The South Asian Times

17 December 2018 14:31 PM

'Relatable role models' help women thrive: Google India

By Rachel V. Thomas

New Delhi, March 8: There is an urgent need to highlight "women role models" who are relatable, so that more women get inspired and come forward to utilise economic opportunity, grow and succeed in their businesses, which can ultimately help bridge the gender gap in our society, says a top executive at Google India.

In a bid to identify relatable role models, Google India this week launched the #HerStoryOurStory campaign that aims to celebrate women's voices and uncover their inspiring stories of trials, hope and success in everyday life.

As part of the campaign, Google will be sharing women hero stories through online videos, putting the spotlight on women who have not just fought societal, cultural and economic barriers to achieve their dreams, but are also redefining their role in society and businesses through technology.

Women, both in urban and rural India, who are overcoming barriers and succeeding, can post their inspiring stories across social platforms using #HerStoryOurStory.

In fact, the Google doodle on International Women's Day on Thursday also celebrates stories and voices of everyday women living all over the world in a series of visual narratives.

"We realised that ultimately women see relatable role models that becomes a path forward, and that's what drove us to launch #HerStoryOurStory that aims to create conversation, stories on some of the role models that exist in entrepreneurship, science and technology, among others," Sapna Chadha, Marketing Head, (Southeast Asia and India), Google, told IANS over telephone.

"We understood we could play a role in identifying the relatable role models and exchange these stories. The idea behind #HerStoryOurStory is to showcase these relatable role models to other women, that trigger thinking and provokes them to take a step forward to this exchange of information," Chadha added.

Several studies in India have shown that the lack of relatable role models, mentorship, access and opportunity to use the latest tools and technologies, act as barriers for women to enter the workforce and sustain their careers.

As per the Economic Survey 2017-18, the percentage of women who work has declined over time, from 36 per cent of women being employed in 2005-06 to 24 per cent in 2015-16.

Only 27 per cent Indian women are in the labour force -- the lowest among BRICS countries, revealed a 2017 report from IndiaSpend.org -- a data-driven, non-profit, public interest journalism platform.

The new campaign will showcase stories of trials, hope and success of women in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), as well as those who set up their own businesses.

As part of the campaign, short-films on nine distinguished women of STEM fields have gone live on social media.

"This is not intended to be a one-day campaign. We would make sure that this would be an ongoing campaign, where we can continue to inspire women with role models and tell their stories," Chadha said.

Update: 08 March, 2018

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