The programme is called the Management Programme for Women (MPW), an 11-month, full time, post graduate programme designed to meet the knowledge gaps and skills development needs of women who are returning to a corporate career after a break of more than two years.
MPW stands out in the academic space as the only programme of its kind from a leading management school for returning women, and marks an important step in developing a pipeline of women leaders for tomorrow.
Research indicates that almost half of Indian women drop out of the pipeline before reaching mid-career. Many of them are willing to return to work but are often unable to find the support they need to take up important roles.
MPW is designed to meet the needs of this specific target group. It goes beyond traditional management programmes and will cover in its curriculum a range of subjects that will prepare women leaders to take up the challenges of a career in today’s competitive environment and inspire women leaders to be ready for bigger roles.
The programme was launched at a news conference in Mumbai by Deepak Parekh, Chairperson, HDFC, and Chairperson of the SPJIMR Governing Council.
Parekh said: “The programme opens up new opportunities for a large section of women who wish to pursue their dreams and in the process also open a rich pipeline of talent for corporate India. This will help businesses fill up senior positions and help drive towards a more gender balanced leadership mix.”
SPJIMR Dean, Dr. Ranjan Banerjee said at the news conference: “We believe that a large pool of talented women with underutilised and significant leadership potential exists today. SPJIMR would like to be at the forefront of nurturing and building this leadership potential and MPW represents a small beginning in this direction.”
Dr. Sumita Datta, Head of MPW said: “We want to make this programme a learning journey through which participants will enhance their knowledge, skills and confidence. Our pre-partnership arrangement with large corporates opens up exciting opportunities for mentoring, internships and placements for the participants. This will contribute in creating a diverse and inclusive work culture in the long term.”
Among those present at the conference were corporate partners who will guide, support, mentor and open up opportunities for participants of SPJIMR’s MPW to help build on the vision of a more gender balanced workforce.
Rajkamal Vempati, Head HR, Axis Bank, which is a leading corporate partner for the programme, said: "Axis Bank has always been a strong supporter of women returning to the workplace after taking a break. Our ‘Reconnect’ programme focuses on bringing back the Bank’s women alumni, who are on a break and looking for avenues to re-start their career. Women are dropping out of the work force during various life stage events and as corporates it’s our responsibility to support their smooth transition back into the corporate world."
The launch news conference also saw an insightful discussion on the role of women leaders to help power India’s growth story, to have more gender balanced teams across functions and to bring a different kind of analysis and insighting to the board room.
The panelists included R. Gopalakrishnan, noted author, corporate leader and Executive-in-Residence, SPJIMR; Ms. Anjali Bansal – Managing Director and Partner, TPG Growth; Yogi Sriram - Senior Vice President – Corporate Human Resources, Larsen & Toubro Limited; Ms. Lulu Raghavan - Managing Director, Landor; Rajkamal Vempati – EVP and Head HR, Axis Bank , Ms Renuka Kamath , Professor, Marketing Area & Chairperson – PGEMP, SPJIMR.