This month marks an important milestone for us at the Western Region Chapter of the Indian Women’s Network.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we complete two years of a wonderful journey. In 2014 we came together to lay out the agenda for what we could do to help women in the work place. The answer was a lot! But it was important to identify key focus areas and look at tangible results that we could achieve. Given our goal, we decided to focus on three very critical challenges.
The first is the fact that the biggest challenge in India is not that there aren’t enough women at the
’Top’ across companies. The real problem is that women stand a very small chance of getting there! Nearly 50% of women fall off
the work force between the junior to middle management levels across the board and the reasons are manifold. To address this ‘Leaky Pipeline’ we at IWN decided to use our platform to create a first of its kind mentoring network for students and young professionals where senior corporate members from IWN spent time with students explaining the importance of career planning and a the need to make the right choices. We are happy to say that over the course of the last 2 years our ‘100 hours of change’ program has touched over 15,000 young women across the Western Region.
The second challenge we face as women is the fact that we often don’t focus enough on ourselves. Balancing work life and home leaves very little room for anything else. To help women and enable them to take the right decisions we have used technology to create different modules of webinars covering financial planning and health issues. The programs have been led by different chapters of the IWN Western Region and it has been a wonderful success
Our third focus area has been creating a platform for women to gain confidence & develop themselves as leaders. For this we have tied with global consulting firm KPMG to develop a series of sessions to help women get Board ready. We have also conducted a series of leadership focused webinars and discussions to put the spotlight on the challenges women face & insights women leaders can share.
At a personal level I must say that I have learnt a lot from IWNs journey so far. The network has allowed me to meet and learn from some amazing and inspirational women. It has also made me believe that we can do wonders when we come together!
It is said that a journey of a 100 miles starts with a single step and while we have taken more than a few - we look forward to the rest. After all India is changing and women are increasingly driving this change!
– Ms Mini Menon, Immediate Past Chairwoman, IWN Western Region & Executive Editor, Bloomberg TV
Pallavi Jha is the Chairperson & Managing Director of Dale Carnegie Training India, Walchand PeopleFirst Ltd.
Pallavi has diversified exposure to various management practices in areas such as training and development, HR, consulting and business restructuring, covering a wide range of industries from media, entertainment, technology to the financial services sector and the engineering industry. She is also a prominent voice for women’s role in leadership and the Learning and Development industry.
Earlier, she was Executive Director of India's leading construction company, HCC, an erstwhile Walchand Group company before starting off her own ventures. She also worked briefly in market research at Feedback Ventures and Procter & Gamble.
After her stint with HCC, Pallavi turned her attention to new entrepreneurial ventures. In 2000, riding the dotcom wave, she promoted Cricketnext.com, which went on to become the second largest cricket website in the world and was the official website of the Cricket World Cup in 2003. She successfully sold it to TV 18 Group in 2007.
After the launch of Cricketnext, she trained her eyes on the legacy business of Walchand Capital, a leading NBFC and led the change in its business model into a financial training provider. She eventually transformed it into a Soft Skills training market leader in partnership with Dale Carnegie Training, which led to the rechristening of the company to Walchand PeopleFirst. She has singularly led the India operations into one of the fastest growing regions for Dale Carnegie Training, winning several global awards for training and sales excellence.
She has been a vocal spokesperson for industry associations, and has chaired and moderated panel discussions involving India's leading business leaders. She has played a pioneering role in setting up India's first Finishing School focused on soft -skills training, the missing ingredient in the talent development and employability challenge confronting Indian industry.
She has been a keynote speaker and a panel member in various forums on business, HR, training and leadership. She is an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industry and has held offices of the Chairperson for Maharashtra Council, CII and the Skills Development Committee for CII, Western Region, the National Council on Skills Development, CII and its National Sub-committee on School Education.
Currently she is Chairperson, Indian Women’s Network, Maharashtra, a CII initiative aimed at engaging, enabling and empowering women. Additionally, she has been part of women's groups, which has encouraged first generation women entrepreneurs into taking business initiatives.
Pallavi is an MBA from Syracuse University, New York with a specialization in Marketing and Market Research and a graduate in humanities from St Xavier's College, Mumbai.
Ms. Dipa Prakash, Director, Omega Renk Bearings & SunCarrier Omega is a BE in Electrical Engineering with a Masters in Heavy Electrical Equipments. She worked with BHEL, Bhopal in the capacity of Design Engineer in Traction motors division from 1987 to 1990. Thereafter she joined OMEGA INDUSTRIES where she served in the capacity of General Manager . In 1996 , she was given the responsibility of serving as RENK representative in India looking after sales and service for RENK Supplies into India.
With the background of manufacturing and marketing of bearings, she started OMEGA RENK BEARINGS PVT. LTD, which is the Indian Front of RENK AG. Werk Hannover, Germany, the leading white metal bearing suppliers in the world.
She is the head of Sales and Service and her enthusiasm and customer dealings have been behind the growth of this new enterprise. She is also the Management representative of the ISO team and thus responsible to the maintenance of Quality systems and SAP working of the company. Her competence in the quality control is backed by her qualifications in NDT technology.
Ms Sneha Sohaani, Head, CII Indian Women Network – Western Region
022 2493 1790 - Ext. 412 / 2494 5831(D)
CII launched a special initiative for women, Indian Women Network (IWN), in Madhya Pradesh at Bhopal on Saturday, 7th June 2014. Founder Chairperson was Ms Bhavana Banerjee, Director – Human resources, Training and Placements, VNS Group of Institutions. It is a network of women, for women & by women. Women are the flag bearer of our society. They have risen up from kitchens to take the office of multi nationals and are decision makers. IWN has given a platform for all women to drive their ambitions and motivate them to achieve their dreams. It is a network of women, for women & by women. The idea behind IWN is to create a network of women across the spectrum including working women, entrepreneurs, students and second career women and help them achieve their fullest potential.
The theme for the Network 'I Am The Change' is entwined on three pillars of Engage - to support women throughout their careers by providing opportunities to hone leadership skills through coaching, mentoring and training activities etc. Empower - to support women by providing guidance regarding health, financial, second career opportunities, security aspects etc. Enable - to provide opportunities for women professionals/ students to grow personally and professionally through entrepreneurship opportunities, active involvement in community services, etc.
This year IWN Madhya Pradesh is led by Ms Dipa Prakash, Chair – IWN MP and Director – Omega Renk Bearings Pvt Ltd and Ms Ravisha Merchant, Co-Chair IWN MP and Proprieter – Trivera Designs.
We have done several activities at various locations of Madhya Pradesh with support of our members. An ambitious program of ‘100 Hours of Change’ has got overwhelming response. 100HOC is an ambitious project of WR where the Network has linked women who have had the access to education and financial independence with those who are just venturing out and want to contribute. The idea was to help create real role models who could bring about positive change where it is required most. Senior and mid-level women (IWN mentors) gave 1 hour of time every month to mentor others be it students, working women or those who wanted to come back into the work place. IWN mentors acted as ambassadors and helped women take informed decisions.
Our workshops on Entrepreneurship, Soft Skills and personality development of students and employees of CII member organizations have got recognition in the state. Also, we have been doing Awareness for life programs on continuous health education with DRFHE since we have launched the chapter. We have been doing Finishing schools also to make students industry ready.
Membership engagement is carried out through retreats, sharing of best practices, wishing each other on birthdays, Watsapp group is also created to make communication faster.
Ms Ritu Tiwari, Executive, IWN Madhya Pradesh
CII IWN- Goa Chapter Launched a special initiative for Women in the corporate and business arena, under the leadership of Ms. Parvish Andani Kamat, Chairperson, IWN Goa Chapter and Proprietor, Anka Services and Ms. Asha Machado, Co-Chairperson, IWN Goa Chapter & Quality Head, Syngenta India Ltd., on 27 August 2016 in Panaji-Goa. The idea behind the initiative is to create a network of women across the spectrum and help them achieve their fullest potential. Adopting a theme ‘I am the change’, central to the IWN is the idea of Women being facilitator of change in creating an environment conductive for broad participation and advancement of women in communities that they operate in. The Goa Chapter is elevated by the new Chairperson Ms. Rita Mody Joshi, CEO, Rita Mody Joshi & Associates who took over the Chapter this year.
Ms Divya Varma, Associate, IWN Goa
IWN Gujarat Chapter was launched in June 2014, spreading its wings among career women,enterpreneurs in the growing state of Gujarat. We have a varied member base consisting majorly of working professionals from various corporate and few independent professionals and entrepreneurs.
IWN in the state focus to engage the members through its 3 major task forces namely Learning & Development, Health & Wellbeing and Policy & Advocacy. Under the learning & development, some good sessions and workshops were conducted for the various corporate like Tata Motors, QX KPO, KHS Machinery & institutions like Altus Learning, PDPU etc. for working professionals and students.
Health & Wellbeing of IWN is very important as every woman must be aware of health issues that may have an effect her well-being. Various awareness sessions, talks and webinars, are organized to elaborate the understanding of basic women’s health issues like first aid and basic life support, Menstruation, Menopause, Cancer, PCOD, AUB, Work like harmony, Nutrition and the likes.
IWN Gujarat is focusing on expanding its impact in terms of increasing its reach to new members in the state. By way of understanding member feedback and need we aim to provide value added services with the mission and vision of seeing more and more women taking up leadership positions in their professional careers.
Ms Debleena Basu Dhar, Executive, IWN Gujarat
CII Western Region launched a one-of-a-kind Women Forum giving the stage directly to women! This forum is a special initiative for women in the corporate and business arena across the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa and zones like Pune and Aurangabad coined as Indian Women Network (IWN). Like the phrase goes, it is a network of women, for women and by women.
Indian Women Network – Western Region was launched on 7 March 2014, Mumbai. Through IWN, we hope to provide a platform to discuss issues, opportunities at their work places and learn from each other’s experiences. This network is also extended to students of final year graduation, post-graduation and PhD, to guide and provide them with an opportunity to be mentored by experienced professionals.
The theme of the Network is ‘I Am The Change’ which is entwined on three pillars of :
Engage – to support women throughout their careers by providing opportunities through skill enhancement trainings, coaching, mentoring, etc.
Empower – to support women by providing guidance regarding health, financial, second career opportunities, security aspects etc.
Enable – to provide opportunities for women professionals/ students to grow personally and professionally through entrepreneurship opportunities, active involvement in community services, etc.
Key Interventions :
IWN WR actively engages with members through webinars, workshops, seminars and in house sessions on Financial Planning, Legal, self-defense, POSH Session, health and well being and building skills and many more topics.
Nearly 50% of women fall off the work force between the junior to middle management levels across the board and the reasons are manifold. To address this ‘Leaky Pipeline’ CII WR IWN unveiled an ambitious program ‘100 Hours of Change’ – as an attempt to create the biggest pool of women mentors who can help students and other women rise to their full potential in their careers.
“100 Hours of Change” the flagship initiative of IWN WR aims to create a platform which offers first of its kind mentoring network for students and young professionals where senior corporate members from IWN spent time with students explaining the importance of career planning and the need to make the right choices. The idea is to help create real role models who can bring about positive change where it is required most. Senior and mid-level women (IWN mentors) will give 1 hour of time every month to mentor - be it students, working women or those who want to come back into the work place. Under this program, the mentors will address senior students, junior level women employees and women who want to come back into the workplace.
Ms Sneha Sohaani, Executive Officer, IWN Maharashtra
022 2493 1790 - Ext. 412 / 2494 5831(D)
IWN Pune Chapter was launched on 20th June 2014.
Ms Sonam Singh, Executive, IWN Pune
020 66075800/01 (B) / 66075812(D)
IWN Aurangabad Chapter was launched on 16th September 2016.
Ms Sneha Sohaani, Executive Officer, IWN Aurangabad
022 2493 1790 - Ext. 412 / 2494 5831(D)