It is beyond debate that, frontline workers fighting COVID-19 are largely made of Women. And it is because of the sacrifices of these ‘COVID Warriors’ that, the world could respond better to the pandemic. In the aftermath of the COVID Crisis, it may be as heads of states or as bureaucrats or as doctors or nurses, more and more Women have shown exemplary leadership and managerial abilities in managing tough situations with great balance and decisiveness.
While there are so many good examples of women empowerment, in stark contrast, during the same period, there is a spike in violence against women, a rise in unemployment, and poverty amongst women. To address this issue, for this International Women’s Day, the UN has chosen the theme as, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”
So here is your chance to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD 2021) on 8 March 2021 differently in a more meaningful way. Invite and honor the women who have excelled in their chosen fields, despite challenges.
Here are the Top 10 Women, who have shown commendable leadership and courage. Invite them as speakers for your International Women’s Day celebration, before their calendar gets blocked!
- Barkha Dutt
Indian television journalist, author, and owner of News Channel MoJo
Barkha emerged as a prominent figure after her frontline war reporting on the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999. She has won many national and international awards, including the Padma Shri. At NDTV, Dutt was the host of the weekly, award-winning talk-show We The People, as well as the daily prime-time show The Buck, Stops Here.
2. Nandita Das
Award-winning Director and Actor
Nandita Das has acted in more than 40 feature films in 10 different languages. Her directorial debut in 2008 was Firaaq. She has been twice on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. Manto, Nandita’s second directorial film premiered in 2018 at the Cannes Film Festival and can be watched on Netflix. Her first book Manto & I chronicles her 6-year long journey of making the film.
3. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Award-winning author of Palace of Illusions and Forest of Enchantments
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning and bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 50 magazines and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies. Her books have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Russian and Japanese, and many of them have been used for campus-wide and city-wide reads. Several of her works have been made into films and plays.
4. Radhika Gupta
CEO, Edelweiss Asset Management Limited
Radhika Gupta started at Edelweiss Global Asset Management as business head of multi-strategy funds and was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the team’s investment, distribution, and platform. She is India’s only female head of a major asset manager and has set up the country’s first domestic hedge fund.
5. Chetna Sinha
Founder-Chairperson Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation
Chetna Gala Sinha has been awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar, India’s highest civilian award for women who work in the area of women’s empowerment. In 1996, Chetna Gala Sinha founded the Mann Deshi Foundation in Mhaswad, a drought-stricken area. Today, the Mann Deshi Bank has 100,000 account holders, has loaned over $50 million, and regularly creates new financial products to support the needs of female micro-entrepreneurs. To date, it has supported nearly half a million women.
6. Shweta Shalini
Spokesperson, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)
Shweta Shalini is an entrepreneur, an Indian market expert, speaker, philanthropist, youth icon, and a thought leader in politics, marketing, technology, design, and the learning industry. Shweta leads a diverse business portfolio and has had two successful entrepreneurial ventures – Fortune Cookie Marketing Solutions and Real-Time Wave before her foray into politics. She had been the inspiration of many young women to become founders and respected leaders in their own fields.
7. Rajshri Deshpande
Indian Actress and Activist – Founder of Nabhangan Foundation
Rajshri Deshpande’s portrayal of Laxmi i‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ got her international recognition and received critical acclaim for her performance as Subhadra in the Netflix Original ‘Sacred Games-1’, directed by Anurag Kashyap. She played the role of Ismat Chughtai in Nandita Das’s film ‘Manto’. Rajshri dedicates her time extensively to humanitarian causes and she created the Nabhangan Foundation to broaden her efforts towards sustainable village development and she is currently building an eco-sensitive school in the same village.
8. Shatbhi Basu
India’s First Women Bartender
Shatbhi Basu the first Indian Female Bartender and started her bartender mixology career at the age of 21. Since then has been raising the standards and opportunities in her career choice and blazed a trail in the male-dominated industry. Four years of sedulous efforts have earned her the high perch of a bartender, beverage consultant, and author.
9. Padmaja Ruparel
Co-Founder Indian Angel Network and Managing partner, IAN Fund
Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder and President of Indian Angel Network (IAN), one of the largest group of business angels comprising successful entrepreneurs and dynamic CEOs from India and overseas. She began her career in her family-owned real estate business and nurtured the entrepreneur within her. Later in Delhi. As an Executive Director, she played a key role in building the Indian Venture Capital Association.
10. Saachi Soni
Mountaineer and TV Anchor
Saachi Soni was the youngest woman to climb Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak; Youngest Indian to climb all the ten highest peaks of Australia in 50 hours and made it to Limca book of records. She was also the youngest woman selected in the team to climb Mt. Everest by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Born in Jaipur, Rajasthan, she was initiated into mountaineering by her father at the tender age of seven and spent her childhood, trekking, climbing, and summiting peaks all over the world. She is an inspiring woman and is a renowned speaker at events.
For the sake of space, we are stopping here. Please go through the complete list of amazing women here
Happy International Women’s Day.