According to a report published in Fortune, five new women started their roles as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on January 1, 2023. This brought the gender diversity percentage to 10% for women CEOs who are running Fortune 500 companies. In 2022, the percentage was somewhere around 8.8%. However, numerous studies have shown that companies with more women in top leadership roles tend to perform better than those with fewer women. For example, companies with more women in top leadership roles tend to have better financial performance, higher levels of innovation, and better employee engagement and retention.
For decades, women were viewed as weaker than men emotionally, physically, and especially intellectually. That stems more from gender bias and cultural beliefs than fact. Let’s break all the stereotypes and acknowledge these top leaders who have been disrupting the startup ecosystems with their unique startups.
Sonya Hooja, COO & Co-founder of Imarticus Learning – Sonya Hooja, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder at Imarticus Learning plays a key role in developing and implementing business strategy, directing business development, and recruiting top talent. In her career of over 12 years, she has been involved in strategy development and project management roles across diverse industries such as financial services, education, tourism, public sector and pharmaceuticals. In 2012, she co-founded Imarticus Learning along with Nikhil Barshikar with an aim to make aspiring professionals in the financial services and analytics domain fully equipped with the necessary skills to excel in their careers. Realizing that professional skill development and training was the ideal solution to address India’s workforce shortcomings, Sonya along with Nikhil started Imarticus Learning. And in the times of Covid, they have launched placement-centric programs like the Income Sharing Agreement model, Placement before Admission, etc supporting and helping job seekers.
Smiti Bhatt Deorah CO- founder and COO of Advantage Club – Smiti Bhatt Deorah is the Co-founder & COO of Advantage Club, a global employee engagement platform. She looks after the overseas various functions, including business development, marketing, customer relations and content operations. Disrupt the traditional employees beyond the provided fund and corporate discount schemes extensively. Under her leadership, Advantage Club revolutionizes employee engagement and the client relationship market. It has grown into a platform through which corporates can engage more meaningfully with their clients, while brands can easily reach out to the customer segment of their choice. Its presence in 60+ countries with 500+ partners indicate its potential in the market.
Aarti Gill, Co-founder and CEO at OZiva- Aarti is the creative brain behind OZiva, the trailblazing company that has fast established itself as one of India’s leading holistic nutrition and wellness brands. The brand aims to empower individuals to become healthier, fitter and better in every way with clean, plant based nutrition and wellness products/solutions. It combines modern science and goodness of Ancient Ayurveda to provide a wide range of products in categories like womens fitness, men’s fitness, general wellness, plant based-vitamins & minerals, women’s health and more. Aarti’s technical and marketing wizardry alongside her youthful disposition and passion towards health & fitness as a way of life has been the driving force behind the rise of OZiva. OZiva, under her able leadership also has grown 4x and has also gained massive popularity amongst consumers of varied ages and geographies.
Zahara Kanchwalla is the Co-founder & CEO at Rite KnowledgeLabs. As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) she is responsible for providing operational leadership and ensuring service delivery excellence. Across diverse digital stakeholder communication and thought-leadership programs, she works closely with clients, anchoring key account relationships and ensuring the service delivery exceeds expectations right from planning to publishing. She has over 17 years of experience and has worked with several multinational and leading Indian organizations in various capacities pertaining to business communications, content publishing, e-learning, IT and training. She brings significant business, technology, BFSI and financial content publishing experience and has led engagements with customers across industry sectors. Over the past three years, Zahara has assiduously built and helms some of the most coveted customer relationships with Microsoft India, HDFC Mutual Fund, IIFL Wealth, IIFL Asset Managers, Wadhawan Global Capital and Symphony Air Coolers.
Shruti Kedia Daga, Head of Marketing, Nasher Miles – Shruti Kedia Daga is the head of Mrketing of Nasher Miles. Nasher Miles is a young, digital-first direct-to-consumer (D2C) bootstrapped brand aiming at transforming travel experiences into easy and efficient ones. In her leadership capacity, she is responsible for looking after social media marketing, content marketing, performance marketing, SEO, website development and sales, influencer management, public relations, brand partnerships and related activities. Shruti has an impressive educational background. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Management Studies from HR College of Commerce & Economics, followed by pursuing MBA in Marketing from S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai, in 2009. Besides her enriched educational stint, Shruti has an extensive professional experience of 12 years. She began her professional career with Edelweiss Capital Limited in 2006. Shruti along with Lokesh Daga, and Abhishek Daga (Co founders of Nasher Miles) decided to disrupt the market by creating a brand like Nasher Miles, driven by unique designs and a myriad of colour pallets.
Dr. Vibha Tripathi, Founder of Boon – Dr. Tripathi is a social entrepreneur working in the energy and water sector. She holds a post-graduate and Ph.D. degree from IIT Kanpur with a specialization in the research and development of solar energy. She is the founder of Boon, a technology-driven company with a focus on social and environmental impact with respect to drinking water. She has been the key driver behind Boon’s IoT-enabled WaterATMs® and WaterCubes, commercial premium drinking water machines meant for 100+ people. In her free time, Vibha loves rustling up interesting meals, preparing for marathons, and traveling to new destinations.
Roma Priya Founder of Burgeon Law, Reckoned as an entrepreneurial lawyer, mentor and start-up enthusiast, Roma Priya is the Founder of Burgeon Law, a multi-service law firm in India that takes pride in fuelling the innovation economy and being catalyst in the growth of start-up ecosystem. Articulate, reassuring and knowledgeable, she has a good sense of what is achievable and what is not, thereby steering expectations of clients to possible outcomes. She is thorough and market- leading in her reputation. Under her leadership, Burgeon Law has evolved from a boutique law firm acting as a one-stop destination for all legal matters for companies and investors to an integrated, innovation-led, emerging global law firm that handles all aspects of corporate and commercial laws, transactional practice, fund formation, fund raising, commercial contracts and dispute resolution.