of both men and women around them. Today, many women lose mental battles way before they even start the fight. They self-reject, they aim low, and when they start gunning to achieve their goals, they question their capabilities. Most of my female friends in India studied for the #IAS exam - not because they wanted to become civil servants, but because their parents wanted to dissuade them from applying to foreign universities. And in many cases, preparation for the IAS exam was the best excuse to not be forced into marriage in their early 20s. I know, that after their graduation many women feel the stress and pressure of society if they focus on their professional growth by sidelining their personal societal checklist. If you fall into that bucket - you should know - there are wonderful gender-equal communities out there to support you to grow, thrive, and prosper! I’m confident that many women at GGI will join politics, launch their own unicorns, and lead corporate houses - not because they were part of ‘women only’ communities (I will never be creating any)- but because they are part of communities, support system, and network - where people across gender stand together, create opportunities and become each other's life-long pillars of support!

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.


Author- Naman Shrivastava, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- United Nations, Former Government of India Advisor

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