UN Women 2022 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards:
Meet the National Winners
We are excited to announce the winners of the UN Women 2022 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards!
Big congratulations to all the winners who have committed themselves to advancing gender equality and women's economic empowerment. These gender champions from different countries, sectors, and fields are acknowledged respectively for their outstanding Leadership Commitment, Youth Leadership, Gender-inclusive Workplace, Gender-responsive Marketplace, Community Engagement & Partnerships, and Transparency & Reporting
*The UN Women Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards represents recognition of exemplary company efforts for gender equality and is limited to a designated category and a specific location and time period. Awarded organizations, alongside their products and services, receiving awards are not endorsed or affiliated with UN Women or WeEmpowerAsia and being recognized as an Awardee does not constitute a partnership. Claims, statements, or endorsements made by awardees are solely those of the individual or organization and do not represent official policies or positions of UN Women.
The WinspirE program, led by Niraj, aims at providing equal growth opportunities and favourable working conditions for everyone and enabling women colleagues to achieve their career aspirations and organizational milestones. Gender equality is advanced by Winspire through the 4 pillars – recruit, develop, retain and promote.
Niraj is a senior leader in the Information and Technology industry with experience in leading large practices, global delivery & operations, P&Ls, Sales, and Territory Management.
Roshni Ravindranathan conceived of the strategies, operations and drove forward Biowin initiative for advancing job opportunities, workplace safety, work-life balance and career development for women. The Biowin platform offers meaningful ways in which women at Biocon can build rewarding careers in science and business.
She established Biocon women network chapter leads, back to work & people with disabilities ERG’s which were composed of and led by women employee creating leadership opportunities for women. Some of the actions implemented include- gender sensitization programmes for employees, creating Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), where like-minded colleagues could connect and bond, working closely with senior management to make Biocon a better place to work for women professionals, especially those returning from career breaks and people who are differently abled
Roshini aims to increase the gender diversity in leadership to 50% women (currently placed at 23%) by 2030.
Thoughtworks has improved its representation of Underrepresented Gender Minorities (UGM) in tech roles, currently standing at almost 40 percent of their company.
Through Vapasi, a back-to-work initiative to re-enter the world of work after a career break, Thoughtworks offers a free, certified technical training program to sharpen the participants' technical & consulting skills while helping them build confidence through networking with senior technologists at Thoughtworks. The tools used are hands-on sessions, mentoring engagements and multiple interactions with leadership and amongst participants. Through their D& I efforts, they aim to build awareness and sensitize employees on topics like building equitable tech, unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, being a good ally, prevention of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and more.
As a leading Media & Entertainment player that reaches over 700 million viewers, Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) collaborated with local NGOs to deliver a series of workshops with D&I experts and industry professionals to improve the capacity of their content teams to produce inclusive content.
SPN’s content immersion workshop series, “Your Choice of Content Matters”, sensitized their content teams about biases and stereotypes that exist in content and pushed them to think beyond these stereotypes to create inclusive content. Through one of their programmes, Shark Tank India, in which aspiring entrepreneurs from India pitch their business models to a panel of investors and persuade them to invest money in their idea, Sony’s diverse selection propelled female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to the national forefront – with nearly 50% of the pitchers in the first edition of the TV series, being women entrepreneurs. As a result of the gender-inclusive selection, 43% of the startups which received funding had at least 1 woman co-founder.
Through their "Livelihood Skilling of Women for Self-Reliance" program, in partnership with Rural Education and Development (READ) India, SPN provided livelihood skills training for over 500 women in Maharashtra to boost employability, uplift socio-economic conditions, and empower them to start their own micro-enterprises. The training includes vocational and technical skills, like stitching, beauty and wellness, goat farming, fishery, poultry farming, IT skills, agriculture, product processing, and access and education about various government schemes thaat could benefit them.
Intel's India's Vriddhi school upskills women in STEM and builds more women innovators in partnership with leading companies in the tech industry.
Through the Intel India STEM Upskilling Program for Women, Intel is looking to make a dent in bringing more Women into the STEM workforce. This helps to not only build the diversity pipeline for Intel but also for the industry overall. The key objective of this program is two-fold- firstly, to focus on pre-college students to ensure they have access to the right mentorship to take up STEM courses and secondly, to ensure women students currently pursuing their graduation have access to resources and real-world skills to enter the workforce.
Intel’s focus in this space began in 2021, with 800+ women engineers upskilled on AI/ML. This was followed by a pilot batch of 30 pre-college students where they introduced students to design thinking, introduction to AI/ML, scientific processes, engineering design process, the basics of embedded/hardware, presentation and communication skills, career counselling, and project work. Through a recent project, they upskilled 3900+ women engineering students on very large-scale integration (VLSI) and soft skills essential to make them successful in the workplace.
Through their BioWin initiative, a platform that offers meaningful ways in which women at Biocon can build rewarding careers in science and business, Biocon has taken measures to track and monitor their progress through a detailed dashboard as part of a systematic and organisation-wide initiative for diversity and inclusion.
At Biocon, the DE&I sensitization workshop is a mandatory with the objective to bring Biocon employees together in understanding possible unconscious biases and by enabling them to change any aspects that perpetuate latent stereotypes and biases.
In addition, initiatives like, WIS (Women in Science), WIM (Women in monitoring) and Career 2.0, engage with female students of science from universities across India, encourage women to take up mentorship & leadership roles, and enable women to re-enter the workforce after a career break or maternity leave.
GI Group holding has actively worked to bring more women’s voices into the boardroom and is working to create a gender balance at senior management levels.
GI Group are catalysts and pivot points in a complex process of change, working in the “decade of action” as the world inches closer to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Goals, some of which they directly and indirectly impact.
Inspired by the Sustainable Work framework, they generate a virtuous process of continuous improvement with strategic, complementary actions targeting People, Companies and Society & Institutions.
1st Runners Up
Karon Shaiva is the Chief Impact Officer and Managing Director of Idobro Impact Solutions. Through, Idobro’s ABCD entrepreneurship she works towards providing an inclusive eco-system for micro/home-based, social and green entrepreneurs to help them build, scale and sustain their business. The program focuses on 4 basic building blocks for enterprise development – Access to markets, Build capacity, Create linkages and Deliver customised solutions.
The model can be contextualised based on the stage and maturity of the enterprise. It is also iterative and provides guardrails throughout an enterprise life cycle and entrepreneurial journey. So far Idobro has supported over 5000 Women, Social and Green Enterprises (WSGE) entrepreneurs and 1000+ enterprises from Aspirational to nano and micro-enterprises and Self-help groups (SHG) from across the world. They have also provided training and mentoring to entrepreneurs with special needs - students, transgenders and people with disabilities. Last year (2021) they trained over 500 entrepreneurs from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.
Idobro works with WSGEs as both beneficiaries and enablers of development, building their resilience and using their innovation and reach for last mile solution delivery.
Aasawari Kane’s work has been key to developing a sanitary napkin disposal and recycling system as well as sensitizing men and women on menstruation and menstruation hygiene management.
She also works to create hygiene management solutions, that helps to complete the loop on the menstrual hygiene economy by generating harmless, recyclable output from soiled pads. Through her work she wishes to bring positive and significant changes in the sanitary waste disposal system with a broader vision of safeguarding women, waste-pickers, and the environment.
Through their WiTi and WiS initiatives, Capgemini has helped company’s mid-level women colleagues become more career intentional as well as created a dedicated forum to support women sales leaders in the organization.
Their Winspire program aims at providing equal growth opportunities and favourable working conditions for everyone and enabling women colleagues to achieve their career aspirations and organizational milestones. Gender equality is advanced by attracting talent through gender focused recruitment practices, advancing women’s representation throughout the pipeline through focused interventions & development programs, providing tools to balance personal & professional commitments and by creating awareness and engagement to enable women to excel at Capgemini.
EntrepreNaari by Aspire For Her, is a specialised network that offers free and easy access to resources, networking opportunities, mentorship, guidance and community support to existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs.
They create online and offline communities to enable women to enter, persevere and thrive in the workforce.
Aspire For Her wishes to enable over 1 million women to be a part of the economy
and add $5 billion to India’s GDP through increased participation of women
Their mission is to help women become financially independent
and turn their career aspirations into actions by enabling them to be a part of at least one of the ‘3Es’ – Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship.