International Women’s Day – Comment from Fabiola Mendes e Rodrigues, Director, Bennet and Bernard

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Fabiola Mendes e Rodrigues, Director, Bennet and Bernard, a diversified group with majority business interest in eco luxury real estate, hospitality & gastronomy based in Goa expresses her views on International Women’s Day. “We’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality, or we can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world and from taking up this challenge comes change, so let’s all #ChoosetoChallenge. While the vision is welcome, it is a travesty that even in the 21st century, there is a need to seek gender equality. The campaign for gender equality has achieved quite a bit, but the feeling is we need to achieve much more. Society may throw up many challenges for women, but they are tough to handle them. In this endeavor for change, we need everybody – activists, policy makers, politicians, and leaders to push for more change to happen in social and cultural realms. “

She added, “We are at a time when women need to define their own values, not as defined by patriarchy and culture. We need to exhibit a new, broader and vibrant self, based on our own authentic voices and redefine the values of the 21st century that put women at the center of decision-making in a variety of realms. From voting rights to corporate and boardroom leadership, women have made the cut and come a long way. In boardrooms around the world, business leaders have tuned in to the reality that business makes sense with inclusive practices, and that it is also the right thing to do. Also, women in employment leads to better inclusion and diversity of thought and economic and social gains. Workplace diversity which has emerged in recent times has enabled women to be in leadership positions not by just increasing the number of women in a workplace, but by embracing the very concept of gender equality. Women have also delivered in every role they are in – the family, the friend and the professional and have worked hard, smart and long. A diverse workforce knits perfectly well to meet the requirements of a company and that should be the goal and vision we should strive for by leveraging individual gender strengths. Diversity is crucial at every level of action and having diversity of thought – along with diversity of gender – will only help strengthen the long-term health of society. Let’s understand that while this mission is on, women work hard and don’t need any exception. They earn the trust of society and will take on more and more to do the best.”

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