"If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman." This tongue-in-cheek statement was spoken by the late "Iron Lady" Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and pioneer for women in politics.
Exposing leaders in industry and innovation to understand the great potential we have at our command today is critical to their mission to improve the human conditions for the 7.2 billion people on earth.
Time after time, you learn that the characteristics women hold and cherish are becoming more the norm for business today. Attributes such as collaboration diversity, judgment, intuition, partnership, listening, inclusiveness, flexibility, selflessness and loyalty mean a lot.
The problem of women being left out of the innovation economy is real and the more we connect the dots, not just among entrepreneurs in these fields, but with academics, corporations, researchers and governments looking for public private partnerships, the more successful we will be.
As I sat listening to the divergent views emerging among the entrepreneurs, it was clear to me that while some felt they were held back by the cultural expectations of women, others were moving forward with conviction.
We were encouraged by the open discussion and the expressed expectation of rapid growth even though the entrepreneurial market is nascent in India. This was the first of several meetings we had in New Delhi, but the perception of the challenges and opportunities was beginning to take shape.
What we all need to recognize is that capital is not based on meritocracy. It's based on relationships. Yes, the business has to be disruptive or at least scalable to attract venture capital. VC's invest in PEOPLE first, and businesses second.