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Avtar Announces Winners of Excellence in CSR & Male Ally Legacy Awards 2021 as part of its flagship DEI conference

CHENNAI, IndiaNov. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Avtar Group, India's pioneers in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consulting, announced the winners of the Puthri Award for Excellence in CSR and Male Ally Legacy Awards (MALA). The Awards were announced at the Working Mother and Avtar Best of the Best Conference 2021, India's largest Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) conference, which is taking place between Nov 18-19, 2021. Centered on the theme 'Include Fearlessly', the Best of the Best conference 2021 brings together stakeholders to discuss insights on how organizations can nurture Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion to intentionally design culture, increase employee engagement and enhance organizational performance.

The Puthri Award for Excellence in CSR aims to recognize and laud CSR initiatives by companies towards the impact created for economically empowering underprivileged women and girl children. This Award was conferred upon Deloitte in India for their program 'WorldClass', through which the organization aims to develop job skills, improve educational outcomes, and expand opportunities for 50 million people in India by 2030. In 2020, they were able to impact the lives of 10,75,000 girls and women in India.

Speaking at the event yesterday, Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, Avtar Group, said, "It is heartening to see these winners on one grand platform and to celebrate their efforts in building a strong, diverse and inclusive community. These efforts showcase that DEI, when illustrated through concrete metrics and measures, has the potential to transform the work culture in organizations. The CSR and MALA awards offer role models for several other leaders and organizations to follow in their footsteps with the intention to make workplaces more inclusive for the betterment of society."

Further, the Male Ally Legacy Awards celebrate male allies who have spearheaded the change in prevailing mindsets and attitudes towards women at the workplace. Vibhash Naik, Chief Human Resource Officer, HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited, received the MALA (Male Ally Legacy Award) title for building an inclusive environment in HDFC Life for not just women, but all employees.

Eminent industry leaders who spoke at the conference today include Katrina Troughton - Managing Director, IBM Australia/New ZealandKiran Mani - Managing Director, Google's Global Client & Marketing Partnerships, Asia Pacific & JapanBruce Starnes - SVP & President, Target in IndiaDeepak Iyer - President, Mondelez India Foods Pvt. Ltd and Vani Manja, Country Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim India Pvt. Ltd. Other senior leaders from, Adobe, EY, Volvo Group, Standard Chartered GBS, PepsiCo India, Wells Fargo India, Myntra, IBM Software Labs, Moody's Investor Services, Walmart Global Tech India and Dow Chemical also shared their perspectives on DEI via specially curated sessions today.

To catch today's exclusive sessions at the Best of the Best Conference, please visit:


Puthri Award for Excellence in CSR

Title Winner: Deloitte in India

Project: WorldClass

Through an initiative called WorldClass, the organization aims to develop job skills, improve educational outcomes and expand opportunities for 50 million people in India by 2030.

To enable students to make informed job choices, the organization also started conducting sessions on building awareness around careers in specific fields like Chartered Accountancy. Beyond the workshops for small groups, a few volunteers also took up the role of mentors, to help the girls realize their aspirations and unlock their potential through individual support.    

Choice of Jury: Capgemini Technology Services India Limited

Project: Enlight

Enlight is Capgemini's girl child sponsorship project, which focuses on girl children. Enlight aims to ensure access to quality education for girls from multiple marginalized and stigmatized backgrounds. The project is unique as it works across geographies and marginalized social groups. With a two-pronged approach-school and community-based intervention, the project has reached girls across locations and aims to work with girls who will be mentored by Capgemini employees across these locations,

Company Name: PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt Ltd

USAID and PepsiCo partnered to focus on the business case for women's empowerment in the PepsiCo potato supply chain in West Bengal, India. The partnership improved women's access to land, skills, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Under a partnership between USAID's Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Hub and the Land and Resource Governance Division, the project was implemented by the Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program. The pilot program is the foundation of USAID's Global Development Alliance with PepsiCo, serving as a business case to scale the economic empowerment of women throughout its agricultural supply chains around the world. Women Field Agronomists and Community Agronomists were recruited, trained and offered field support to farming families. 

Male Ally Legacy Awards

Title Winner:  Vibhash Naik, CHRO, HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd

Vibhash Naik has worked to build an inclusive environment in HDFC Life, taking structured steps to introduce new processes and improve the existing ones to eliminate prevalent biases towards the diverse talent pool, particularly women. He has also sponsored various events/conferences for the same cause.

Choice of Jury Award: Dr. Kris Sridhar, Director - Asia R&D Operations & Inclusion Champion, 3M India Limited

Since Kris took over the reins of the R&D, more women have joined the department. The organization includes women who are experts in electric cars and battery technology, fire safety solutions, industrial adhesives, etc. Empowered by Kris, the women travel all over the country, understand pain points, and work in the field and in the labs to find solutions for complex problems.

Choice of Jury Award: Rajesh Pralhadrao Mahalle, Vice President, Software Development Engineering, Mastercard Incorporated

Rajesh was charged with establishing and leading the Data & Services Product Development business function at Pune. For Rajesh, the primary agenda was to build diverse and inclusive teams.

About Avtar

Avtar, set up in 2000, is India's first diversity advocate & workplace inclusion expert. Renowned for its extensive work in the space of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and more specifically, women's workforce participation, it is the country's largest provider of second career opportunities for women and is also the earliest to begin working on diversity audits and measurement. Lead by the visionary Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Avtar has ventured into areas of gender inclusion and career creation, which are firsts to India.

  • Creating platforms for second career women to meet potential employers,

  • Developing a comprehensive set of career enablers which companies can implement in their workspaces

  • Spearheading original research that has provided cutting edge insights to organizations

  • Creating India's first diversity hiring portal for women, LGBTQ, PWD, Veterans and Silver Generation

  • Re-Skilling, Up-skilling and Counselling of women to pursue sustainable career paths and

  • Building career intentionality amongst underprivileged girl children.

Avtar has built its DEI offerings under four EDs, which ensures that every organization can have a clear path towards moving forward, building and sustaining diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces. The Four EDs – Enrich Diversity, Embed Diversity, Enable Diversity and Experience Diversity are constructed along four key implementation dimensions of Diversity - for Audits & Advisory support, Recruitment Programs, Workshops and Training Programs and Conferences and Events, respectively.

Follow Avtar on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Seramount (formerly Working Mother)

Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media), now part of EAB, is a strategic professional services firm dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Over four decades, partnering with some of the most iconic companies in the world, we've built a deep, data-driven understanding of the employee experience, which lays the groundwork for everything we do. Our comprehensive DE&I toolkit includes actionable research and insights, membership, strategic guidance and consulting, and inspiring events, meeting each client's needs no matter where they are on their journey and guiding them along an ever-changing landscape. Seramount has empowered over 450 organizations to realize the business benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Follow Seramount on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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