Chat with Diplomats: IILM Institute for Higher Education, October 7th, 2016

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New Delhi, Delhi, India

IILM Institute for Higher Education hosted the prestigious “Chat with Diplomats” event, on the occasion of the “International day of the Girl Child”, in partnership with the High Commission of Canada. The International Day of the Girl Child is an opportunity to highlight the needs and rights of girls and to advocate greater action and investment in enabling girls to reach their full potential throughout their lives. Taking this up at an international level gives it the needed impetus and focus that it deserves. The event was held on October 7th, 2016 between 2:30 and 4:00 pm, at the IILM Lodhi Road Campus.

The event was moderated by Mr. Matt Friesen, Head of Advocacy, Canadian High Commission, who introduced the topic ‘Glass ceiling or a sticky floor’ and invited the Diplomats to express their views. He indicated how this group, a perfect mix of people from diverse geographical backgrounds and representing both genders, was ideal for initiating such a dialogue. The event was attended by the Envoys of Canada, Mexico, Australia, Finland, South Africa and The United States of America.

Jess Dutton, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada, drew attention to the importance of celebrating the achievements in the area of gender equality while keeping in mind that there is still have a long way to go. Citing examples from Canada to demonstrate the initiatives taken by the government to bring about gender equality, he also mentioned various initiatives implemented in India.

The Mexican Ambassador, Melba Pria pointed out that the glass ceiling is a powerful and invisible barrier that hinders the ascending career of women. Touching upon sexism, gender-based discrimination and prejudices, she underlined how self-censorship has a detrimental effect on the growth of a woman.

The Ambassador of Finland, Nina Vaskunlahti emphasized the need for more women’s representation in political arenas because of the different perspectives that women add. She also advised the students “to be bold, to be brave, to be themselves” in order to break the glass ceiling.

The American Ambassador, Richard Verma expressed his gratitude to the different role models that he has had from his family and at the work front. He highlighted the role of leaders in bringing about gender parity in the economic, legal and political systems, breaking the stereotypes and creating a level playing field for men and women.

Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM underscored the efforts by IILM in this direction. He shared that IILM offers 10% fee waiver to all its girl students across its three campuses in Delhi NCR and offers flexible work arrangements to its women employees.

IILM Institute is a member of the United Nations Global Compact Initiative “PRME” and has earned the coveted ‘Champion Business School’ status. It has a global study programme which connects its students and faculty with institutions of repute in Germany, France, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.