up! SURGE2023 upholds women’s empowerment & workforce participation across sectors

The programme focuses on 3 key themes — Evoke, Navigate, and Amplify  


up! SURGE 2023 was organised by XLRI’s Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusive Leadership (CGEIL) powered by XLRI for Women (XL4W), an international alumni Chapter of XLRI Jamshedpur and Delhi. This is the 4th edition of the flagship 3-week learning programme that focuses on providing senior women leaders perspectives and inspiration in their career journeys to the C-Suite. It also helps increase their  impact in the workforce in India. The final leg of the up! SURGE programme was held in Bengaluru on 17 to 18 August, 2023.

The programme was kick started with a talk by Fr. K S Casimir, director, XLRI-Delhi NCR. The participants got the opportunity to learn from industry leaders such as Pankajam Sridevi, managing director, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (India); Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India, head SAP user experience; Supriya Dhanda, co-founder & managing partner, Early-Stage Investor Fund; Suparna Mitra, CEO, watches & wearables division, Titan Company and Bindu Vinodhan, founder Tillt & The Mauna Dhwani Foundation on a panel discussion and 17 facilitators, mentors and networking leaders across various industries and past participants from our 2021 and ‘22 cohorts.

up! SURGE 2023 included 150 participants from 58 participating companies and 24 industries with an average experience of 18.8 years. The participants came from various fields such as sales, human resources, finance, general management, marketing, operations, supply chain management, legal, IT/engineering and data science. Furthermore, the event witnessed participation from 33 new companies and 25 previous ones, further cementing the quality and impact of the programme. 

The learning journey is built on three key themes: Evoke, Navigate and Amplify. ‘Evoke’ encourages experienced women leaders to think big, explore their leadership purpose, and find ways to grow by overcoming challenges. ‘Navigate’ equips them with practical frameworks to establish their own advisory board, handle conflicts, and enhance their ability to bounce back. Lastly, through ‘Amplify’, participants grasp the art of venturing beyond their comfort zone, increasing their influence, and creating a lasting impact by inspiring others in turn.

The programme also included a networking event where participants connected with successful CXOs (top executives) and hear about the achievements of past participants.

up! SURGE has grown into a distinctive platform and community where women leaders at similar career stages connect, exchange insights and draw from each other’s leadership experiences. So far, 510 women leaders from 120 companies have joined and they are not more than three layers away from the CEO/MD roles in their companies.  

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