Panel Discussion on Breaking the Glass Ceiling with Chief Guest, Ms. Usha Uthap, in honor of International Women’s Day


On 15th March, AMCHAM’s Eastern Region, in association with Hyatt Regency Kolkata, organized a chat session for members and guests to celebrate Women’s Day. The event was graced by eminent personalities from all walks of life who shared their experience in their journey to success through a panel discussion. The event was themed “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” Ms. Amada Kidwai, Regional Director – Eastern Region, AMCHAM opened the session by welcoming the audience and panellists and mentioned that International Women’s Day 2017 was celebrated on 8th March with the slogan “Be Bold for Change” and called for a more gender inclusive world.  She said that each one of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.


Mr. K.P. Sengupt, Chairman – Eastern Region, AMCHAM, in his opening address said, “Although we have progressed much in terms of women’s rights from what it used to be earlier, much remains to be covered. In cities, women and men work together, shoulder to shoulder but that is a thin upper crust when we consider the situation on an all India level where there is still infanticide of the girl child, a most heinous crime that goes on in the north of India, in particular. Thus, the awareness for women’s right needs to be spread in the districts and villages of India.” Mr. Sengupta said that women should not be ahead of us, nor behind us but with us.


Ms. Brigit Holms, General Manager, Hyatt Regency, in her welcome address spoke about her journey in the professional world of the hotel industry. The baton was passed on to moderator Ms. Ondrilla Dutt, CEO, Open Doors. The panellists were Ms. Brigit Holm, General Manager Hyatt Regency Kolkata, Ms. Usha Uthup, Chief Guest, Singer/Performer, and recipient of the Padma Shree Award in 2011 and Sister Cyril, an internationally recognized educational innovator and recipient of the Padma Shri in 2007. Sister Cyril also started the Rainbow School where underprivileged children and street children are given free education.  The remaining panellists included Ms. Shyamashree Sen, District Governor Rotary Club of Calcutta Metro City, Ms. Lovey Kapur, baker, chef and entrepreneur of Kookie Jar the best bakery in the city and Dr. Mitul Sengupta, a jazz, tap and katha dancer, also known for her contribution in the field of movement therapy in Kolkata having worked with Autism for more than 10 years to find the impact of movement in healing the problem areas related to autism.


The interactive session was both lively and thought provoking where panellists interacted with the audience for a very interesting dialogue/discussion session.  Ms. Usha Uthup and Ms. Mitul Sengupta enthralled the audience with their singing and dancing. The session was concluded with Ms. Susmita Malik, Executive Committee member giving the vote of thanks.