Ambassador Neelam Deo is the Former Consul General of India in New York. She has a Masters degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and has taught in Kamala Nehru College, Delhi University. Ambassador Deo is a career diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), with over three decades in the Indian Diplomatic Corps. She has been India's Ambassador to Denmark and Ivory Coast, with concurrent accreditation to Sierra Leone, Niger & Guinea. Prior to her assignment in New York, she led the Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar Division in the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, dealing with India's overall relations with these countries. Ambassador Deo has also worked in India's Diplomatic Missions in Washington DC, Bangkok and Rome. She is married to Dr. Pramod Deo, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service who is currently the Chairman of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission in Mumbai, and they have one daughter.
Question: How have women been impacted by the new Indian economy?
Neelam Deo: You know, technology. Technology is a friend of women in business. So, you look at India and you will see that in the IT industry, the BPOs where which began and which are quite well known here, a large number of the employees are women, and where is it began as a phenomenon of the metropolitan cities, you know, Delhi or Bangalore or Mumbai. In fact, you find now that the most dynamic companies like Satyam in Andhra Pradesh are recruiting girls from [IB] cities and even going and looking for people and locating their BPOs in the villages. And this is tremendous, you know, it changes the equation between a girl and her family, between the way a girl is perceived by a society, even in the most traditional aspects of it. There are sectors like market research, in fact, dominated by women in India, and that’s new and exciting for us. A lot of women in media, you know, television, print media. In fact, in area that in my opinion, a lot of great journalists have evolved who are women.
You don’t find as yet many women in industry. You don’t find many women in boardrooms, but you don’t find many women in boardrooms anywhere in the world. And we, and the same applies to us, we have a lot to catch up in. But, you know, women are ubiquitous in the medical field, in as lawyers, all of these areas. So, women are grasping the new opportunities and certainly technology. With the BPOs was a big change, a change that you could feel as it was happening.
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