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Even in minority, women stand out

Women being a minority at WEF’s annual meeting of rich and powerful from across the world notwithstanding, the fairer sex are on top when it comes to young leaders present here, including those from India.

Isha Ambani, daughter of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, is among the youngest business leaders present and her name incidentally comes first among Indians on the official list of participants at this year’s WEF Annual Meeting, arranged alphabetically.

She is listed as Director of Reliance Retail Ventures, one of the many companies forming part of Ambani family-led Reliance Industries Group.

Her mother Nita Ambani, a director at Reliance Industries, is also listed alongside Mukesh Ambani himself.

Overall, only 17 per cent of more than 2,500 participants are women, while the ratio for Indians is even smaller at about ten per cent.

Still, there are some big names including ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya.

The overall women presence has remained around 17 per cent for past 2-3 years.

However, more than half of the WEF’s Global Shapers group, which has 50 young leaders from across the world, are women.

Among the 40 heads of states or governments, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most prominent woman leader.

Women business leaders include Christine Lagarde of IMF,Indra Nooyi of Pepsico, Shelly Sandberg of Facebook and Marry Barra of General Motors.

Female participation is better from China and America at about 20 per cent, with many from media and academic backgrounds.

Other Indian leaders participating include Shanu Hinduja, Sanjana Govindan Jayadev, Priya Hiranandani Vandewvala, Vandana Goyal, Lisa Heydlauff, Smiti Kanodia, Aparna Dutt Sharma, Sangita Singh, Chetna Sinha, Ritika Suri, Nidhi Tanti and Monica Yadav.

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