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
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.”
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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.