Motivating speeches from a panel of women change-makers marked the launch of AIBC’s Australia India Women in Business Victoria chapter, recently.
With a blend of social purpose and business acumen, these women have made their mark in the field of entrepreneurship, activism, and leadership.
Grit and passion were evident as the panelists shared their resilience strategies during the challenges of COVID-19 and discussed post-pandemic opportunities for economic recovery.
The Australia India Business Council is a membership-based group that was formed in 1986 to foster bilateral relationships between India and Australia.
Their newly formed Women in Business Chapter not only recognises the economic case for gender equality, it also aims to support its members to promote their brands, expand their referral network and catapult their business.
According to chairperson Reet Phulwani, the Victorian chapter will involve a variety of discussions, special speakers, resources, and fun activities. The intent is to create a community of like-minded and passionate women in business.
“At AIBC we have collectively come to the conclusion that by strengthening visibility, collective voice and representation, the Australian Indian Women in Business can be our most promising area of investment,” said Reet during the webinar.
Moderated by Sheba Nandkeolyar, National Chair AIBC Women in Business, the webinar started with an opening address from Linda Dessau AC Governor of Victoria.
The Governor also formally launched the Victorian chapter of Australia India Women in Business.
She expressed her pleasure at attending the event as it celebrated and further enhanced the very warm relationship between Victoria and India and it recognised the absolute crucial role of women in that relationship and skills and experience they bring to the table in terms of business activities between Australia and India.
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According to Sheba when she formed the Women in Business National chapter, she had a strong vision to try gender diversity in a bilateral business space. Her objective was to facilitate a 50/50 proportion of women’s participation in this space, be it as an entrepreneur, a business owner or a woman leader leading a professional company.
Sheba went on to invite the audience to hear about the best practices observed by the powerful panel of speakers as they shared their experience on how they navigated the COVID-19 disruptions.
The audience heard from Jaala Pulford, Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation Medical Research and the Digital Economy as well as Minister for Small Busines, Kaushalya Vaghela MP, Member of Legislative Council for Western Metro region and Michelle Wade, Commissioner to South Asia, State Government of Victoria.
Strong entrepreneurial presence and inspirational words of encouragement were provided by Jahnabi Phookan (National President FLO), Meghan Speers (Partner, Deloitte) and Dr. Ritu Anand, Chief Leadership Diversity Officer Tata Consultancy Services.
This was followed by brief addresses from Reet Phulwani (Director Medsurge Pharmaceuticals), Sadhna Smiles (CEO Real Estate Industry Partners) and Mira Dsilva (Co-Founder Delivery Centric).
All the speakers were unanimous in their drive to elevate women and conquer barriers to gender equality.
“It is imperative that we regroup post-COVID to figure out how we will move forward, contribute to entrepreneurship ambitions and continue the crusade for gender parity. I think the AIBC Women’s chapter has been created at an opportune time and I will be interested in seeing how it grows,” said Meenakshi Shahi, one of the online participants.
Given that COVID has hit women harder than men professionally, there’s an important role for platforms such as this in re-invigorating support for women employees as well as entrepreneurs.
Ravneet Pawha, AIBC Victoria President wrapped up the well-coordinated event with an official vote of thanks.