Corporate Social Responsibility And Women Empowerment

Corporate Social Responsibility And Women Empowerment

Corporate Social Responsibility And Women Empowerment

To all the little women who are reading this, never question your abilities and always keep in mind that everyone is valuable, powerful and worthy of every opportunity in the world to chase and achieve one’s dreams. Women empowerment is not just an attractive catchphrase, it’s a vital factor in the social and economic success of nations. When women succeed, everyone benefits. Women’s rights and gender equality have come a long way now.

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With a modern mantra of globalization (which has converted the entire globe to a growth-oriented society), the concept of human development and sustainable development has been coined by the top business leaders and global economic actors. This technological revolution has made societies aware of sustainable development processes which is reflected in changes in related policies and approaches of corporate governance for “responsible business.”

The recognition of social responsibility by corporations has been termed as the emergence of “corporate conscience” which says that business is not an end in itself rather it’s only a means to an end. Society acts as manure for businesses to develop – right from offering a ground to flourishing it fruitfully. Therefore, business contributes to human happiness, freedom material, moral and spiritual growth.

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The concept of corporate social responsibilities originated in the year 1950 in the USA. It came to fame after public debate during the 1960s and 1970s to encounter the issues of poverty, unemployment, population growth, corruption, women empowerment etc. Rising economies, including India, are handling issues related to poverty, child rights, community welfare, sustainable development, etc and are a hotbed for an innovative CSR scenario that is still shaping up.

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Even though the religious belief and cultural practices of India recognizes women as an important part of the society and considers them as deity or saint on the other hand, the patriarchal mindset does not permit them to enjoy the same socio-economic status as men do. As a growth-oriented and rapidly changing society on a global platform, Indian society has to accept and recognize the contribution of women in sociocultural and economic spheres. As working mothers, women give their blood and sweat to their families from dealing with it emotionally to providing financial aid to their family – needless to say, women are the backbones of the family as well as society.

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Women are majorly the ones who are more connected to natural resources whether it be agricultural fields, water, forests, etc and hence they are the best preservers for natural resources. In the corporate world, women are often kept away from key leadership roles such as CEO and out of the boardroom – arguably because they are thought of as weak and non-competitive. In this context, it is a prerequisite for any society to accept men and women in terms of equality and social equity to ensure sustainable growth and that the benefits are reaching to all segments of society.

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Women (as half of the global population) are not only saviour of the universe because they are connected to nature and plays an important role in imbibing such values to future generation but also in reinventing their economic role in the growth and development process. In India, many corporates under CSR have set model interventions to empower women leaders and entrepreneurs; for example – a project by Bharat Petroleum through the approach of SHGs for women and Jindal Stainless Foundation’s vocational and training programs for women.

The women who flourish despite such hindrances can be seen as having an affirmative impact in the executive suite. They often focus on shaping the policies within their corporations in a socially responsible manner.  Perhaps, this is because they show more devotion to the future and the long-term impact rather than a short-term – purely profit-based viewpoint. Social responsibility should be very important to women. Not only do they tend to be more altruistic than men, but women tend to be the most affected by discriminatory practices within the workplace such as sexual harassment, failure to be promoted or hired based on sex, and receiving lower pay than men.

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Despite significant progress, gender equality remains one of the most pervasive bases for inequality worldwide.

Carroll (1999) notes the invisibility of women in the corporate field with the consequent assumption that businesswomen did not exist: ‘There were no businesswomen during this period or at least they were not being acknowledged in formal writing.’

This raises questions about the visibility of women in the corporate and gender issues in the field of CSR today. To say that an organization is categorized means that pros and cons, exploitation and control, action and emotion, meaning and identity and masculinity and femininity are designed.

Gender is not an accumulation of current processes; rather, it is an essential part of those processes, which cannot be appropriately comprehended without an analysis of gender. McKinsey and Company (2007) discovered that gender diversity in senior management correlates with “organizational excellence” as gaged by a set of principles that includes: leadership, direction, accountability, coordination and control, innovation, external orientation, ability, enthusiasm, work environment and values. The research revealed that companies with more than three women in senior management function score more favourably, on average, for each organizational criterion of “excellence” than companies with no women on the top.

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God has gifted women with compassion, tender-heartedness, a caring nature, concern for others, adaptability and empathy, an attitude for developing others, influencing without power, open-mindedness and integrity. These are rudimentary aids needed by an individual to be socially responsible which a woman already owns. These are very optimistic signs which suggest that women can be forerunners. Though some women have shown their courage a large number of them have to sharpen their leadership qualities in various ways. To help women to be in the limelight, they need to be empowered.

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