IndiGo ties up with Rahul Bose’s biopic Poorna to celebrate girl power
Through this association, IndiGo seeks to honour the achievements of Poorna Malavath, the youngest girl in the world to climb Mount Everest, and many other women champions who defy odds to reach their goals.
Poorna, releasing on 31 March 2017, is based on the life story of Poorna Malavath, an Adivasi from Telangana who in 2014, at the age of 13, became the youngest girl in history to climb the Mount Everest. The film encapsulates all the lessons of empowerment of the socially marginalised, gender equality, the importance of education, and how with courage, determination and hard work, a child can achieve anything.

Commenting on the association, Aditya Ghosh, president and whole-time director, IndiGo, said, ‘Her (Poorna’s) exemplary display of determination, self-discipline and physical fitness is an inspiration for all of us. At IndiGo, we believe that women have the power to change any industry and with this belief we have endeavoured to empower women (both employees and communities outside). Our collaboration with Poorna aligns naturally with our ongoing programmes – #GirlPower and #FitToFly – that believe in empowering everyone inside and outside the organisation with better opportunities.’

Samsung India to distribute solar lanterns to 10,000 girl students
Samsung India will distribute 10,000 solar lanterns to girl students of government schools to support gender diversity and the girl child. The selected schools are located in Noida and Gurugram in Delhi-NCR and Sriperumbudur near Chennai. The initiative is being taken up in partnership with CAF India, a not-for-profit organisation.
The idea is that the solar lantern will enable each girl beneficiary to spend more time on their studies, even during power outages. The lanterns, approved by the ministry of new and renewable energy, government of India, are equipped with a solar panel and will come with a three-year product warranty.

‘At Samsung, our aim is to harness the company’s legacy of innovation to positively transform communities and create a better life for people through different initiatives. This initiative is a small step towards helping these young girls grow up to become individual role models,’ said Deepak Bhardwaj, vice president, Samsung India.

Vedanta commits to ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030’
Vedanta, a global diversified natural resources company, has pledged to partake and lead in the United Nations’ ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030’ vision. A signatory to the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) – ‘Equality Means Business’, Vedanta practises and promotes equal employment opportunities. WEPs are produced and disseminated by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact.

‘Hiring women far outpaces that of just diversity and gender inclusion. Women bring unique insights irrespective of the sector. Vedanta has taken the lead in ensuring that women constitute a sizeable number of our workforce; these will only increase in the years to come,’ said Suresh Bose, head, group HR, Vedanta.

Ingersoll Rand enters Paradigm for Parity coalition
Ingersoll Rand joins nearly 40 other companies in the coalition in the pledge to bring gender parity to their respective corporate leadership structures by 2030.

Currently, Ingersoll Rand offers resources designed to engage and support women, including women’s leadership and mentorship programmes. In 2014, Ingersoll Rand established its 2020 Sustainability Goals, including clear targets to attract and retain an increase in the number of women in leadership and professional roles. The company’s Sustainability Goals in this area also align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for gender equality.

‘The Paradigm for Parity coalition furthers our commitment to gender equality and signals to the business community that gender-balanced leadership teams bolster employee engagement and are smart for business,’ Michael W Lamach, chairman and chief executive officer of Ingersoll Rand, said.

As a Paradigm for Parity partner, Ingersoll Rand will implement a comprehensive action plan that complements diversity and inclusion and women’s leadership programmes already underway. Action steps include: a) minimising or eliminating unconscious biases in the workplace; b) significantly increasing the number of women in senior operating roles; c) measuring and communicating progress and results regularly; d) basing career progress on business results and performance and creating culture change for flexible work arrangements; and e) providing sponsors, as well as mentors, to potential women leaders.

‘Even as we get ready to celebrate International Women’s Day, women today represent 46 per cent of entry-level professionals but only 29 per cent of vice presidents and 19 per cent of c-suite executives. Using our comprehensive action plan, we are confident our committed companies will reach gender parity in corporate leadership by 2030 and we are excited to help them achieve this goal,’ Ellen Kullman, co-chair of the Paradigm for Parity coalition, stated.

The Paradigm for Parity, launched in December 2016, is made up of CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members and business academics committed to achieving a new norm in the corporate world: one in which women and men have equal power, status and opportunity. The coalition’s ultimate goal is to achieve full gender parity by 2030, with a near-term goal of women holding at least 30 per cent of senior roles.

Desai Foundation participating in GlobalGiving Girl Fund Campaign to grow Sanitary Napkins Program
The Desai Foundation, which empowers women and children through community programming, is participating in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund Campaign to scale up the organisation’s Sanitary Napkins Program, which strives to provide employment and dignity to women in Gujarat, India, by training them in both manufacturing and distribution of the napkins. Over the next two weeks, Desai Foundation will compete to secure funding for their Sanitary Napkins Program for the remainder of 2017, the objective being to reach 250,000 women and girls.

Under the programme, women are trained to manufacture high-quality, low-cost sanitary napkins that are 90 per cent biodegradable. They then distribute the pads throughout their communities, creating a self-perpetuating empowerment cycle in which girls and women can take control of their own health and livelihood. The programme also imparts education in managing menstrual hygiene. This helps to de-stigmatise menstruation and instils in women and girls the importance of self-care.

The campaign with the most votes will become an official member of GlobalGiving’s Girl Fund initiative, which includes financial support until the end of the year.

‘With period shame very much still an issue in rural India, 66 per cent of girls skip school when they’re on their periods. Our Sanitary Napkins Program not only provides employment and dignity, but also ensures that more girls excel in their education,’ Megha Desai, president of the Desai Foundation, said.

During March 1–15, every donation of $10 or more will be considered as a ‘vote’ for the Desai Foundation campaign. Donors are being encouraged to ‘vote’ on 8 March, International Women’s Day, since GlobalGiving will match all donations received on that day.

Note: Since 1996, the United Nations has assigned a theme to every International Women’s Day (IWD). This year the theme is ‘Be Bold For Change’.