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May 16, 2024

Isha Ambani Advocates for Women in STEM Beyond Reliance Retail: A Call to Empowerment

Isha Ambani, the powerhouse behind Reliance Retail, is making waves beyond the business realm, urging women to pursue careers in STEM fields. Her recent address on “Girls in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Day India 2024” showcased her commitment to empowering women in technology and leadership roles.

Hosted by the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, alongside international bodies like the International Telecommunications Union (South Asia) and the Innovation Centre, Delhi, the event highlighted the importance of encouraging women to enter STEM fields. Ambani, a non-executive director on Reliance Industries’ board, used her platform to emphasize the significance of women’s participation in these industries.

In her address, Ambani stressed the need for more women in STEM, stating, “A male-dominated STEM/ICT landscape, where women are under-represented, will rob India of its opportunity to rule the roost.” Her words echo the growing recognition of the untapped potential of women in technology and innovation.

Kavil Ramachandran, from the Indian School of Business, sees Ambani’s advocacy as a positive step. “We hope this is a new phase for Isha Ambani. We need industry leaders to be influencers,” he says, underscoring the importance of influential figures promoting gender diversity in STEM.

Ambani’s call to action resonates with Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, which encourages women to pursue their ambitions unapologetically. Ambani urged young women to strive for excellence, warning against the consequences of sidelining women from leadership roles.

Amidst succession challenges in India’s business families, Ambani stands as a beacon for change. Her leadership at Reliance Retail has not only driven technological innovations like the JioBook but also attracted global investment and impressive valuations.

Ambani acknowledges the uphill battle women face in climbing the corporate ladder. “Women’s climb to the top is invariably a lot more difficult than a man’s rise,” she notes. However, she firmly believes that women have a unique edge in leadership, citing empathy as a key strength. “Women have empathy, and that automatically makes them better leaders,” she asserts.

Ambani’s advocacy for women in STEM extends beyond rhetoric. By championing diversity and inclusion in technology and leadership, she is paving the way for future generations of women to excel in traditionally male-dominated fields.

In a world where women’s voices and contributions are increasingly valued, Ambani’s message serves as a reminder of the importance of breaking gender barriers and creating opportunities for all. As she continues to lead by example, her influence will undoubtedly inspire countless women to pursue careers in STEM and beyond, driving innovation and progress for years to come.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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