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Sagar Hospitals, Bangalore celebrates International Women’s Day with ‘Embrace Equity’

The theme of the event highlighted the importance of promoting diversity and gender equity in the workplace

Women from all walks of life came together to celebrate International Women’s Day at Sagar Hospitals. The theme of the day was “Embrace Equity”, highlighting the importance of promoting diversity and gender equity in the workplace.

During the panel discussion, Ishiqa Multani, President, Sagar Group of Hospitals, spoke about the historical barriers that women have faced in advancing to leadership positions in the healthcare industry. She acknowledged the systemic discrimination, lack of mentorship and sponsorship, and gendered expectations and stereotypes that have prevented women from reaching their full potential. However, she emphasised that there is a shift happening towards embracing equity, and Sagar Hospitals is committed to being a part of this change.
One of the key initiatives that Sagar Hospitals has implemented is the Women in Leadership programme, which provides mentorship and leadership development opportunities for women at all levels of the organization. They have also implemented gender-neutral recruitment processes to ensure that all candidates are evaluated based on their qualifications and experience, rather than their gender.

Subalakshmi Krishnamoorthy, a former scientist at ISRO, emphasised the importance of encouraging young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields. She noted that while there are now more women than ever before in scientific and technical roles, there is still work to be done in addressing gendered expectations and promoting experiential learning opportunities for girls.

Veena Rajappa, MD, Accenture Technology, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the need to focus on girls’ talents and abilities rather than their appearance. She also highlighted the importance of addressing health issues like poor nutrition and accessibility to fast food, which
disproportionately affect young girls.

Dr Sharon S Rajkumar, Vice President, Happiest Health, emphasised that achieving equity requires active effort from each individual. By challenging stereotypes, calling out discrimination, and promoting inclusion, everyone can contribute to building a more fair and inclusive workplace.

Priya, Founder, Durga Organisation, highlighted the importance of taking a holistic approach to equity, including conversations around violence, harassment, and the care economy. She also stressed the need to empower men to embrace dynamic women and take responsibility for their health and nutrition.

Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan of IIM Bangalore provided a sobering reminder of the challenges still facing women in the workforce, particularly in urban areas. She noted that many women face
barriers to participation including lack of policies, mentorship support, flexibility, and training and development opportunities.

In addition to the panel discussion with guest speakers, the event also focused on raising awareness about the HPV vaccine, which is 100 per cent effective in preventing cervical, vulval, and vaginal cancers
and infections. Sagar Hospitals encouraged girls and boys aged 11 to 12 years up to the age of 49 years to get the HPV vaccine.

Overall, the hospital’s commitment to promoting diversity and gender equity is an important step towards creating a fair, diverse, and inclusive workplace and advancing the cause of gender equity
in the healthcare industry and beyond.

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