Mumbai: Forbes India, on March 4, launched the ‘W-Power 2020’ list, featuring 20 women leaders from diverse fields including business, law, entertainment, science, sports, and social impact. The uniting factor is that the women are all self-made. They’re audaciously ambitious, unafraid of bending gender norms and they serve as models of possibility.
To arrive at the list, Forbes India’s reporters drew up a long list of 45 names based on primary and secondary research. This list was shared with a stellar jury comprising Ireena Vittal, Meena Ganesh, Naina Lal Kidwai, Padmaja Ruparel, and Vinita Bali, who chose the final 20 by ascertaining the listees’ impact and contribution to their fields. To be sure, this is a qualitative selection, not a ranking.
“Stereotypes are what Forbes India enjoys shattering, and the W-Power annual special provides an ideal platform to do just that. We’ve identified 20 women who’ve made good, on their own terms,” says Brian Carvalho, editor, Forbes India.
On the cover of the issue, we have HSBC’s chief India economist Pranjul Bhandari, Dasra co-founder Neera Nundy, filmmaker Ashwini Iyer Tiwari and Padma Parthasarathy who leads consulting for Tech Mahindra globally. These women have made it to the top of their professions and remain committed to not just pursuing excellence but also making a difference.
Also on the list is sprinter Dutee Chand, one of India’s most decorated sportspersons who was banned from competition on the grounds of hyperandrogenism but fought the world athletics body and got her ban overturned; There is Karuna Nundy, the spunky supreme court lawyer known for her role in framing India’s anti-rape bill and for tirelessly fighting for the victims of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy; Ankiti Bose who has built a near-unicorn with her fashion startup Zilingo; Poorna Malavath, who made history by becoming the youngest person in the world to summit Mt Everest at age 13; and actor extraordinaire Vidya Balan.
This list is timed just ahead of Women’s Day, which falls on 8th March.