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The India Leadership Journey

"The India Leadership Journey offers a fantastic opportunity for talented Indian women leaders to become the drivers of change rather than recipients of programs or interventions. It is a multi-pronged program that provides numerous tools to talented women in the Indian health space to expand their power and influence. I am confident that those participating will come away with a meaningful experience that is mindset shifting and enables women to be more in touch with their authentic leadership styles.
— SHAGUN SABARWAL, India Program Director
at WomenLift Health

The India Leadership Journey

In this fully-funded 12-month Leadership Journey for mid-career women, participants engage in virtual learning touchpoints, virtual group mentoring, one-on-one coaching sessions, and importantly, a self-directed leadership project – all the while being supported by their coaches, mentors, facilitators, peers, and eminent national, regional, and global leaders in Health. 

Our aim is to create a network of talented women leaders around the world beginning with India, East Africa, and the U.S., and provide them with a safe space for independent and collaborative learning to deepen and elevate their leadership impact. Alumnae will be part of a lifelong network of allies at local, regional, and global levels who continue to support each other and new cohort members and to advocate for women’s leadership.

Our aim is to create a network of talented women leaders and provide them with a safe space for independent and collaborative learning to deepen and elevate their leadership impact.

01 Build Confidence 1

Welcome the 2022 Leadership Journey India Cohort

30 women have been selected for the inaugural India Leadership Journey. 

06 Mentor Relationshop 1

Meet the India Mentors & Coaches

“My whole life, I always had this idea that leaders had to be assertive and visionary and those are traits that I associated with white men and not with myself or people who look like me. During the program, I had a mindset shift and finally realized that leadership looks so different, and that we need those other traits and skills that women truly embody. I see now that no matter where I sit in any organization, the role that I can play is helping lift up other women and I know that the world of global health will be better.”
— BINDIYA PATEL, Managing Director, Programs and Innovation Division at PATH

"I am really thankful for this extremely transformational experience. This is really the beginning of a true leadership journey for me. I’ve had a fundamental mindset shift, clarity of vision, goals, and self-awareness, as well as awareness of the environment and growth and development opportunities, working toward collective success for higher impact. This is not just a project for me but a framework in which I will be functioning."
- KASHMIRA DATE, Director – Global Medical Affairs Leader (Vaccines) Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health

Leadership Journey Elements

Virtual Learning

Learning Touchpoints are facilitated virtual group sessions. Cohort members explore leadership frameworks, research, & tools in highly interactive learning touchpoints and workshop-style sessions focused on dynamic practice. The touchpoints focus on personal & professional growth, relevant topics and priorities for health leadership, as well as their Leadership Projects. These sessions allow the cohort to share with and learn from each other. 

Through dynamic discussions and hands-on exercises, cohort members enhance their skills, apply them to real-world examples, and reflect on lessons learned. A series of powerful conversations will complement the instruction, featuring eminent figures in Indian health who have led transformational change.

Virtual Mentorship

Effective women leaders are championed by a network of strong supporters, including mentors. 

We identify senior-level Indian women leaders in health from different backgrounds, sectors, and disciplines who are committed to gender equity and to developing other women leaders. Mentoring groups, comprising several cohort members and one mentor, are grouped based on complementary backgrounds and professional trajectory. Cohort members will be able to rely on their mentor for professional and technical guidance during the Journey.

Virtual Coaching

Having a personal leadership coach is critical in helping to navigate change and adapting to new challenges on the path towards leadership roles.

Cohort members are paired with an executive coach who works one-on-one with them to build on their strengths and address areas for growth. Leadership style assessments, including a “360-degree evaluation,” will inform these conversations and enhance each participant’s understanding of their own leadership skills. With this gift of feedback and support from their coach, participants can decide which leadership competencies to focus on, paving the road for them to be a more powerful and effective leader. 

The combination of mentors and coaches is powerful as women prepare for the next level of their careers, providing both professional connections and transformational leadership guidance. 


Virtual Lift-Off

The virtual 2-day ‘Leadership Lift-Off’ event at the end of the Journey celebrates the cohort’s growth as they ‘lift off’ to a new phase of their leadership. Cohort members will reflect on their leadership evolution through the course of the year and present their leadership projects to their peers as well as other global health audiences.

Leadership Project

The Leadership Project is an opportunity for each member to design and lead an effort that taps into their expertise, network, passion, and creativity.

Participants enter the Journey with a project idea and develop a Theory of Change, stakeholder analysis, and implementation plan with the guidance of their mentor, coach, and Indian health experts. The implementation phase of the project begins in the latter half of the Journey. Finally, at the Leadership Lift-Off event, each cohort member presents a summary of their project’s development and early outcomes. 

Implementation of the project does not have to be fully complete by the end of the Journey and will likely continue beyond it.

There are only 4 rules for the Leadership Project: 

  • It should focus on improving outcomes at the intersection of health and gender equality, or take a gendered lens on a national, regional, or global health issue
  • It should leverage your leadership skills
  • It should be within your scope of control or influence, but also stretch you beyond your day-to-day work requirements
  • You should be passionate about it

Leadership Projects fit into one of four themes:

  • Centering women and girls in health
  • Catalyzing institutional change 
  • Optimizing pathways to leadership
  • Building integrated & resilient health systems

Your Leadership Project could accomplish one or more of the following, but is not limited to:

  • Answering a research question  
  • Promoting health or gender education in a particular group 
  • Developing a new or better technology
  • Innovating a better way to collect/analyze/use health/gender data
  • Improving a gender or health-related process/system in your organization
  • Empowering or enabling women in your community or organization to be successful
  • Incorporating a gendered lens into a policy, practice or research project where it was absent