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Ms Divya Kumat featured in one of the leading US magazines, Diversity & the Bar

Jul 20, 2018 | Washington DC (USA) | diversityandthebardigital

INDIA HAS A WIDE RANGE OF CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY. BUT IN RECENT YEARS MUCH OF THE FOCUS ON INDIA INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY HAS BEEN CONCENTRATED ON GENDER RELATIONS AND THE WAY THAT WOMEN ARE TREATED. HOW DOES THIS IMPACT FEMALE LAWYERS?

India has one of the younger populations on the planet and is therefore a high growth economy as identified by the International Monetary Fund. However a wide range of research has identified the fact that India’s economic growth could be further heightened with greater participation in the workplace by women.

India’s first woman lawyer was Cornelia Sorabju who entered the profession in 1924. As early as 1916 challenges in the courts caused the judgment that there was no reason that women could not practice law, although at that point the judges in question were too cautious to go as far as saying a woman could actually be a lawyer. However, the growth of India as a global economy and the rise in global corporations looking to India for reliable, well-educated talent and hoping to tap into India’s growing middle classes mean there’s a premium in talent, which many are increasingly looking to women lawyers to satisfy. Legal headhunters report an increase in requests to hire women lawyers particularly in the mid to senior levels. Part of this is the effects of globalization and companies looking to implement worldwide adoption of better quotas for gender parity in their workforces.

Divya Kumat, EVP Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary of Datamatics, says that any challenges along her career pathway have been not of the gender bias kind. “I believe challenges are all in the mindset, and irrespective of gender, every successful professional has faced his or her challenges in some way or the other. I would not categorize my challenges in the category of gender bias. Today, the company where I have been working for over 14 years has given me unfathomable respect and an excellent platform for professional growth.”