Special Feature, Wolfgang Will in his own words
I’d like to begin with a story from my childhood. As I was growing up, my mother told me: Son, you will soon be a young man, and you will need to be strong to face the challenges of this world. But always remember, the secret to success is to be strong like a woman. For a woman’s strength lies on the inside, in the mind. That is her secret weapon. It is a lesson I have carried with me in life. And today, in the company of such powerful women, I can see how true this is.
The Digital Women’s Awards celebrate this inner strength. And this success story has 3 parts to it:
The digital platform provides a level playing field for everybody. It has created a new world of business. One in which, as the winners here today will confirm, a woman has equal power as any man.
Over the past seven years, Lufthansa has built a special platform for young entrepreneurs called Runway to Success. This year, in our biggest season ever, the winner was a young woman! Not only that, of the 50,000 contestants there were many women entrepreneurs who were in digital businesses. There has never been a dearth of women entrepreneurs in lifestyle businesses like beauty, fashion, gems & jewels, education. But they have been mostly outside the radar of new-age technologies and businesses. But today, as we can see, with the growth of the digital platform, all that has changed completely.
Indian women have been breaking stereotypes in all fields. In the digital sphere, we are discovering brilliance, ambition and achievement among women, which is bringing about a big change in business where women are a growing force. Nasscom confirms that there has been a 50 per cent growth in women entrepreneurs in just one year. By the way, in Lufthansa too we are seeing the growing power of women. We have seen an 83% increase in women pilots between 2005-15. That’s more than 500 women pilots!
But it is not just a numbers game. The amazing energy, confidence and leadership we are seeing in women is changing the game for everyone.
A NEW INDIA
The outside world knows that India’s greatest strength is its young population. On the inside, we know something else: That its secret strength is the new Indian woman with her amazing power.
India’s greatest strength today lies in all of you. It is said that a strong woman is unstoppable after she realizes her potential. I truly believe this applies perfectly to India today.
India is unstoppable because its women have realized their potential. I remember Niti Aayog CEO and former DIPP secretary Amitabh Kant mentioned that India can grow at not just 8-9% but beyond 11% if women are part of the growth story.
For us at Lufthansa, it is an honour and privilege to partner with this new force.
In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with words from the famous song by James Brown: It’s a man’s world. Most people think it celebrates a strength of a man. But listen further and the singer says: This is a man’s world. But it would be nothing, nothing…Without a woman or a girl.”
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