Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Women in Tech and Finance

Alpesh Patel Wednesday 08th February 2023 05:20 EST

As Chair of City Hindus Network and President of the India League ( I was proud to host this week in Parliament alongside City Sikhs Network a Women in Tech and Finance event. We were sold out. Committee room 14 – the largest in Parliament hit capacity and we had a wait list of 500. So we will do more such events. I even live streamed it to my 100k followers on TikTok (

I don’t want to leave ‘any woman behind’ who took to the time and trouble to learn and attend and has the desire to be a fellow entrepreneurial traveler. 

'So our mothers and grandmothers, more often than not, anonymously handed down the creative spark, the seed of the flower, they themselves never hoped to see.' And that is why all of you keep on fighting. That is why all of you keep on leading and working toward a better day for all of us. You do it so that our daughters and granddaughters - and just as importantly, our sons and grandsons - can have the opportunities that many of us only dreamed of." – Michelle Obama, White House reception celebrating 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, March 8, 2011

Issue: Studies show women tend to be less confident in several important business activities. One is in networking. The reasons for this are sometimes to do with gender, sometimes to do with societal, external factors. For instance, many complained about business networking events with 80% male attendees. This made it intimidating to some in a way it would not be for a man. 

Some solutions: Use such events as a training ground for hone up your skills. Like an advanced networking course. So change the attitude. Take a male friend or colleague with a script to be your introducer – being introduced or having someone whose job is to clear the path for you is a ‘power move’ and perceptions of power matter. 

Issue: Informal networking does still occur at bars, clubs, golf courses, and to a lesser extent than before ‘gentleman’s clubs’. What if those are not your scene?

Some solutions: Before the decision is made where to go on an evening – set the agenda with a place you’ve tentatively booked – take the lead. If this is not viable, do the one-to-one with friendly males and targets you are looking to do business with to ensure you have to some extent before the informal networking, and after it set up pre-meetings and post-meetings. Raise the issue with HR, that an inclusive policy for diversity should ensure education of staff that client entertaining should be at places comfortable to both genders and at times suitable to working parents.

"What's the worst that could happen? Everyone turned me down; big deal." – J. K. Rowling

“There is time for work, and time for love. That leaves no other time.´- Coco Chanel

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter