In this age of God-speed advancement in technology, various fields of STEM like Biotechnology, Medical sciences, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Analytics, too, are advancing at a rapid pace. Women make up only 34% of this workforce in India at an entry-level, and the technology field is notoriously male dominated at all levels. There are only about 18% women in managerial positions and less than 1% are in the C-Suite in India. Seems there is a lot of work that should go in for women empowerment in STEM.
WiT-Ace is a platform focused on increasing women participation in the STEM workforce. Their focus is to provide women resources to upskill, progress and be able to find the right opportunities in STEM.
The platform was founded in 2018 by Anuranjita Kumar, who is an accomplished author, investor, philanthropist, and a well-known human resource veteran with over 26 years of experience working across the globe managing various assignments, including Citibank and the RBS Group. She has an extremely successful track record of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives across various organizations and is a well-known advocate of action in this space.
The startup prides itself in being the agent of change for gender balanced workplaces. It offers accelerated career experiences for women by enabling, engaging and employing them to be in decision making roles.
The platform fosters peer network of women through tech-focused communities, and enhances networks through Bootcamps, Hackathons and seminars in partnership with organizations. It supports assessments of skills, provides upskilling and learning solutions that help women grow and develop their potential. Ongoing mentoring is provided through WiT Select. WiT has onboarded the top 100 STEM organizations for leadership and works with them closely for staffing right skilled women talent. Job fairs are conducted across cities to raise awareness and for right talents to engage in this program.
WiT-Ace has recently raised $1 million as part of its first seed fund led by founders of CitiusTech. Other investors who participated in this round include CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra, Sumita Ambasta, Founder and Executive Director, Flowering Tree Inc., Subodh Bhargava, Independent Director Chairman at Tata Communications and Wartsila India, Vikram Chachra, Founding Partner, 8i Ventures, and Sonny Iqbal, Partner and Co-leader, Family Business Practice at Egon Zehnder. It is worth mentioning that Dexter Capital supported WiT-ACE for this fund raising.
The funds will be utilized by WiT-Ace for scaling up its tech platform and for its expansion and strategic partnerships.
Further, through its industry-governmental-academic partnerships, WiT-ACE is working closely to ensure policy and education impact in the industry.
“The 100+ clients engaged with over 200k women on the platform in less than 11 months in one of the toughest years for business, gives us a good grip of industry needs and the confidence to grow this organization to the next phase of exponential growth. We are focused on progressive and measurable impact on bridging gender gaps, through skilling and employment that will lead the transformation. It is humbling to have partners who are mentors and industry torch bearers themselves; and we are confident their support will be the much-required springboard towards achieving our target of impacting 20 million women by 2025.”
– Anuranjita Kumar, Founder and CEO
“WiT-ACE has multiple tracks parallelly focused at developing women as front runners to lead organisations of tomorrow. Both Rizwan Koita and I believe the ‘gender-gap’ in multiple ways holds us back as a nation to achieve our full potential and this can be achieved only through consistent efforts that deliver measurable results. We see the potential and believe industry participation could really move the needle.”
– Jagdish Moorjani, COO, CitiusTech
WiT-Ace envisions for at least 50 percent women to work in decision making roles. WIT-ACE hopes to halt the declining rates of professional women in workforce (currently 20 percent from 32 percent a decade back) and elevate the numbers pan India by infusing at least one million skilled women in the workforce over the next four to five years.