Founder and President of AVTAR Career Creators; Managing Trustee of AVTAR Human Capital Trust
A champion for the cause of re-entry of women into the workforce, Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, is the founder and president of AVTAR Career Creators, AVTAR Human Capital Trust and FLEXI Careers India. She is known for her work in the area of flexible working, second careers for women, and increasing women’s workforce participation in India. She was awarded the 100 Women Achievers Scroll by the Government of India in January 2016.
AVTAR runs counseling sessions, career-entry programs, skill-building sessions, networking sessions, early career recruitment and role model creation. It is tough, demanding work, because the need for gender diversity is still a very isolated occurrence that only a few companies invest in it.
In the 10 years of her work, thousands of women have benefited from the free counseling, career strategy creation and mentoring that Saundarya and her team gives women every day. The AVTAR I-WIN network has grown to about 40,000 women professionals and is today a destination not only for women professionals who take breaks and then decide to re-create their careers, but also for organizations that want to leverage gender inclusive talent strategy. More than 8000 women have re-entered the workforce thanks to the untiring efforts of Saundarya and her team. These ‘second career women’ have contributed an estimated Rs 250 crores by way of economic participation.
Saundarya believes that women’s careers will be one of the foremost success factors contributing towards India’s development in the coming years. She spends much of her time sensitizing, influencing and educating women and organizations towards this mission.