“Half the Sky” India – Women’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Exploration Seminar- 2017

by / Wednesday, 06 September 2017 / Published in Blogs


India is home to some of the most inspirational women in the world. There are more female CEOs in India than in the US, including leaders of two of the four largest banks. The number of women entrepreneurs and business owners continues to grow. Many others lead influential nonprofits and social businesses designed to make the world a better place. At the village level, more women have been elected into office than anyplace else in the world, and microfinance and other grassroots initiatives are aiding thousands to form tiny enterprises to support their families. This would be admirable anywhere in the world. Given deep-rooted cultural barriers women in India can face, these women’s accomplishments are often awe-inspiring.
Now in its seventh year, the “Half the Sky” India Women’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Exploration Seminar is a traveling classroom where senior-level university students learn from leaders and entrepreneurs and role models at all levels of Indian society. They come away knowing about India, about leadership, about grit and resilience and ingenuity, and ultimately about themselves and the type of difference they want to make in the world. 2017 Program- From August -29 through September 24, 22 students 2 two leaders travel through eight Indian states and territories to meet with innovative leaders and businesses.

Student Objectives of the program:
1. To immerse in a different culture, experiencing the exhilaration, discomfort and ultimate growth and confidence that comes from navigating this new environment
2. To question assumptions, examining not only what strikes us as different and interesting, but also what our own responses and attitudes reveal about us – and to grow from that knowledge.
3. To gain understanding about India, her history, her emerging economy, her challenges and her place in the world.
4. To examine the interconnections created by global business and the impact of these on all the people and countries involved.
5. To investigate micro-finance, responsible business initiatives, “patient profits” and other ways social entrepreneurs and business leaders are solving (and hoping to solve) social problems
6. To meet with leaders at all levels of Indian society and engage with them in a discussion about leadership, entrepreneurship, role models, mentoring and making a difference.
7. To develop our own leadership skills by leading discussions and taking charge of specific aspects of this seminar.

The University of Washington Foster School of Business. Located in Seattle-
Washington, home of Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Costco, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, and many other renowned organizations, the Foster School of Business consistently ranks among the top business schools in the world. Founder-Director Cate Goethals is also the founder-director of many other women in leadership programs in the University of Washington Foster School of Business. Among others, these include Women at the Top, cited by Forbes magazine as one of the 10 “most innovative” MBA classes; an annual global consulting program with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Ahmedabad; and a Women Board Director Development Program for executive women based upon her “Better Boards Project” research. Cate is also a consultant and certified executive and leadership development coach focused on senior women.

MAYAHealth collaborations:
A day well spent learning about MAYAHealth and engaging with health navigators on the program. The focus of the visit was to understand concepts of women entrepreneurship at the village level and how social enterprises are built in Rural India. 22 Senior students from Washington Fosters Business School spent the day on field interacting with Health Navigators and understanding the nuances of the program.
We are happy to support this initiative that is enabling an environment of experiential learning, and helping young leaders to align their business acumen to solve pressing global challenges.
Big shout out to the students and leaders for visiting us this 6th Sept, looking forward to a fruitful relationship in the future as-well.

#Inspiringhealth #empoweringwomen #microentrepreurship #makeithappen #womenleaders #globalhealth #ruralenterprises

(To know more on our ongoing Internships at MAYA Health please feel free to reach us at-

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MAYA and Half the Sky- India Exploration Seminar