It’s been a fierce year for gender equity around the world. 2015 saw Hollywood call out for wage parity among actors and actresses; Companies like Netflix & Facebook offer generous maternity leave policies for new mothers and fathers; massive lawsuits by women from different backgrounds, pressing gender discrimination charges against high-brow multinationals like Google & UPS; gender-equality laws being passed in Germany, UK, California; and a gender balanced cabinet by Canada's dynamic PM Justin Trudeau.
It has been a similar year for us at the Foundation. Creating equal societies, inclusive societies; standing up for women's rights; wage-parity; eradication of gender bias; empowering women through education and capacity building - these have been on our agenda since we started. And we built further on these through 2015, from careers and community, to the STEM university, mentoring programs, collaborative conferences and events.
It was good to see the impact, bit by bit, one woman at a time, in the geographies we operate in. We had university under-grads participate, and win, hackathons in the Middle East. We has women encouraging and mentoring other women in Silicon Valley for entrepreneurship. We saw women stand-up for their rights and ask for more in China. Yet more women have invested to educate themselves as a route to empowerment and financial independence in India. We had women come together from as far as Zimbabwe, India, USA, Canada, China, Egypt, Saudi and many more countries to collaborate at our conferences and work together to create a more equal world.
In 2015 we anchored our efforts on entrepreneurship and start-ups for women along our other programs. Our alumni network around the world grew significantly. And their enthusiasm continues to fuel us to greater commitments and objectives. It is humbling to see our community of women in STEM expand globally and to see their efforts to give-back as they received.
And we will continue to guide, coax, inspire, mentor, and if required, fight, to eradicate gender inequality and establish an inclusive social order.
Chairperson, Meera Kaul Foundation
To work with corporations and individuals all over the world to eradicate economic marginalization of women in workplace and to create entrepreneurial opportunities for women.
Gender Parity is among the goals aspired by all, from grass root organizations to Government, from Corporations to International bodies. There have been significant achievement in last few years. Substantial public action for gender equity has resulted in improved girls enrollment in schools, increased number of women in working space, violence against women has become a focal point, greater legal rights to own and inherit property.
However, while hugely critical, these changes have not remotely reached the desired outcome. As per the United Nation’s report, “The World’s Women 2015”:
As per the “Progress of the world’s women 2015-2016”by UN Women globally, women’s earning are 24 percent less than men’s.
We are committed to strive for change, till it happens.
Middle East, Africa, India & China
14-15 January 2015 - Godolphin Ballroom, Emirates Towers, Dubai
The Women in STEM Hackathon is dedicated to creating opportunities for female entrepreneurs and to turn their ideas into innovative, sustainable businesses.
2015 witnessed First All Women Hackathon in Dubai on 14th and 15th January at the Canadian University. 30 women participated from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and UAE. They divided themselves in 4 team and developed working prototypes of mobile gaming apps. They were mentored by Jieyi Long Co-founder MadSkill Game Studios and Claudia Galvan President at Society of Women Engineers, who came all the way from Silicon valley.
Innovative ideas were converted into apps for the social impact during the Hackathon. The Hackathon was organized on 18th and 19th July at Draper University, Sillicon Valley. The winners developed an app that would help women in detecting the possibility of breast cancer.
We launched a Women in STEM Careers portal to help women who are looking for next job role, or the companies who are seeking a new employee.
This platform helped recruiters to find right women candidate and it helped women in stem sectors to access to thousands of current jobs covering an extensive range of sectors and locations.
100 women in STEM is an initiative that is creating domino effect on women throughout the world, as they begin to see one another as cohorts and empower those around them, creating an adaptive and flexible network of support. They are the two minute videos of the women in STEM sharing their determination, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. The videos inspire girls and women to be in STEM.
25 more videos of inspiring stories were added to this cohort this year.
Women in STEM online University was launched to give access to women and girls to coding, and other relevant courses. The University envision to grow into an online global training and resource centre.
2015 saw a surge in in the number of women who became part of this community. Through this vibrant community, women share resources, as well as news such as events, competitions, job opportunities and innovations. Women entrepreneurs share their start-up ideas to take feedback and also to get support in resource generation
Set your goals and set them high. Don’t let the distractions drift you away from your dreams.Dr Nermin Ahmed, Egypt.
When you are in STEM, focus on opportunities and share positives. Don’t let negatives affect you.Jessica Obeid, Lebanon
IT is the most flexible and dynamic sector. Perfect for women to balance work and life. My message is to seize an opportunity and make it a better and fun place to work.Shuchita Gupta, California.
Don't get tired of pushing for your dreams, Keep pushing and keep being the person you are.Moselyn, Zimbabwe
The art of negotiation. She asked for equal pay and she was given the amount she deserved for her work. #askforequal #indoustechforum #mkf2015 #womeninentrepreneurshipPosted by Meera Kaul Foundation on Friday, April 17, 2015
April 17th 2015 INDO-US Tech Forum came to visit and had an interactive Mentoring Session with MKF Chairperson Meera Kaul.
The forums consisted of women entrepreneurs. Meera conducted a webinar, “Women in Entrepreneurship” on 22nd April. She gave tips to the women entrepreneur in raising investments, scaling up and managing the startups.
The Executive Power Women's Club was launched in 2015.
First meeting of the group happened on 15th October.
The objective of the group would be to make sincere collective efforts to bring a change in the status quo of the women in science and technology.
The Meera Kaul Foundation offers time-bound internship projects to students. In 2015, the Foundation offered internship to 3 students. They gained invaluable hands-on experience during the projects, in areas like research, campaigning, communications, event organization, marketing, networking and many others
This broadened my awareness about women empowerment and the differences in development about this topic around the globe. Overall, it was a very enriching experience, and I learnt a few skills which will prove to be useful later on.
Celebrating Gender Parity in its true sense, The Meera Kaul Foundation, along with the Parity- Gender Bias Rank App launched an online global awareness campaign and contest to express solidarity with the global Equal Pay Campaign.
The contest involved posting a ‘selfie wearing red’, with a message in support of the Equal Pay.
Dr Bina Rabadia, a Specialist Dermatologist in a private hospital in Dubai, was the winner of the contest, who received MAKERBOT Replicator Mini - Compact 3D Printer worth USD1500, courtesy Jacky’s Business Solutions.
For women, gender discrimination is an everyday challenge. Pay inequality based on gender is unjust and unfair. I think it is only a mentality that can be changed by raising awareness as well as by women taking on the courage to speak up, negotiate and ask for what is rightfully theirs. I urge all women to insist on equal pay!
Women role models can advance the economic empowerment of other women and their communities. The Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), and Leaders Middle East magazine in partnership with The Meera kaul foundation hosted the first Power Women of Arabia Debate which welcomed distinguished participants and prominent female leaders to debate on current matters around women empowerment and its future prospects.
The event was organized to encourage young women to join STEM careers. Ms Meera Kaul, the Chairperson, The Meera Kaul foundation was the key note speaker. Girls wanted to know, why STEM is the best career for them and their queries were answered by Ms Meera Kaul.
We partnered with SVForum for their conference “The FinTech Revolution: Banking on the Future”. MKF also extended the partnership to their “Women in Tech Festival’ held on March 7th 2015 and “2nd Annual World Cup Tech Challenge 2015”.
Meera Kaul, Chairperson of MKF and the foundation attended TiEcon2015 to showcase Parity, the Gender Bias Index to support women attending at the conference. TiEcon is the biggest entrepreneurship gathering in the Silicon Valley with more than 4000 entrepreneurs. Meera was a part of the Mentor Connect.
MKF facilitated the women only panel in GMIC Beijing. The women panel consisted of leading women in technology. GMIC Beijing commenced the G Startup Competition in Beijing China to showcase all the entrepreneurs located in the region. The event took place at China National Convention Center on April 28 2015. Take a look at all the participants and competitors.Ms Meera Kaul was also part of the judging panel of G Start up Competition.
Supported the debut of The Vijay Amrit raj Foundation in San Fransisco on 24th April.
Meera Kaul, Chairperson attended SVE's Demo and Pitch Fest multiple times to judge the competitors venture startups.
Arunabh das Sharma
A board-level business leader with experience in Media, Consumer Packaged Goods, Consumer Durables & technology start ups, Arunabh has extensive working knowledge across global markets, ranging from India, China and the US, to the entire Asia Pacific, Australia, Western Europe and Middle East. Armed with an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and business administration and management acumen gained at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Anurabh brings to the team strategic knowledge of M&A’s, JV formations, new market entry, business turnarounds and change management.
Well-known media personality-turned-entrepreneur, with a track record of portraying women in media in a neutral manner, Sandali is a prominent ambassador of gender equality and women empowerment in media. Sandali is dedicated to women causes and spends her time working with initiatives that portray women positively and impact girls and women globally. She brings to the team a passionate and ambitious approach to addressing women related issues.
A board executive with experience in wireless and software technology, private equity, healthcare, and management consulting, Rohit is a computer science, economics, and mathematics graduate, going on to later finish his Ph.D. in economics. Specializing in corporate finance, business development & business strategy including pricing and product/market entry, Rohit brings on-board expertise in M&A/IPO’s, business development, sales, operations and strategy. Rohit has been a VP of Savi where he played a key role in taking the company from $30MM to $100MM eventually leading to the sale of the company.
The Managing Partner of Germanium Ventures is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of 4 multi-million dollar exits. She is also the founder of The MK Foundation. Meera was voted one of the Top 50 women in telecom space; Entrepreneur of the year 2013 and 2015, apart from being the Executive of the Year over consecutive years. Besides being an accomplished technology geek, Meera has a degree in International Taxation and Financial Law from TJSL, and is also an Alumni of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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