“We need a dedicated focus to accelerate job creation for women, particularly in small businesses. There has not been any traction in the budget toward this in the last few years. This requires a more strategic approach by identifying the key factors that affect women’s choices to work and also the many interrelated issues that influence women’s workforce participation. Dealing with these issues in isolation will not bring the change to create an enabling environment for women to work and achieve economic independence. Big organizations have already bought the business case for gender inclusion. It is the SMEs and micro enterprises in Tier II and Tier III cities who need the influence of inclusion and a fillip to engage with women’s talent. An employment-linked incentive scheme for SMEs and MSMEs hiring diverse talent will be a huge step towards increasing women’s workforce participation, which is lingering at around 20% in the country as per the data available. If the governmental measures and concerted efforts of inclusive organizations are put in place, India is likely to see a jump in women workforce participation to the extent of 10% with an estimate of more than 2 crore additional women likely to enter the workforce.”-Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder, and President, Avtar.