The roadshow began with a high-powered roundtable discussion in New Delhi focused on policy provisions, ground realities, role of corporates and direct interventions for Women in #STEM
The roadshow will now move on to its next destinations in Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra where it will recognize and award P&G Shiksha Betiyan Scholarships to girls pursuing STEM courses
New Delhi: Procter and Gamble India (P&G India) and Centre For Civil Society flagged off a first-of-its-kind ‘Women In STEM Caravan’ on February 11th – a multi-city roadshow that brought together key stakeholders to advance women’s participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) trades. The roadshow, officially recognized as a part of the G20 events, commenced in New Delhi on International Day for Women and Girls in Science, with a high-powered ‘Women in STEM: Policy, Practice & Interventions’ roundtable conference focused on policy provisions, ground realities, role of corporates and direct interventions for advancing women’s representation in STEM opportunities.
The conference brought together over 20 eminent professionals, including policymakers, practitioners, academicians, and investors to discuss ways in which women representation in STEM can be strengthened through the right interventions, necessary policy reforms and implementation of best practices. The dignitaries present at the conference included representatives from P&G India, Centre For Civil Society, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, and Niti Aayog. The discussion revolved around key thematic areas including enabling women’s entry into STEM careers through policy measures, voices from the ground reporting on current realities of women in STEM across sectors and civil society, government and business interventions that can facilitate women’s entry and retention into STEM careers over the next 5 years.
During the conference, P&G India and Centre For Civil Society also recognized and awarded P&G Shiksha Betiyan Scholarships to girls pursuing courses at Industrial Training Institute in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh. In its next stage, the caravan will now travel to Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, and Maharashtra where it will award more scholarships under the P&G Shiksha Betiyan Scholarship Program to girls pursuing varied courses for higher education in STEM fields.
Speaking on the occasion, LV Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO, P&G India said, “At P&G, we believe in helping create a world where equality and inclusion are achievable for all, inside and outside of P&G. Data indicates that in India, female representation in STEM workforce is limited to 14%. Women continue to also be underrepresented in STEM curriculum, leading to underrepresentation in manufacturing, engineering, and technology roles. The reasons often lie in deep-rooted stereotypes and biases that hold back women from pursuing and advancing in STEM careers. We launched P&G Shiksha Betiyan Scholarship Program last year with the aim to break such barriers for girls who aspire to pursue careers in STEM, in partnership with Centre for Civil society. This year, as we expand our scholarship program to impact more girls, we are happy to come together for meaningful dialogue at ‘Women In STEM Caravan’ to deliberate acceleration of progress, as well as inspire more girls to pursue STEM education.”
Laxmi Sampath Goyal, Chief Executive Officer, Centre For Civil Society said, “The need for women’s representation in STEM fields cannot be overstated. With technological advancements playing a critical role in a nation’s development, women’s participation fosters a diversity in perspectives that stimulates originality, innovation, and efficiency. Given the scope for professional growth and achievement in the fields, it is imperative for us to support women in occupying these lucrative positions and empower them in the process.”
P&G India in partnership with Centre For Civil Society has been working to enable STEM careers for girls with the ‘P&G Shiksha Betiyan Scholarship’ program, as part of its flagship CSR initiative P&G Shiksha, where it is providing financial aid and mentorship to girls aspiring to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. The program has so far supported hundreds of women with the aim of breaking barriers and enabling entry of skilled women professionals into manufacturing, technology, engineering, and other STEM related jobs.
Further, the Company’s skin care brand Olay is working to shrink the gender gap in STEM careers with its ‘STEM The Gap’ initiative, by spotlighting the biases and stereotypes that hold back progress and enabling young girls to get interested and excited by STEM subjects. P&G India also has a long-standing partnership with NITIE and hosts the annual ‘P&G-NITIE Equality Summit’ to spark conversations on issues that perpetuate a glass ceiling for women, uncover deep-rooted stereotypes that still exist, and motivate change specifically linked to equal representation of women STEM and Supply Chain.