Aug 31, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

In a country with one of the world’s lowest labor participation rates for women in the world, one woman is looking to change the narrative.

Anuradha Das Mathur, with her business partner Pramath Raj Sinha—a founding dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB)—recently created the Vedica Scholars Program for Women, an 18-month residential program in New Delhi exclusively for women.

Its supporters?  Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and McKinsey and Company director emeritus Joanna Barsh.

Why did Mathur do it?  In an article in Forbes, she said, “It was clear that traditional management schools are not making the path for women any easier.”  She added, “The education system doesn’t prepare women by not acknowledging that the working world is different, they’re not equipping them.” 

Mathur, who has a master’s in economic from the University of Cambridge, and runs a successful media firm, said that she was driven to start the program after she attended the Fortune and US State Department Emerging Women Leaders Program.

Her goal?  To change the narrative.

“We bring boys up to believe that they have to work and tell girls that they don’t have to work,” she said.  “How do we change the narrative?”

By giving women the tools and skills to negotiate, maintain work-life balance, and the courage to defy stereotypes.

The curriculum focuses on women’s strengths—and how to use those strengths in the business world.  Students have international student mentors from a variety of backgrounds, and spend a month shadowing a female CEO mentor. 

Mathur’s big picture?  To give young women the confidence to think differently—and to change the mindset of the workplace.

Learn more about studying in India

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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