Indian startups should address the issue of gender diversity at workplace, hiring more women across various roles to boost productivity, Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers today said. Chambers, who is also the chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, said the booming startup ecosystem in the country also has the potential to position India as the world’s ‘startup engine’. “India has done an amazing job as a country with some of the top women leaders in government, business. But as we go further down in the employment, you have to address the gender diversity in startups. It requires commitment as a country to change,” he said speaking at an event.
He added that in the US, the number hovers around 24 per cent but more steps need to be taken in both the countries (US and India) to increase the participation of women in the tech industry. Chambers said bringing more women in the workforce to enhance gender diversity also helps increase productivity. Chambers has picked up slightly over 10 per cent stake in Chennai-based speech analytics firm Uniphore. The details of the transaction, made in Chambers’ personal capacity, were not disclosed.
He exuded confidence in the startup ecosystem in India. “Startups are growing at about 10 per cent… India has a very high chance to lead. It has a rich talent pool of engineers and I think, if done right, the startup engine here could be the best in the world,” he said. He further said: “If I could bet on one startup engine, where I put my energy, time and resources behind, it would be India”. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, underway in Hyderabad, has a special focus on how the role of women in the area of entrepreneurship can be expanded.