A brief­case and a baby

Women alumni, be­long­ing to the In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ahmed­abad (IIMA), got to­gether to ad­dress women’s is­sues in the cor­po­rate world. gives you more on this ini­tia­tive and speaks to some of the most suc­cess­ful cor­po­rate women in India to know the

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - THE STORY - Tanushree Bha­tia

The In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ahmed­abad, formed a Spe­cial In­ter­est Group (SIG), com­pris­ing its women alumni, to dis­cuss and de­bate the is­sues faced by women in the cor­po­rate world. The first such meet­ing of this group was held re­cently in Mumbai, where nearly 75 women alumni dis­cussed the typ­i­cal is­sues that mid-level women face in India. Some of these in­clude com­ing back to the work­force after child­birth, mid-ca­reer tran­si­tions, net­work­ing in cor­po­rate world, men­tor­ship for women en­trepreneurs, and tak­ing se­nior lead­er­ship roles. This group of women has de­cided to help the in­sti­tute un­der­take fo­cussed re­search, de­sign cour­ses, of­fer work­shops and men­tor­ing sup­port.

Prof Rakesh Bas­ant, Chair­per­son, IIMA alumni ex­plained: “The idea is to lever­age alumni to cre­ate in­no­va­tive learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties on cam­pus for both fac­ulty and stu­dents by de­vel­op­ing women fo­cused case stud­ies, un­der­tak­ing re­search on is­sues re­lat­ing to women and man­age­ment, evolv­ing cri­te­ria to rank cor­po­rates on their women in­clu­sive poli­cies and de­sign­ing cour­ses and work­shops.”

He added: “We have floated nearly 15 such groups in var­i­ous areas that in­clude en­trepreneur­ship, health­care, ed­u­ca­tion, real es­tate, tech­nol­ogy etc. This has cre­ated a lot of en­ergy among our alumni who want to con­trib­ute to the in­sti­tute’s well be­ing. We also have a Women Stud­ies Cen­ter so the is­sues that crop up dur­ing such meets can be di­rected to the cen­ter to un­der­take de­tailed re­search.”

Ac­cord­ing to IIMA of­fi­cials, the kind of sug­ges­tions that came for­ward dur­ing the meet held at Mumbai was fas­ci­nat­ing. “One of the sug­ges­tion was to ask com­pa­nies, who come for cam­pus place­ments, to re­veal what they do for women em­ploy­ees as part of their PPT.

Also, there has been no sys­tem­atic doc­u­men­ta­tion on such is­sues, in­clud­ing what hap­pens when women man­agers come back to the work­force after child­birth; how many with­draw them­selves or change ca­reer path, etc,” in­formed Dr Bas­ant.

Bhar­gavi Ra­machan­dran, PGPX class of 2009, told that the spe­cial in­ter­est groups will serve as a plat­form to con­nect the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers — women alumni, fac­ulty, cur­rent stu­dents, the Alma mater — on mat­ters of re­search, ac­tion and col­lec­tive in­ter­est. “Some areas we have iden­ti­fied are men­tor­ing and role mod­el­ing sup­port, busi­ness build­ing and men­tor­ship for women en­trepreneurs, the un­der­tak­ing of re­search to sup­port fur­ther ac­tion on is­sues faced by women in the work­place, man­age­ment of mid-ca­reer tran­si­tions and pro­fes­sional growth as they move into the se­nior lead­er­ship levels in the cor­po­rate world.”

An­other alumni, Karen Ro­drigues, said, “This is an ex­cel­lent ini­tia­tive to en­cour­age net­work­ing among IIMA women alumni, women fac­ulty, staff and women stu­dents. Go­ing for­ward, we hope that this plat­form will help in iden­ti­fy­ing and re­solv­ing con­cerns fac­ing women in the in­dus­try and en­cour­age col­lab­o­ra­tion for men­tor­ing ef­forts, en­tre­pre­neur­ial and re­search re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.”

DNA Money gets you sto­ries of 9 top women from the cor­po­rate world

An HR needs to make sure that ev­ery­one is treated equally. When firms se­gre­gate in terms of gen­der, many is­sues crop up. Amit Pande, Dis­cover your strengths and hone them well, and work hard.

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