In the realm of family enterprise, empowering women isn’t just a commitment to equity but it’s an investment to foster resilience and ensure the sustainability of the business and family legacy. This was the opinion of a majority of speakers at a roundtable on women in family business organised by the Indian School of Business (ISB) here. 

“It has to be a team effort; women must demand change, and men must champion it. May the spirit of collaboration and complementarity triumph,’‘ Sougata Ray, Executive Director, Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise, ISB, said while addressing the participants on Monday.

The experts at the roundtable agreed that gender equity is not a choice; it is inevitable. The movement to achieve gender equity has begun. Progress is already happening in different spheres, globally as well as in India. 

“To expedite this progress, strategic interventions in education, workplace policies, and cultural narratives must be implemented with precision, urgency, and in a way that is less painful for individuals, families, and businesses,’‘ the experts felt. 

It was also observed that gender-inclusive families are a prerequisite for gender equity. Family, spouse, and social networks play a pivotal role in fostering the active involvement of women in family businesses. 

The families need to evolve to provide an environment where they can navigate the dual roles of being a homemaker as well as a business leader for both genders. Diversity and inclusivity in business must be preceded by the same at the family level, the experts suggested.

One has to ensure equitable access for both genders to skill development and mentorship while facilitating the acquisition of capabilities essential for success, they said.

Prominent family business leaders and experts including Pratima Kirloskar, Vanitha Datla, Srividya Reddy, Rishabh Shroff, Aarti Gupta, Priti Rathi Gupta, Sujatha Cecilia, Kavil Ramachandran, Sougata Ray, and Nupur Pavan Bang participated in the roundtable.