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Navratna – the nine gems: Illuminating enablers, barriers and vignettes of South Asian women leaders

Edwina Pio (Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
Rob Kilpatrick (Traidmission, Auckland, New Zealand)
Mark Le Fevre (Department of Management, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 2 October 2017

282

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate enablers, barriers and vignettes of South Asian women leaders and possible paths to increase the influence and leadership of women in South Asia.

Design/methodology/approach

Navratna, the nine precious gems of ancient Indian literature are used to frame reflections on South Asian women leaders, and the Global Gender Gap Report of 2015 is used to give context to five barriers and five enablers to women’s leadership in the region. Illustrative vignettes of South Asian women in leadership roles are presented. These vignettes have been selected based on a case study approach of South Asian women leaders.

Findings

Five enablers that may help empower women towards greater leadership and influence are proposed: involving men in what should change, greater economic participation by women, supportive family, country- and context-specific leadership training, and finally grassroots advocacy, mentoring and role models.

Originality/value

The paper shines new light on women leaders whose sparking excellence in their specific field illuminate paths for others to follow and thus contributes to promoting research on multifaceted women leaders in South-Asia.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section on Gender, generation and leadership: insights from South Asia.

The authors would like to thank the editors of the special issue to contribute to an invited piece on a topic of crucial importance. The authors would also like to express gratitude to the authors’ families and the wonderful women in the authors’ lives and the fabulous men who support women and facilitate their leadership.

Citation

Pio, E., Kilpatrick, R. and Le Fevre, M. (2017), "Navratna – the nine gems: Illuminating enablers, barriers and vignettes of South Asian women leaders", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 380-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAJBS-05-2016-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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