May 15, 2013 • By

Celebrating ‘Women’s Day’ in India

At a time when crimes against women are increasing in India, women employees at the General Mills office in Mumbai received this empowering message:

“You have the power to create, nurture, and mold lives. Your voice may be soft, but it carries a sense of determination. Your shoulders may be delicate, but they can carry the burden of a family with ease. Don’t underestimate your strengths and abilities. Be proud of being YOU!”

The message was at the heart of a recent Women’s Day celebration at our office in India.

I was one of more than 230 women employees who attended the event organized by the Women in Global Business Solutions core team in India. The celebration focused on affirming the company’s commitment to the safety, equality and progression of women in the workplace.

The event followed a series of highly publicized assaults on women and came as the Indian Parliament considers a measure to impose harsher penalties on those who attack women. Even riding on public transit can be an unpleasant experience for women in India.

The event also provided an opportunity to educate women on self-defense. Mickey Mehta, India’s leading holistic health and fitness guru, taught us some simple, yet powerful, techniques to help protect ourselves.

Many women shared personal experiences and offered tips to one another during a discussion on the issues facing women in India.

The program was informative and fun. It included a number of entertaining activities, such as 60-second challenges and quiz questions about famous women around the world.

The celebration concluded quietly with two minutes of prayer for all women who have been victims of violence.

I have always felt that General Mills encourages a philosophy of empowering women in every possible way – whether it’s recruiting, developing and helping women grow in their careers, or providing work-life balance.

It’s so wonderful to work for a company that values women and that has so many support groups, such as the Women’s Network, Women Across Finance, Sales Women’s Forum, and Women in Supply Chain, to name just a few.

The Women’s Day Celebration is one example that shows how General Mills truly values the women who work here.