BOB 2020 – A report

Amidst the wary and unpredictable year of 2020, Working Mother and Avtar Best of the Best Conference was successfully conducted on 5th and 6th November 2020. Albeit virtual, the two-day event was able to carry on the grand and inspiring legacy of one of India’s most-awaited awards conference on Diversity and Inclusion. The theme for the 4th edition of BoB was Ignite Potential.

With an array of entertainment segments, discussions, and workshops, both the days of the web conclave saw the participation of D&I leaders, CEO/CXO, HR leaders, and D&I enthusiasts. And like every year, the highlight of this year was the set of profound speakers from around the globe. Their exchange of insightful and rich knowledge took the virtual stage of BoB by storm.

Day 1

The inaugural day commenced with a graceful Bharatanatyam performance by Meghna Krishnan, which culminated in the lighting of the lamp. Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President of Avtar, delivered the welcome address along with the grand announcement of India’s first of its kind jobs portal for people belonging to all strands of diversity.

In his inaugural address, Mr Michael E. McNamara, Executive Vice-President, Chief Information Officer, Target, laid out the ground rules of leadership to embed diversity and inclusion into an organization. One of the key segments of Day 1 was a CEO panel moderated by Dr Saundarya. The four eminent guests in the discussion were Mr. Porush Singh, Division President South Asia, Mastercard, Ms Vibha Padalkar, MD & CEO, HDFC Life, Mr Sridhar Venkatesh, VP, MD, GSK, and Mr Rajiv Memani, Chair, EY Global Emerging markets committee, EY India Chairman, and Regional Partner.

Further, into the evening, the delegates were directed to sub rooms for BoB Exclusives and breakout sessions in which industry leaders, D&I strategists, and HR leaders shared the best inclusive practices and diverse initiatives undertaken by their organizations.

Towards the end of the day, the winners and the choice of the jury for the Male Ally Legacy Award (MALA) and Puthri Award for Excellence in CSR categories were recognized and awarded for their exemplary contributions towards increasing women workforce participation.

Mr Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO, Genpact, graced the virtual stage of BoB2020 by delivering the closing keynote that was followed by networking.

Day 2

The second day of #BOB2020 unveiled with the welcome address by Dr Subha Barry, President, Working Mother Media. 

Mr C. P. Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra, addressed the delegates with a straight from the gut talk on his journey of discovering inclusion.

Day 2 of BoB2020 also, was an amalgamation of extensive BoB Exclusives and breakout sessions. In addition to these, a Masterclass on Diversity Intelligence by Dr Claretha Hughes gained mass attraction. Before moving on to the main event of the day, Dr Saundarya showcased a presentation of the growth journey of Best Companies for Women in India over the five years 2016-2020. By the end of the day, the much-awaited awards to recognize the stellar companies that have made it to this prestigious list of Best Companies for Women in India 2020 were given away.

Ms Carla Grant Pickens, CDO, IBM delivered the final note of the day.

Day 2 of BoB2020 came to a conclusion with stand up comedienne Kajol Srinivasan’s performance.

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