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Making Soccer History

Jul/08/2023 / by Team Seema

At only 16-years-old, Mia Bhuta made history as the first Indian-American player to play for team USA in the World Cup.

Every two years, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup brings together the best female soccer players under the age of 17 from across the globe. In 2022, one of the players included Mia Bhuta. At just 16-years-old Bhuta made history as part of the U-17 United States Women’s Youth National Team, at the U-17 Women’s World Cup which was held last October in India, by becoming the first woman of Indian origin to represent the United States in the World Cup at any level.

Now a freshman at Stanford, Bhuta was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father emigrated to the United States from Mumbai at the age of 16. At the same age, Bhuta made her debut in the USNYT’s first match against India. The U.S. won 8-0 with Bhuta scoring the 8th and final goal against India. The goal even caught the attention of U.S. Women’s Soccer legend Megan Rapinoe, who congratulated Bhuta on social media.

In a pre-match press conference, Bhuta discussed the importance of her Indian heritage. “When I heard the stories of my father and other Indians who wanted to achieve more in life, the values of hard work, commitment to education and sport as well as entrepreneurial spirit came out again and again. My Indian heritage taught me to have these values deep inside me and I think that this is the reason why I was such a dreamer, and I believe that regardless of where I’m from or what the circumstances are, I can achieve anything.”

At the conclusion of the press conference, Bhuta and two teammates along with Indian defender Astam Oraon distributed soccer gear to young players from Odisha.

“I’m an Indian girl myself living her own dream and the girls here need to believe in themselves 100 per cent, like I do. So many of them have great potential and that’s why I want to do everything that’s humanly possible to inspire them to follow their dreams.”

Watching the World Cup 

Bhuta is on the qualifying roster for 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. But, if you need your soccer fix sooner, you can watch the best female soccer athletes from across the globe compete when the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks-off later this month. Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the 2023 Women’s World Cup will include 32 teams and 64 matches across 10 stadiums.

[STORY 2]

Bangladesh Leads Gender Equity in South Asia

A new report by the World Economic Forum show the country jumping up global rankings

When it comes to gender parity among South Asian countries, one country continues to make big strides toward equity. According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report 2023 conducted annually by the World Economic Forum, Bangladesh has achieved a gender parity score of 71.4%, based on ranking criteria that includes economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. The scores led the country to jump 12 places in the global rankings, up to 59th from 71st in the 2022 index. 

The country continually scores high due to its political empowerment scores, ranking 7th in the entire world. In fact, Bangladesh has had a women-led head of state for more than 29 years of the last 50, holding the record for the longest duration in the world.

While South Asia continues to lag behind other regions in the economic participation and opportunity part of the index, there are promising signs of progress. The region rose in this index by 1.4%, attributed in large part to Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, which all showed positive movement toward parity in both labor-force participation and earned income. 

Gender Equity Scores Across South Asia

Bangladesh 71.4%

Bhutan 68.2%

Sri Lanka 66.3%

Nepal 65.9%

Maldives 64.9%

India 64.3%

Pakistan 57.5%

Afghanistan 40.5%

Source: Global Gender Gap Index, World Economic Forum

Getting On Board

A new report shows women making gains in board seats among the Fortune 100 

Women are finally making progress when it comes to board representation. A new report by Deloitte and the Alliance for Board Diversity found that women and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups reached a high of 46.5% percent of board seats among Fortune 100 companies in 2022, up from 32.1% a decade ago. The percentage of board seats held by Asian and Pacific Islanders has continued to grow as well, seeing an increase of 23.5% from 2020. 

This growth in representation isn’t just good for women, but is a smart move for any company’s bottom line. “Today companies are working in a global market where the client base and the customer base are more diverse,” says Ritu Bhasin, DEI consultant and author of We’ve Got This: Unlocking the Beauty of Belonging. “We need people who can bring a very diverse lens as it relates to growing the success of a business.” 

Top 10 Companies

Here are the Fortune 500 boards with the greatest representation of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups: 

  1. The Kroger Co.
  2. General Motors Company
  3. HP, Inc.
  4. Dow, Inc.
  5. Paramount Global
  6. Eli Lilly and Company
  7. CBRE Group, Inc.
  8. Broadcom, Inc.
  9. Rite Aid Corporation
  10. Aflac Incorporated

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