For too many men, gender equality of opportunity at the workplace may not seem to be a sustainability issue for business. But Shishir Joshipura of SKF corporation insists that ‘a car needs all four wheels. You can’t drive it on two. You can’t exclude half of humanity.’ Joshipura, the country head in India for the Swedish ball bearings company, says that when he was appointed to the role in 2009 only one in 25 managers was a woman. Today 18 of the 25 top managers are women in a company that touches people’s lives ‘from first thing in the morning till night’ through household appliances.
Joshipura was the opening keynote speaker at the 7th Biennial conference of Caux Initiatives for Business, held at Asia Plateau, the IofC centre in Panchgani, Maharashtra, on 5 February. The four-day conference, 5 to 8 February, attracted 150 participants from 21 countries. It focussed on ‘best practice in sustainability for a turbulent global economy’. The event was hosted by its organizer, Sarosh Ghandy, a former senior Tata executive who is the Chairman of Caux Initiatives for Business in India
In a wide-ranging speech, Senator Yukihisa Fujita, Director of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence in the Japanese Diet (Parliament), urged business leaders to pursue an agenda for reconciliation in the light of global conflicts.
The full conference report is available for download in the attached PDF.