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Sheena Sachdeva|Nov 28, 2023
NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has launched the ‘Women Leading IITM’ (WLI) programme to boost women’s leadership in science and technology, a statement from the institute said.
The major objectives of the programme will be conducting outreach programmes in other institutes and recruit women post-doctoral candidates, visiting women faculty, as well as full-time women faculty. Special focus will be on departments with lower women faculty numbers.
The programme will provide grants every year to help women technologists advance their careers and support them even in matters like childcare and travel for small children.
The inaugural grants will be issued today, to mark the International Women’s Day 2021 celebrations at the institute.
“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”, said Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras. The plans is to raise $2 million endowment by the end of 2021.
This will be done through annual grants to support programmes taken by women students, faculty and researchers.
“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”, said Ligy Philip, dean (planning), IIT Madras.
In the first year alone, the endowment fund aims to grant Rs 70 lakhs for various initiatives.
This sum, the statement said will be raised through alumni and CSR grants.
The programme aims to deliver a new and better mentorship programme for women faculty as well as to encourage leadership amongst women faculty like that of heads of a department, as chairpersons, deans and directors.
It will further solve hurdles to career growth for a woman faculty member like that of a grant to pay for small-child travel while attending a conference, or a grant to provide for better child care while at work for children up to age five.
The programme will also include initiatives that provide physical and emotional safety for women. It will further create opportunities for women faculty and postdoctoral fellows to do interdisciplinary work that can yield international research recognition.
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