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'Celebrating Womanhood'

29 Apr 2010 12:25:00 AM IST

BURSTING with some of the most high profile ladies from the city and around the world, Ewit (Empowering Women in IT) celebrated its fourth anniversary in style, with eloquent speeches from multinational companies such as Ford and IBM, alongside the charming guest of honour; Consul General of the US Consulate, Andrew Simpkin.

Ewit, the voluntary, non-profit platform for women in Information Technology, is the brainchild of a collection of senior women from the IT industry. Vijayalakshmi Rao is the proud and devoted president of the organisation. The vision, “to be the preferred forum for interchange of ideas and for pioneering initiatives so as to unleash the potential of women and drive their growth in the IT industry,” has driven the forum to unprecedented levels of success over the past four years. Despite this success, the forum is still striving to reach its three main objectives.

The primary objective is to increase the number of women at all management levels. Currently the percentage of women in IT is around 35% and Ewit hopes to even the number of women involved in the industry to a fair 50- 50 male to female ratio, in particular increasing the number of women involved in senior management positions.

Guest speakers included, Marcy Klevorn, Head of Global IT operations at Ford Motor Company and Vanitha Narayanan, Managing partner of Global Business Services for South Asia at IBM. Both spoke eloquently on striking a balance between work and family, giving the young and attentive female audience some invaluable advice on how to achieve this, using their humorous personal experiences to illustrate their presentations.

Vijayalakshmi Rao spoke of how the industry is, “perfectly suited to the inherent strengths of women,” and saw no reason why women could not have an equal share in the industry.

Vanitha Narayanan of IBM added, “Indian women have always led by influence not necessarily authority,” agreeing with Vijayalakshmi Rao over the industries suitability to the female temperament. The equally highflying Marcy Klevorn thought it paradoxical how, “fewer and fewer young girls are getting involved in the IT industry,” and she hopes platforms such as Ewit will help more women reach senior management positions in the IT industry within the next few years. Andrew Simkin brought the speeches to an elegant close with a powerful quotation from president Obama on the indispensability of women in the workplace.

Overall the evening was a celebration of four successful years of women's empowerment in IT and a way for Ewit to give thanks for the support it has received and outline the ways in which it hopes to continue making a difference in the years to come.

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