June 9, 2021

Why the Vedica Scholars Programme is what women need to bridge the gender gap at work

It's the fifth edition of the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women. Vedica Scholars is a unique postgraduate programme in Management and leadership for women, set up by Anuradha Das Mathur and Pramath Raj Sinha in 2016. Narrating how they started out, Anuradha, a 2016 Yale Greenberg World Fellow, says, "When we started the programme, we first reached out to people only through social media. When our first batch graduated, word of mouth brought in a number of applicants for our second batch. Today, thousands of women apply to our programme, making it a successful one." We speak to her to know more about the 18-month-long programme.

Excerpts from the interview:

What are the changes you have seen in terms of participation of women over the past few years?
We are quite new and a young programme, launched just five years ago. Now, we are in the state of being established. The women who have participated so far are from across the country, and come from different socio-economic backgrounds and various disciplines. This has been possible because we don't see the need for cut-off marks, past performance or specific qualifications. Our philosophy is to be fair in selecting deserving young people for this programme. We already know that women don't have enough opportunities, so if we follow existing assessment systems then we will not be able to change the world for women. Therefore, we look at their potential and willingness to explore the field of business management and entrepreneurship.

How do you shortlist the participants who apply for this programme?
The first round of shortlisting happens based on their application and essay. Then, there is a round of telephonic interview. After that, there is a personal interview. During a personal interview, the panel looks at how interested the candidate is in shaping their career. We also get to know about their academic background, communication skills, thoughtfulness, personality and how they present themselves. We judge them for their financial independence and decision-making skills so that they can make the most of this programme. Apart from this, we look at their knowledge of current affairs, general awareness and their leadership qualities.

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