Women in Technology (WiT) India Forum, a collaborative and progressive platform that focuses on increasing women participation in STEM careers, today announced the first edition of their virtual conference ‘WiT Spark’. The virtual event will be held on July 16, 2020, with the core theme of ‘Accelerating the New Normal’. The experience will be hosted on STCH VirtuaLive, a dynamic & immersive online platform by STCH, a leading integrated marketing and experiential events company.
WiT India Forum is led by a prestigious all-women Advisory Council, all of whom are leading names in the field of technology and would be mentoring aspiring women at various stages of their career. Advisory Council members include: Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM; Anna Roy, Senior Advisor, NITI AYOG; Neelam Dhawan, Head, Advisory board, IBM, Board Member Royal Philips, Netherlands, ICICI Bank, India and Yatra Online; Gayatri Yadav, Former President Consumer Strategy & Innovation, STAR India; Kirthiga Reddy, Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers & Former MD of Facebook; and Anuranjita Kumar, who is the Chairperson for WiT India Forum.
WiT was recently in the news for concluding India’s first ever all women hackathon, held completely online. ‘WiT Spark’ is next in line of their efforts to Engage, Enable and Employ women in STEM and continue the dialogue around accelerating the new normal. This dynamic virtual conference will see leaders from the technology & business worlds like Karan Bajwa, MD, Google Cloud; Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM; Neelam Dhawan, Head, Advisory board, IBM, Board Member Royal Philips, Netherlands, ICICI Bank, India and Yatra Online; CP Gurnani, CEO, Tech Mahindra; Ritesh Talapatra, MD, Optum Global Solutions India; Neeraj Agarwal, Chairman, APAC, Boston Consulting Group; Anna Roy, Senior Advisor, NITI Ayog; Aruna Rao, CEO, Kotak Bank; Farrah Qureshi, CEO Global Diversity Practice LinkedIN; Pankaj Bansal, CEO & Co-Founder, Peoplestrong; Anjali Singh, MD Corporate Bank Operations, Deutsche Bank; Manish Bharti, CEO, UI Path; Aditi Mahadevan, APAC Head, Talent, L&D, CITI and many others engaging in insightful discussions on topics related to self-reliance in the age of technology, upskilling to thrive in the new normal career choices in the world of AI, co-existence of machine & humans, etc. Innovative and inspiring content curated in these special sessions will be experienced through a state of the art virtual platform powered by STCH VirtuaLive.
Commenting on the Forum, Anuranjita Kumar, Chairperson, WiT India Forum said, “If India is going to be a significant contributor to the creation of a new normal, it will have to rely on women being equal partners. Gender disparity is still a concern in the industry with women representing only 1% percent in the C-suite level. The WiT Forum aims to takes this discussion to a larger, more inclusive audience, to empower women with resources and opportunities that recognise their abilities.”
Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM said, “India is seen as a leader in STEM and has immense potential when it comes to innovation and talent. As businesses ramp up their infrastructure and technology requirements to survive the COVID wave, it presents an opportunity to tap the intellectual capital that the female workforce can bring in and build a more inclusive culture in the technology sector. My passion to mentor women is what compelled me to be a part of WiT and I urge women to embark on this opportunity to reach out and build a network of friends and mentors that can help them aspire to new heights. The so-called glass ceiling is waiting to be shattered.”
Saikumar Chintareddy, Head – Data Solutions, Optum Global Solutions India, who are also the presenting partners for the first edition of WiT Spark, said, “We at Optum have a unique commitment towards helping people live healthier lives and helping the health system work better for everyone. We firmly believe that to achieve this mission, building a workplace that endorses a truly inclusive & diverse culture is critical. Our collaboration with WiT as the chapter lead for Hyderabad and partners for this event is a step towards bridging the diversity gap in STEM leadership, which cannot be achieved without closing the skill gap. We want to see and make a difference in the number of women working in the technical sector. We are dedicated towards creating a workplace that encourages our diverse workforce and provides them avenues to do their life’s best workSM.”
Initially started as a part of Anuranjita Kumar’s journey with Royal Bank of Scotland, WiT India Forum has seen tremendous leap towards bringing D&I discussions to more inclusive and wider audience. Anuranjita Kumar, Chairperson at WiT is an HR industry veteran with 25 years of experience including senior roles across Asia, North America, and Europe through stints with Royal Bank of Scotland and Citibank.
With an aim to address challenges that the world faces in the post COVID world and to inspire conversations and opportunities that can help accelerate the new normal especially women looking to advance their careers in the STEM space, the event will also see activities like ‘Leadership Connect’, where attendees can listen to and interact with in a live chat with industry experts on many interesting topics and attend action packed ‘Masterclasses’ like one with live hacking and how to secure ourselves from privacy and data breach in the digital world.