Gurugram, 20 February, 2023: A panel of six women entrepreneurs gathered on the first day of the GSV-Emeritus India Summit in Gurugram to address the urgent need for closing the gender gap in the workforce. The panelists included Ashley Chiampo, Chief Learning Officer of Emeritus; Smita Deorah, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of LEAD; Vani Kola, Managing Director of Kalaari Capital; Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder and CEO of Creative Galileo; Supriya Paul, CEO of Josh Talks; and Lisa Tenorio, SVP of Learning Design at Harvard Business Publishing.
During their panel discussion, titled “Power of Women Leading Innovation,” the women explored how they are using education and entrepreneurship to make a positive impact in their respective communities. They also discussed the significant impact women leaders can have and the need to empower more women to take on leadership roles.
The panelists shared their experiences, insights, and strategies for achieving success and creating change, highlighting the importance of empowering and mentoring women to overcome gender barriers and succeed in their careers.
“Only 6% of venture funded businesses in India are co-founded by a woman. Yet, if you look at the CEO level, it is only 2%. As per a study we did recently, 70% of the women who wished to start their businesses claimed they mostly pitch to male investors. 68% of them believe that raising money is more difficult because of their gender. We must initiate discussions about this and look for solutions,” said Vani Kola, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital.
The panel also explored the challenges women have had to face as they strive to lead. Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder and CEO, Creative Galileo, said that “Women make up 75% of all teachers. When we consider Principals, this figure drops to 50%. When we consider edtech founders, the figure drops to 6%. And less than 1% when it comes to policymakers. As a founder, I firmly feel that this needs to change. We also need to change the mindset of people to foster the right environment for women entrepreneurs.”
On the first day of the three-day summit, some of the world’s most brilliant and influential leaders in education innovation and Indian government decision-makers gathered to shape the future of Indian edtech. The goal was to develop a narrative about the role of edtech in transforming lives across the world through learning.
Hon’ble Minister Smriti Irani, Nandan Nilekani (Infosys), Sandhya Devanathan (Meta), Anant Agarwal (edX), Sandeep Singhal (Westbridge Capital), Vani Kola (Kalaari), Deborah Quazzo (GSV Ventures), Alakh Pandey (Physics Wallah), Vivian Wu (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), Madan Pilutla (Indian School of Business), Rajendar Pawar (NIIT), and other prominent leaders from Blackstone, Accel, MIT, Harvard, upGrad, Simplilearn, Duolingo, and Classplus were among the featured speakers during the three-day summit.