IIT Madras Launches ‘Women Leading IITM’ Program

IIT Madras Launches ‘Women Leading IITM’ Program

A $2 MillionEndowment willbe raised with the support of Alumni & CSR Grants from Corporates and would be used to fund projects to recruit, develop& nurture women faculty, researchers and students

Hummingbird News Desk

CHENNAI, 7 MARCH: Indian Institute of Technology Madras has launched the ‘Women Leading IITM’ (WLI) program to boost women leadership in science and technology. The Institute has already made considerable progress on improving the number of women students, faculty, staff and creating opportunities for success. This program will help to build on the progress achieved so far and accelerate further progress.

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The program will make grants each year to accelerate women technologists’ careers as well as provide a supportive environment for women to thrive at IIT Madras. The inaugural grants are set to be issued on 8thMarch 2021 to mark the International Women’s Day celebrations at IIT Madras

The Institute is planning to raise the $2 million endowment by the end of 2021, which will provide annual grants to support programs taken by women students, faculty and researchers. In the first year alone, the Endowment Fund aims to grant Rs. 70 lakhs for various initiatives.

This sum will be raised through Alumni and CSR grants. Corporate and Alumni looking to contribute to this initiative can do so through https://joyofgiving.alumni.iitm.ac.in/endowments/other/women-leading-iitm-endowment

Highlighting the unique aspects of this program, Prof. Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras, said, “The ‘Women Leading IITM’ is a well-thought-out initiative by IIT Madras, with support from IITM Foundation, to nurture, develop and support women talent at IITM. This program will definitely help the women talent of IIT Madras to excel in their fields and come out as S&T leaders.

Elaborating on the vision behind the ‘Women Leading IITM’ (WLI) initiative, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras has made good progress in the last several years in increasing the percentage of women in the student population, from the UG level all the way up to the doctoral programme. The participation of women in the non-teaching staff is also very good, and we are making every effort to close the gap in the case of faculty. The WLI programme will be a powerful catalyst to enable us to reduce the hurdles faced by women students, faculty and staff at IIT Madras to achieve their full potential.

The endowment will provide opportunities for alumni to further gender diversity and support women role models at IIT Madras. Various batches of the alumni have already started supporting with commitments including the Classes of ‘90 and ‘95 reunion gifts and leadership gift from a Distinguished Alumnus as well as Google Alumni.

Sharing his thoughts, Mr. GDS Ramkumar, (B.Tech Class of 1990), Board Member, IIT Madras Foundation, said,“My wife Aruna and I are proud to support this visionary program to increase the representation of women as leaders at IIT Madras. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my B.Tech thesis advisor Prof. Kamala Krithivasan who became the first woman Head of the Department at IIT Madras, leading the Department of Computer Science in 1993. Thanks to what I learnt from her and my teachers at IIT Madras, I graduated with a sense that if I worked hard enough, I could succeed at anything. A special thanks to my 1990 batch classmates for supporting the WLI program to mark our 30th (virtual) reunion.

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