Avtar Hosts Male Ally Synergy Summit (MASS)

The Inaugural Summit aimed to drive gender inclusion at grassroots level celebrating International Women’s Day Month

to foster allyship among men leaders of tomorrow with participation from 5 different colleges

March 21st, 2024, Hyderabad / Chennai: Avtar Human Capital Trust (AHCT), the non-profit arm of Avtar Group, India’s premier Diversity, Equity & Inclusion solutions firm, conducted the inaugural edition of Male Ally Synergy Summit (MASS) at the Footwear Design & Development Institute of India (FDDI) in Sriperumbudur today.

Set on the theme, Creating Male Allyship: The Root to a Gender-Inclusive India, the event witnessed more than 200 students participating at the event. Five colleges including, SRM- Department of Social Work, Madras school of Social Work- BSW and MSW Department, Patrician College of Arts and Science- Department of Social Work, DRBCCC Hindu Arts and Science College- Department of Social Work, The American College- Madurai, and FDDI, Irunkattukotai actively participated in the event.

Held during the month of International Women’s Day, this Male Allyship Synergy Summit brought together thought leaders, students. advocates, and allies committed to fostering an environment of equality and empowerment for all genders.

The summit featured dynamic discussions, skits and elocution by college students aimed at engaging participants in meaningful dialogue and action-oriented initiatives. With a focus on empowering male allies to actively support and champion gender diversity, the Summit aimed to drive tangible progress towards a more inclusive society.

Mr. Venkat Murugan, National Head – Operations & Head DTI (India) Saint Gobain Glass India Pvt. Ltd who awarded the prizes to the winners of Skit and Elocution, addressing the gathering said, “Being an ally is a continuous process of learning about various identities, take courageous actions to create more equitable workspaces.”

Speaking at the inaugural edition of Male Allyship Synergy Summit, Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Managing Trustee, AHCT and the founder – president of Avtar Group said, “MASS is a vital step in fostering a more equitable world. By encouraging the young men – the youth who are our future leaders to become active participants in the journey towards building equitable future where every individual is able to rise to the fullest of potential. We need role models who will spearhead change in mindsets and attitudes towards women in workplaces. We have seen at the 2023 Avtar & Seramount Best Companies for Women India study, from 53% companies in 2021 stating that having a diverse workforce has positively impacted their innovation revenue, the number rose to 77% in 2023. This indicator is set to cross the 100% mark by 2025 and in turn achieving the $5 trillion dollar economy.”

“MASS, which will be held in the IWD month each year, wherein the youth of India will pledge to challenge biases, enable women’s careers and appreciate diversity and take responsibility to build a nation that is gender equal,” Dr Saundarya added.

Mr. Dinesh Kumar, Centre In charge, Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) added “We are thrilled to host the first edition of MASS at our campus at FDDI, particularly during the month of March. Not only we are celebrating IWD, but we are also closer to convocation. Addressing concepts like Allyship at grassroot level will enable them to be inclusive leaders of tomorrow”.

Vedanarayanan, studying 4th year Fashion Designing at FDDI, said, “Participating at the Summit helped me understand the nuances of gender-based roles that exist in our households, which we often oversee and not really pay attention to. This has helped me gain a broader perspective and not assign stereotypes to gender.”

“Our generation is as such breaking many stereotypes that have been traditionally brought forward, summits like these will advance gender balance both in the community and at workplaces,” said Vishakan, studying 3rd year in MSSW, expressing his experience at the MASS.

The Male Allyship Synergy Summit is aimed at promoting gender inclusion and fostering a culture of allyship among college students. Through a series of engaging activities and discussions, the summit seeks to empower young men to become advocates for gender equality and champions of change in their communities. The main objective of the summit include:

To raise awareness about the importance of male allyship in achieving gender equality.
To provide a platform for college students to express their views on gender stereotypes and allyship.
To inspire young men to take action and become allies for their female peers.
To cultivate a supportive environment for dialogue and collaboration on gender-related issues.

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