State Bank of India
Punjab National Bank
ICICI Bank and
Do you know the one thing these companies have in common?
They are headed by women.
Today of course, it isn’t an extraordinary achievement in developed nations for women to hold top corporate positions.
However, in a patriarchal country like India, this is an extraordinary feat.
Once women were denied the right to education in India, from there, we, as a society, have come a long way.
Today, women stand shoulder to shoulder with men in every field.
How, then, can money management be an exception?
Notably, some of India’s top banks have women at the helm who manage to strike a work-life balance.
Let’s agree, that Men and Women are different; complementary opposites. Mother Nature has gifted women with some unique qualities, innate abilities. They are usually better communicators and have sound managerial skills. Blessed with immense patience, intuition, and the power of understanding heightens their interpersonal skills. These in-born skills enable them to be good money managers as well. Of course, there are exceptions too.
In traditional households, women run the household budgets efficiently and try to save as much as they can without compromising on the happiness of any of their family members—an admirable quality.
Today, women not only get the balancing act right, but they contribute to the total income of the family. In some households, women earn higher than men. Independent women have a better bargain in decision-making at the family level.
Going one step ahead, they are making their mark in the field of financial planning. As smart, effective financial planners, women provide thorough and comprehensive financial planning services and value additions.
For instance, if you approach a lady financial planner seeking help to prepare for the financial goals such as education, and marriage expenses of your children, being woman (and possibly a mother), she would offer you many handy tips apart from providing you with smart advice on savings and investments.
Wouldn’t a lady financial planner be better equipped to help you in right estimation of marriage related expenses? Additionally, her advice on how to manage your monthly budget will prove invaluable.
Consider these factors the next time when you are looking out for a financial guardian .
That being said, let’s not be in a denial mode.
There is another side to the story, and we can’t shut our eyes to that.
Although this country has walked towards the horizon of equality and justice for women, we need to cover many more miles, fast. In urban parts of the country, independent women are emerging stronger, but the situation has yet to reform in many parts of the country.
Do you know what the female representation in the Lok Sabha is?
In 1952, it was 5%--which means, out of the total number of Members of Parliament (MPs), 5% were the women. At present, only 11% of the MPs are women. In other words, it took almost 6 decades to double the representation.
And this highlights a crucial trait…
While we always boast of our support towards women empowerment, do we actually engage them when making important decisions at a family, business, or personal level?
Although women run the budget, they have no say in decisions such as purchase of land, investing in real estate, etc.
If you interact personally with entrepreneurs of family-run businesses you would recognise this.
In many cases, the business is in the name of a woman for sentimental reasons, without her actively participating any of the business’s activities or decision making, and at best, to take advantage of tax incentives. Basically, in reality, men in the family run the show without giving any decision-making power to the woman.
Is this empowerment?
As far as the occasion of the women’s day is concerned, respect for them shouldn’t fade in a day. And rather than having quotas and reservations for women, we as a society must learn to acknowledge the contributions of women and encourage them more.
Clearly, quotas haven’t fetched much women representation.
Do you recollect a famous politician running a state assembly from jail through a proxy?
By the way… This isn’t women empowerment.
It’s time to change the perception of what empowerment means and our response to the achievements of women in our own family first.
Are you ready for the change?
Happy Women’s Day!