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Women told to cultivate leadership qualities

Special Correspondent
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11th Graduation Day of Theivanai Ammal College for Women held

Anandhavalli Mahadevan, former Vice-Chancellor of Mother Teresa Women's University, giving away certificate to a student at the graduation day of Theivannaiammal College in Villupuram on Tuesday. College secretary S. SenthilKumar is in the picture. — Photo: Special Arrangement
Anandhavalli Mahadevan, former Vice-Chancellor of Mother Teresa Women's University, giving away certificate to a student at the graduation day of Theivannaiammal College in Villupuram on Tuesday. College secretary S. SenthilKumar is in the picture. — Photo: Special Arrangement

Though women constitute 50 per cent of the population, only a handful of them occupy leadership positions. For instance, there are over 300 universities in the country but only 13 of them have women Vice-Chancellors, said Anandhavalli Mahadevan, former Vice-Chancellor of Mother Teresa Women's University, Kodaikanal.

She was delivering the 11th Graduation Day address at Theivanai Ammal College for Women here. Ms. Mahadevan said that women had inherent leadership qualities as they could efficiently run the family, inspire the children and also adopt prudential economic measures.

Women were naturally endowed with practical wisdom, learning ability and were good at human relations. Recently the World Bank had conducted an experiment in Madhya Pradesh among men and women to test their practical knowledge.

It asked them to identify the plants put before them and surprisingly 90 per cent of women could name the plants and their flowering seasons correctly, whereas only 20 per cent of men could spot the plants without any doubt.

She noted that though women formed 25 per cent of the work force in the Information Technology sector hardly 4.4 per cent of them could reach the managerial level. She attributed the lesser number of women making to the top level to societal barriers such as marriage, child bearing and so on.

Ms. Mahadevan observed that women enjoyed only one per cent share in global property and 10 per cent of the income, and yet in terms of work their contribution was 60 per cent. She emphatically said that women could transform the situation by nurturing leadership qualities.

The term leadership could be defined as the quality that could motivate or inspire others or exert influence over others to achieve their potential. Leadership could come by virtue of one's position or post, and also through behaviour and personality.

Those who were having the latter could easily assume the mantle of leadership. Courage, confidence, authenticity, timing, passion and empathy were some of the attributes of leadership. With information explosion the environment was now conducive for women to acquire leadership qualities by overcoming all hurdles. If one had clarity in thinking and courage of conviction one could be a successful leader, she said.

Ms. Mahadevan hailed the college management for having provided higher education to women in a rural setting and this bespoke of their vision. On the occasion, she gave away graduation certificates to 622 candidates, of whom seven were university gold medalists and 37 university rank holders.

College Secretary S.Senthil Kumar and Principal Kasturibai Dhanasekaran participated.

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