The Institute Honours Its Women Alumnae in A One-of-a-kind Event
IIT Bombay honoured and celebrated the exceptional achievements of 30 of its women alumnae with a special event, the ‘IIT Bombay Gen Zero Women Initiative,’ held at the IIT Bombay campus on Friday, September 23, 2022. The Institute felicitated its women alumnae who represent the initial years of IIT Bombay since its establishment in 1958. A coffee table book ‘Her Story – IIT Bombay Gen Zero Women’ and a podcast series highlighting the inspiring journeys of these accomplished women from diverse fields such as research, business, academia, technology, public service, and more were launched during this inspiring occasion.
Padma Shri awardee and former captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team, Ms. Diana Edulji, and Founder & CEO, Nykaa, Falguni Nayar, presided over the event. The occasion culminated with a lively and spirited Q&A session as the young, curious, and bright minds of IIT Bombay interacted with Ms. Edulji, as well as the Institute’s women alumnae achievers.
IITB’s distinguished alumnus, Mr. D.C. Agrawal, who has sponsored the entire initiative joined the celebrations, as well. The Institute is indebted to his generous support, passion, and foresight toward gender equality which was the starting point for this initiative. While IIT Bombay has always been at the forefront of the gender equality movement, the evening ensured that the IITB would be even more committed to promoting women empowerment at the Institute.
A proud Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director, IIT Bombay, said, “With their extraordinary accomplishments, our alumnae have inspired the present and future generations at the Institute to break more glass ceilings and we are extremely proud of their dedication, commitment, and resilience. The Institute is dedicated to the cause of gender equality and hopes that more women will be inspired by these trailblazing alumnae and pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. Also, this initiative is the brainchild of our alumnus, Mr. D.C. Agrawal, and I thank him for his generous support. I also want to thank Ms. Edulji and Ms. Nayar for joining us today for this transformative event. Now more than ever, IIT Bombay is determined to produce women leaders who will make our country and the world proud.”
Having broken many glass ceilings herself, Ms. Falguni Nayar was extremely gratified with the event and said, “It is heartening to see the progress we have collectively made towards true equality – at the workplace and everywhere else. I believe women can do anything they set their minds to. Don’t let others dictate your path. Trust your gut and take calculated risks. Take the plunge into whatever it is you choose to do at whatever point of your life. No matter what the switch, your previous experience will always bring with it transferable skills and connections that you can use as stepping stones.”
Equally elated at IITB’s Gen Z initiative, Ms. Diana Edulji, who made her way in what had been traditionally a male bastion said, “For the longest time, cricket was perceived as a gentlemen’s game. As someone who loved cricket, I had to break many barriers and find my own way to get past that mindset. Since then, my aim has been to encourage and support more women to pursue the sport. It is only when we all come together – collectively as a society – that we will be able to bridge the gender disparities that exist globally, not just in sports but in various other fields as well. The ‘IIT Bombay Gen Zero Initiative’ celebrates the power of women and is a cause that holds a special place in my heart. I firmly believe that more of these initiatives will encourage women to believe that nothing is impossible and allow them to follow their dreams.”
IITB alumnus, Mr. D. C. Agrawal, was overwhelmed by the successful launch of the event and said, “It is important that we make the IIT Bombay women alumnae ‘visible to the world’ and learn from their unique experiences, opportunities taken, challenges overcome, and accomplishments achieved. IIT Bombay can only become the top Institute in the world when we fully recognise the experiences and achievements of not only our male graduates but also all our women graduates.”
Coffee Table Book: Her Story – IIT Bombay Gen Zero Women
The coffee table book ‘Her Story – IIT Bombay Gen Zero Women’ profiles the Institute’s 30 women alumnae who have not just broken the glass ceiling and created a path for themselves but also paved the way for the next generation of women engineers to come. A book like ‘Her Story – IIT Bombay Gen Zero Women’ is timely and essential. While the world slowly takes strides toward gender equality, there is still a significant divide in many fields, including within STEM in academia.
The book was thoughtfully curated by Ms. Rashmi Bansal, who penned the inspirational stories of IITB’s women alumnae. The book illustrates the journeys taken by these women over the past few decades by having in-depth and one-on-one conversations with each of them. It documents their lives – from the successes and challenges they faced on campus to their subsequent professional and personal lives. It also explores how their educational journeys and networking experiences on campus, especially the personal connections with their hostel batch mates, enriched their lives and made them into the powerful women they are today.
IIT Bombay is extremely proud of all its illustrious alumnae celebrated during the event, and thankful to all the esteemed women dignitaries who graced the occasion and supported the ‘IIT Bombay Gen Zero Women Initiative.’
Click the video below for candid takes by a current woman faculty member at IIT Bombay and two women students from the Institute on the Gen Z Initiative and their own journeys as women in STEM:
For more details on the 30 women profiled and their journeys, learn more here:
IIT Bombay and IITBHF, Boston Chapter, host Interactive Session
IIT Bombay held an alumni interactive session in Boston, USA, in collaboration with the IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation, Boston Chapter, on May 19, 2022. A significant number of alumni members between 1966 and 2021 attended the session.
IIT Bombay alumnus, Mr. Rajendra Gandhi, endows scholarship for women students
IIT Bombay alumnus, Rajendra Gandhi (B.Tech., Metallurgical Engineering and Material Sciences, 1971) has graciously committed to a scholarship endowment for women students at IIT Bombay.
Taking a Break from a Life of Service:
Some of IIT Bombay’s alumni opt for a career in the Indian Civil Services after graduating from the Institute. It is a matter of immense pride for the Institute that they are serving the nation by way of governance and making high-impact policy decisions that benefit our country.