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What Women Want: Inclusion I Equality I Parity Shepreneurs shares an account of some of the accomplished women in the nation, who have carved their own space while giving infinite inspiration to other female entrepreneurs to lead with change

By Ritu Marya

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Three years ago, in my talk with a South East Asian woman investor, she made a moot point that if we need more women chefs in restaurant kitchens, you make the utensils lighter, which is more suited for women to lift, and not rebuke the woman for not being able to lift heavy utensils. Indeed, it is true that if we want more Indian women to participate in professional capacities at India Inc., then it's time to stop telling women to adapt to the male-dominated workplace, and it is time for the workplace itself to change. This will create more inclusion for women in the workplace, enabling them to embrace more C-suite roles and create more equality in the workplace.

Having said that, the inclusion of women in the workplace has been growing, there has been high demand from India Inc. in the last few years. A 2023 report suggests a surge in 35 percent demand for women in white-collar jobs. The highest demand share of women in the workforce is currently held by the ITES/ BPO (36 per cent) industry, followed by IT/computerssoftware (35 per cent), and banking/accounting/ financial services (22 per cent). In India, nearly 43 percent of STEM graduates are women, as opposed to other developed nations like the United States, Canada, and the UK, where there are fewer women – 34 percent, 31 percent and 38 per cent, respectively. This will also be a critical factor for women's participation to see a rise in IT and tech-related roles. On the other hand, women entrepreneurship is getting boost with a whopping 70% Mudra Yojana loans disbural going to women entrepreneurs.

In our annual Shepreneurs issue, which is currently in its ninth edition, these fields are as diverse as business, finance, education, sports, arts, entertainment, and culture. Shepreneurs shares an account of some of the accomplished women in the nation, who have carved their own space while giving infinite inspiration to other female entrepreneurs to lead with change. These women include entrepreneurs, a shooter, CEOs of significant companies. Founders of companies in a variety of industries, including fintech, software, technology, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals, as well as conglomerates in the booming space share their learnings.

The issue also look at technologies like Metaverse and AI. Metaverse is finding applications even in manufacturing and logistics and is now being hailed as Industrial metaverse. While largely adopted globally but nascent in India, Industrial Metaverse is being deemed as the future of manufacturing with the market growing at a CAGR of 33.6 per cent between 2023 and 2030.

Also, we look at Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is the latest trend capturing industy. One of the sectors which is actively implementing AI is the automotive industry. We take a look at how AI is transforming the designing, production and operation of vehicles. The issue delves deeper into it.

In 2023, overall 57 public issues were launched, raising INR 49,437 crore as compared to 40 IPOs launched in 2022 raising INR 59,939 crore. The issue highlights top 10 IPOs in the pipeline in FY 2024-25.

We also look at disabled population and the startups catering to that. In India's 2.21 percent of the total population are differentlyabled. While the percentage may seem trivial, the number counts to 121 crore. The issue explores the opportunities, challenges, and the road ahead in this segment.

Ritu Marya

Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Media (APAC & India)

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