“There should be more women in this room!” Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made this observation during a fireside chat with Your history Founder and CEO, Shradha Sharma, in tech Sparks 2022, India’s largest emerging technology conference.
However, she was also emphatic that if there was any country that could solve this gender imbalance in the startup ecosystem, which seemed to be a problem all over the world, it would be India.
Referring to a recent book he had read about US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, he said: “I was able to find excerpts from various people, whether they were in college, working in government or in any other space – various observations who say women don’t have the space,” she said.
However, he noted, “Let’s not be put off by the fact that I said (this) happens only in India. Not at all. It seems to be a global issue. But as Indians, we break a lot of things (stereotypes), we set examples, we can give an example in this too”.
This is the second time the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken the stage at TechSparks. In 2020, in her TechSparks keynote address, the minister focused on the need for open dialogue between the government and the people of the country.
Earlier this year, speaking on Budget 2022, the FM had commented: “Naari Shakti is the harbinger of our bright future.”
At the time, she elaborated: “Recognizing the importance of Naari Shakti as a harbinger of our bright future and for women-led development, our government has comprehensively revamped the schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Three schemes, Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, were recently launched to provide integrated benefits to women and children.”