Investing in women, a catalyst for a country’s advancement

By Swati Saxena

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,’ resonates very well with famous quote of William Golding – “I think women are foolish, to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater”.

However, women were pushed into roles inferior as compared to their capabilities for so many centuries that at times they have largely started believing themselves as inferior. Society has played its own role in strengthening this view. Freedom from various domination and bondage has been gradual so far. Today as the world sees ongoing revolution in various spaces which demands equality of all sorts it is becoming more and more important for society to invest and develop an eco-system which allows or uses the excellent and often different qualities of woman to contribute to this growth.

With decades of experience the corporate community (majorly male dominated) has developed culture of high growth and chasing targets (which is very good to achieve development) only. Generations are only focused on deriving their instant gratitude from quick fulfillment of goals (may be under tremendous pressure) which questions the overall concept of well-being for our next generations.

Woman are blessed by nature to have the qualities which enable nurturing of family and kids and they continue to play pivotal role there. If the same can be extended with acceptance in professional circles as well, where, in addition to growth and target focus happiness and joy and holistic living can add up in creating a well nurtured work force.

Often this is seen in small women-led business and perhaps with time this will create an alternate parallel workforce with different aspirations and flexible career paths. For all this integration to happen one has to focus on ways by which a woman can contribute at all levels without thinking twice about balancing her role as mother and a professional worker.

More is said than done in this space and it can begin with focus on following few points:

Inclusive growth through economic empowerment – There is a need for a gender-responsive policies that can enable participation of woman in corporate world. While there are policies like mandatory one woman director in corporate board, Nifty-500 companies have an average of one in five board members being women – 223 Nifty-500 companies have only one woman director. So more than making the policies acceptance of same by broad group is important.


Better infrastructure to support the working mothers – Better eco system of pre-schools and more woman friendly corporate set up can definitely encourage lot of women to join the work force back and dedicate their abilities in wholistic and full manner.

Right to education – Investing in education of girl child with special focus on rural areas so more and more girls can be educated there by ensuring a vibrant future.

Overall, there are many fields where women can contribute equally if not better than men and the need of hour is to put the thoughts and promises of women empowerment in action.

I can recall of one example from my own industry quoted by An International Finance professor pointing out that females are better at making money in the foreign exchange market. Turns out that data considers them better at equity investment management as well. “Fresh research from Capital.com has found that female retail traders are consistently better at stock picking than their male counterparts, even though women make up just 13% of the platform’s trading community.”

Let’s hope for more inclusive place in years to come!!

(The author is Swati Saxena, Founder & CEO – 4 Thoughts Finance, and the views expressed in this article are her own)