Dr. Kiran Bedi highlights the critical need to dismantle systemic barriers that are holding Women back: A Call to Shatter Glass Ceilings

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Dr. Kiran Bedi highlights the critical need to dismantle systemic barriers that are holding Women back: A Call to Shatter Glass CeilingsHyderabad, 08th May 2024: In an inspiring assembly of minds, Woxsen University hosted Dr. Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS Officer and former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, at the special edition of The FutureYou Talks held at their campus in Hyderabad. The event also marked the inauguration of the Kiran Bedi Hall at Woxsen University, a testament to Dr. Bedi’s inspirational legacy.

Dr. Bedi’s exemplary career and commitment to women’s empowerment make her an ideal speaker to illuminate this vital topic ‘Women in Leadership: Breaking Barriers and Glass Ceilings.‘ Her achievements are profound, from pioneering roles in the police force to advocating for reform in the Indian prison system and leading initiatives for social change. Dr. Bedi’s previous engagements and numerous leadership seminars, highlight her lifelong dedication to empowering women and challenging societal norms​.

The official commencement of The FutureYou Talks set the stage for a day filled with insightful discussions and meaningful interactions. Dr. Raul V. Rodriguez, Vice President of Woxsen University, addressed students and highlighted the institution’s commitment to fostering leadership and breaking new ground in higher education.

Dr. Raul V. Rodriguez, Vice President of Woxsen University, stated, “We are committed to empowering the women community. Out of our 7 schools, 3 are led by accomplished women, reflecting our dedication to gender diversity and equality. We are proud to maintain a 50-50 ratio of male and female students, fostering an inclusive learning environment. Furthermore, we are deeply invested in supporting rural communities, having successfully generated employment opportunities for them. Our impactful ‘Woxsen Elevate Program’ runs for almost 4 months annually and provides training to 600-800 children on average every weekend. The overwhelming response from the children, who willingly volunteer for these programs, demonstrates their appreciation for the invaluable learning opportunities we provide. Our overarching goal is to give back to society in every way possible. We are committed to nurturing our students’ understanding of their role in contributing towards the upliftment of the underprivileged, fostering a sense of social responsibility & compassion.”

During her keynote speech Dr. Bedi began by addressing the Chancellor, university members and students where she said Addressing the challenges of women in leadership roles, she emphsised that women have 3 unique challenges – namely marriage, motherhood, and mothering, “it’s crucial to be prepared to face these challenges while maintaining your individuality”, she said

While Dr. Bedi advised the students on managing their time and thoughts,  she exclaimed “Remember to self-police the traffic jam in your mind. You don’t need a uniform for that!”

During our Fireside chat segment, Dr. Bedi while reflecting on a profound incident he said “I recall the day I towed Indira Gandhi’s car from a no-parking zone. I was simply following our nation’s laws, which earned me the nickname ‘Crane Bedi’. I have always stood for what is right.”

She further urged students to perceive “Education should make you courageously independent, as my upbringing and education did for me. Utilize every available resource and discern right from wrong.” she said.

When asked about her prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award, Dr. Bedi took pride in sharing that she was honored not for combating terrorism, but for empathetic, accessible, responsible, problem-solving, and creative policing focused on crime prevention—”this aligns with my belief in the power of prevention” she stated.

Talking about setbacks, Dr. Bedi didn’t mince while sharing that “ There was a significant one when I was overlooked for the position of Police Commissioner of Delhi, despite my records, qualifications and seniority. A junior by two years was appointed instead. This setback was a reflection of those at the helm prioritizing personal gain over the greater good. However, facing this challenge opened many more doors for me after I took voluntary retirement. The key is to believe in yourself and focus on the legacy you want to leave behind” – Dr. Kiran Bedi

A fireside chat with Dr. Bedi provided an intimate platform for discussing the nuances of leadership and the impact of societal contributions. The session was followed by the conferment of “The Woxsen Award for Timeless Societal Contributions” to Dr. Bedi, in recognition of her enduring impact on society.

Woxsen University stands at the forefront of advocating for women in leadership roles, a commitment reflected in its diverse academic and administrative structures. The University prides itself on having significant female representation across various key positions including deans, board members and other key positions exemplifying the belief in practical gender equality and the empowerment of women through education and leadership.

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