On Sunday, IIT Madras launched a program to boost women’s leadership in technology and science. The aim of the women leading IITM program is to support and develop women’s talent at the institute. The objective of the program is to increase the percentage of women faculty in assistant professorships to 20 percent from 15 percent, according to IIT Madras. It also aims at generating 30 percent of all faculty applicants from women candidates among others. The focus of the program will be on to accelerate secure, recruit, nurture, develop, and support programs.
On March 8, the inaugural grants will be issued to mark International Women’s Day. A $2 million endowment will be issued by the inaugural grants by the end of 2021. This will provide annual grants to support programs taken by women students, researchers, and faculty. The endowment fund alone in its first year aims to grant Rs 70 lakh for various initiatives.
Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the Director, said that IIT Madras has made good progress in the last several years in increasing the percentage of women in the student population from the undergraduate level all up to the doctoral program. They were making every effort to close the gap in the case of faculty and the participation of women in the non-teaching staff was also very good. To enable them to reduce the hurdles faced by women students, staff, and faculty, the WLI program will be a powerful catalyst to achieve their full potential.
The undergraduate batch of last year comprised 18 percent of the female students while in Ph.D. programs, over 30 percent of the women students were enrolled. In STEM, 30 programs have also been implemented to encourage women.