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21st century skills for Women to be Successful

Renowned feminist and author of The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir, once remarked, “Women are not born, but made.” Reflecting on how Indian women have evolved, breaking regressive barriers such as sati, child marriages, purdah and even triple talaq, to become professionals, artists, sportsperson, activists, academicians, Beauvoir’s statement rings true.

The landscape for the 21st century is filled with equal opportunities, better wages and even leadership roles for women across the globe. Although, female leaders are too few, Hillary Clinton said it best when she addressed the audience at the 6th Annual Women World Summit in New York City, “There has never been a better time in history to be born female.” Across the globe, voices are rising in support of equal wages, gender equality and hiring more females in decision-making positions. According to research, over 70% women are either employed full time or part-time and are contributing to their household income.

Here are some of the key skills that will help you shatter the proverbial 21st century glass ceiling:

Digital knowledge: It is paramount for a person to survive and succeed in the tech-savvy generation to be aware of the ever growing and powerful digital domain. There are various institutes offering a six-month to a year-long diploma in digital marketing. In fact, Google has its own digital marketing programme you can access for free here.

Financial literacy: It does not matter if you are from the financial field or not; every woman should acquire the basic skills and knowledge to know where to invest her hard-earned money. Whether it is mutual funds, stock markets, fixed deposits or any other channel of investments, each option should be carefully evaluated before making investments. Make sure your investment portfolio is a mix of long and short-term investments. As the old adage goes – do not put all your eggs in one basket.

Develop an alternate skill: We live in VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) times and are constantly facing economic, political, environmental and societal changes. That’s why it is prudent to have an alternate career option. An increasing number of employed females are enrolling themselves for foreign language courses or are pursuing their hobbies to generate a substitute of income. Invest your free time over the weekends to enhance your skills that will help you in your current job or give you a chance to earn side income.

Be ready for any challenge: Many a times, we are hard on ourselves and doubt our abilities to succeed. Do not shy away from voicing your opinions. It is alright to fail but not fine to give up.

These few tips will help you navigate your way to success. As Coco Chanel said, “Beauty begins when you decide to be yourself.” Happy being!



Though we are the largest democracy, women in India find themselves under-represented and...

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