ARTESIA, CA – The National Federation of Indian American Associations held its National Women’s Conference 2021 at Guru Restaurant here Dec. 26, which not only brought Indian American community leaders together but encouraged them to share their life journey that led to the uplift of their own lives and motivated others to see a different perspective.
Organized by Pooja Thomre, convener of the NFIA conference and treasurer of NFIA; Ajoy Dube, president of NFIA; and Vasu Pawar, CEO/founder of Step2StepUp Inc. and incoming Regional Vice President of NFIA, the conference’s theme was “The Myth of the Illusionary Glass Ceiling.” Several speakers had divergent views on this topic, according to a press release, such as Ms. Khandelwal, who expressed the fact that she saw no gender gap bias, while Kamini Khare, the founder of IASC, and a strong community leader said she did experience prejudice whenever she intended to purchase a property.
Rini Ghosh, president of the Vedanta International Cultural Center, shared her own personal experience, relating that she was asked to sell their business after her husband passed away as society did not see a woman capable of transitioning. But she said she stood strong and proved them wrong.
Dr. Manorama Gupta, president and founder of the Global Peace Foundation; Vijay Patil, founder of SMAP; and Kewal Kanda, past president of GOPIO and an NFIA executive, all agreed that the gender gap bias is something that starts in your home. If men and women were brought up equally in their families, it would have obliterated even the thought that women had to be treated differently, noted the release.
Another topic addressed was “Evolution of Technology as a Game-changer,” opening many doors for women in mainstream fields. Chief guest Ashok Madan said he clearly saw male domination in the real estate industry, said the release, but now one sees so many successful women in real estate.
Keynote speaker Shrina Kurani, a graduate of UC Riverside, said that with her first engineering project with NASA, and running for Congress, she is a fierce believer in the power of innovation, and with her experience attending United Nations conferences on climate change, she has witnessed women coming to the forefront.
At the event, NFIA also presented awards to outstanding individuals for service to the community