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Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusive Leadership

The Xavier School of Management - XLRI’s Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusive Leadership (CGEIL) is based in XLRI’s Delhi NCR campus. The Centre has been founded to shape policy, guide actions, and support individuals, firms, and governments in enabling a more equitable and just society.

Concern with the escalating gender gap in India, as highlighted in the World Economic Forum’s 14th Global Gender Gap Report released in 2021, has been a key factor in founding the Centre. This trend is further exacerbated by India’s gender ratio of 92% (2% below global average) due to the issue of “missing girls” and disparate gender-specific access to healthcare. Faculty members of XLRI and its alumni came together to set the framework for the Centre, which was launched in 2020.

CGEIL’s focus is to empower livelihoods and employment opportunities on a gender neutral basis to further the cause of developing an equitable and just society. Taking further XLRI’s guiding motto of Excellence with Integrity, the Centre seeks to establish itself as a premier body collaborating with partner institutions, governments, and funding agencies to interweave the mindset, approach and habits that shall make realisation of Gender Equality and Inclusive Leadership a lived experience in all facets and arenas of society.


Thus, the Centre will aim to encourage and improve gender equality in the workforce, entrepreneurial participation of women across sectors and segments. To this end, three areas of intervention will form the Centre’s focus.


Effective August 2023, the Centre’s efforts are guided by a Board of Advisors (BoA) comprising eminent professionals, thought leaders, and practitioners across academia and research, corporates, government, and philanthropic organizations. Advisors serve a tenure of 3 years with 1/3rd Members retiring every other year. The BoA is designed to provide inputs on the Centre’s overall direction and to specific programs that the Centre implements, while enabling an appropriate supporting network of relevant stakeholders that lead to effective and visible advocacy by the Centre. The Centre’s BoA is headed by a Chairperson who serves the Centre over a 3 year tenure.

The Executive Officer leads and shoulders all operational responsibilities for the Centre, reporting to the Director, XLRI NCR.

Research InitiativesTeaching & EducationField Programs

  • 1. Undertake Studies, Research Projects and Reports focussing on areas such as credit offtake by women entrepreneurs, gender gap, pay parity, women leadership, access to rights and benefits across formal and informal work spaces.

  • 2. Industry & govt. Partnership to enable change in mindsets and action deep within society.

  • 3. Advocacy through participation in policy formulation in collaboration with global / national organizations.

  • 4. Awareness programs on Gender Equality and Inclusion customized for various stakeholders.

  • 1. Embed Modules on Gender Equality & Inclusive Leadership in higher education curricula.

  • 2. Mentoring & coaching initiatives.

  • 3. Supporting & facilitating collaboration initiatives with centres for Women’s studies in foreign and Indian Universities.

  • 4. Launch certified skill programs aimed to build social, financial & economic empowerment.

  • 1. Undertake capability building programs in partnership with government, funding agencies, and corporates for vulnerable communities.

  • 2. Advisory services to corporations and organizations.

  • 3. Design and Implement innovative programs to recognize, reward, nurture individuals and organizations working in these areas.

Board of Advisors

  • Mr. Amit KumarHead – Sustainable and Inclusive Growth United Nations Development Programme

    Amit has over 24 years of professional experience working with national and international development organizations fostering sustainable economic development. In his current role at UNDP, he leads the Sustainable and inclusive growth portfolio which encompasses policy and programmatic response for the marginalized and vulnerable population in diverse thematic areas such as Women's Economic Empowerment, Youth Engagement, Cluster Development, Entrepreneurship, Start-up, and Innovation System Promotion, Sustainable Production and Consumption and Institutional Capacity Building.

    Before joining UNDP, he worked with KPMG, GIZ, and NSIC. He holds a Masters in International Business from the Delhi School of Economics.

  • Ms. Kanta Singh,Deputy Country Representative, UN Women India

    Kanta has over 25 years of experience in the management of pro-women development programmes. Kanta has worked with national and international organisations to promote women in the formal economy, sports and politics. Kanta’s last assignment was with UNDP where she spent 9 years.

    Currently, Kanta is the Deputy Representative with UN Women India. She is a former national level Volleyball Player. Kanta is a Chevening Gurukul Fellow from the University of Oxford.

  • Ms. Lakshmi CManaging Director – Human Resources Lead, Accenture in India

    Lakshmi is the Managing Director and Lead for Human Resources for Accenture in India. In this role, Lakshmi is responsible for leading the human capital strategy for Accenture in India. She has an unwavering passion for her people and is focused on enabling 300,000+ people in India to be successful, both professionally and personally.
    Prior to this role, during close to two decades in Accenture, Lakshmi has held numerous HR leadership positions, supporting different Accenture businesses both locally and globally. She has earlier served at iGATE (now Capgemini) and Nestle in various HR roles.
    Lakshmi holds a Bachelors degree in economics from Presidency University, Kolkata, and an MBA in Human Resources from XLRI, Jamshedpur. She is fluent in 5 languages.

  • Ms. Madhavi LallManaging Director, Head of HR, India - Deutsche Bank

    Madhavi has over 32 years experience and has held various positions in multi-national organizations like Standard Chartered Bank, ABN Amro Bank, Colgate Palmolive, and HCL Hewlett Packard Ltd. She holds an MBA degree with specialization in Human Resources and Systems from XLRI, Jamshedpur, India, and has pursued a master’s degree in mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India.
    Madhavi was conferred the “Women Leadership Award” by the Jury and Council of Board Members of the Institute of Public Enterprise - BFSI
    Madhavi actively contributes to the latest HR thinking through articles published in reputed publications. Her hobbies include traveling, movies, and reading.

  • Mr. Muniinder K AnandManaging Director - India, South Asia & Global Support Center at CCL

    With over 25 years of experience in business and human resources consulting, Muninder is a lifelong learner who has catapulted a multitude of global firms and leaders to the pinnacles of commercial success.
    From PwC, Aon Hewitt, and Schneider through Mercer, KPMG, and now CCL, Muninder’s forte has always been qualitative, future-first expansion. As Director, Management Consulting at KPMG, he led the team and re-energized the business with People in Change, playing a crucial role, along the way, in enabling nearly 5000 leaders in IOCL.

    Muniinder has consistently pushed for improved experiences, streamlined processes, and strengthened client engagements across a wide range of industries by emphasizing relationships, teamwork, and that unbeatable "we" mantra.

    Recently, Muniinder has been recognized for his efforts in the field of leadership development with the Edvocate Leadership Award and L&D's Business Excellence Award. He also received the Indian Achievers’ Award for 2020 & 2021-22.

  • Ms. Parineeta Cecil LakraCountry People & Culture Manager at IKEA India

    Parineeta Cecil Lakra is currently Country People & Cultural Manager, IKEA India. She has extensive experience in Human Resources over 19 years mostly in the Retail industry. Prior to working with IKEA, she served at Carrefour India as Division Head - Human Resources, and Senior Manager - Training and Development, as a Manager at Genpact.

    Parineeta has been an integral part of IKEA India’s start-up journey since 2014, contributing to and delivering to setting up of the People & Culture function. She has been actively working to establish a strong positive Employer Brand and developing and growing talent for IKEA India’s growth journey. She brings to bear her competence for establishing people functions, talent development, and leadership acceleration. Parineeta and her team support business expansion and business transformations for IKEA India.

    She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and an MBA in Human Resources from XLRI Jamshedpur.

  • Mr. Prawin Kumar Toppo, IASSecretary to the Govt. of Jharkhand

    Before joining the Government services, he had exposure in the areas of HR, Exports & Imports. Working in the Government services has given him varied experience especially in district administration, where one is expected to implement government schemes in the fields of education, health, welfare, rural development, urban development, etc.
    In the Secretariat, his exposure was in the departments of Welfare, Education, Labour, Industry Transport, Panchayati Raj, Building Construction and Personnel, Administrative Reforms, and Rajbhasha.
    The most challenging role was that of the Labour Commissioner when the state introduced a series of labour reforms at the same time protecting the interests of the labour. Apart from a Bachelors in History from St Stephen’s College, he has an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, and a Masters in international development policy from Duke University.

  • Dr. Poornima DoreVenture Partner - Elevar Equity, Author, Visiting faculty, XLRI- Jamshedpur.

    An Economist, Teacher, and TAS Business Leader with deep experience in solving for impact at scale, institution building, digital transformation, corporate and development finance. Recognized as one of the Top 100 Analytics Leaders in South Asia.
    As a member of the flagship leadership program TAS, she has worked across Tata group companies in finance, auto, consumer goods etc. Most recently as Director - Analytics, Insights and Impact at the Tata Trusts, the principal shareholder of the Tata Group. In this role, she has held organisation-wide charge of leading the impact narrative and leveraging the power of data and digital tools for better SDG outcomes - across all focus districts and cities in India.
    She has served on select Boards and Ministerial Committees, the most recent being on the National Consumption Expenditure Survey, Aspirational Districts of India, and Datasmart Cities. Over the years, she has contributed to the Private sector's investment approach to Digital Public Goods, Urban Poverty, Migration, and Livelihoods, while actively designing special institutional programs on Social Impact Financing and Employment Creation.
    She has a Ph.D. in Economics from IIT Bombay. A Gold Medalist from XLRI Jamshedpur, Poornima holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and is a Principal's Award holder from Lady Shri Ram College.

  • Ms. Rajkamal VempatiHead of Human Resources at Axis Bank

    Ms. Rajkamal Vempati is the Head of Human Resources at Axis Bank. She has more than 25 years of experience working in the field of Human Resources. Prior to joining Axis Bank, Rajkamal was Senior Vice President - HR at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited and Head of Human Resources at ICICI Lombard GIC.
    She holds an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur.

  • Ms. Sohini BhattacharyaraCEO, Breakthrough

    Sohini has worked in the development sector for 30+ years with a focus on women and empowerment. She has been closely connected to the Women’s Movement in India and co-founded Sanhita Gender Resource Centre — the first of its kind in Eastern India in 1996. Before Breakthrough, she worked with Ashoka Innovators for the Public for 10 years to bring in more women entrepreneurs to the fellowship and on institution building for the organisation in South Asia. She also worked as the India strategy advisor for the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network from 2010-2013.

    Currently, Sohini is the CEO of Breakthrough, an organisation focused on transforming gender norms and building the leadership of young people to prevent gender-based violence. Sohini became Breakthrough’s second President and CEO in July 2017 and helmed the global organisation through a founder transition for the first 3 years. Sohini has worked with Breakthrough since 2010 and has developed an impressive portfolio of support for Breakthrough’s programs and has managed a wide range of partnerships across the globe. She is also a trustee of Read India, an organization that sets up self-sustaining community libraries across the country.

  • Suresh Ramasubramanian

    An alumnus of XLRI from the class of 1989 - 91, as a Human Resources leader and CHRO, Suresh Ramasubramanian has served at leading engineering and financial services groups and at a diversified conglomerate. His energies are now devoted to research in ethics and governance, and as a trusted advisor and coach. In which latter role, he engages intensively with select individuals and organizations to grow individual capability and develop institutional capacity. To take farther the best that XLRI has to offer, Suresh is specifically focused on serving XLRI by bringing to the institute, its students, faculty, and alumni, appropriate individual and institutional networks.

  • Vasanthi SrinivasanProfessor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

    Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan is a Professor in the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management area and Chairperson – Digital Learning at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. She did her Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Fellow in Management (Ph. D equivalent) from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. Before joining IIMB, Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan worked as an HR Professional and a consultant. She was the ICCR Chair Professor of Corporate Responsibility and Governance at the HHL School of Management, Leipzig, Germany, from 2012 to 2013. She was also a British Council Visiting Scholar at the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Nottingham University Business School in 2007.

    She was a member of the Uday Kotak Committee on Corporate Governance set up by India's Securities Exchange Board in 2017. She is a member of the Business and human rights working group constituted by India's National Human Rights Commission. She was also on the National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct drafting committee and National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights. She was a subcommittee member of the second Administrative Reforms Commission of Karnataka.

  • Ms. Veena Swarup.Former Director HR, Engineers India Limited

    ● A Management Professional with more than 3 decades in PSU
    ● Former Director of HR Engineers India Ltd
    ● Superannuated in 2016
    ● Three decades as HR Professional in Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Post Superannuation
    ● Independent Director on Boards
    ● Chair / Member of various policy-related committees of Industry Bodies and academic institutions–FICCI, AIMA, DMA, IOD, NHRD, IPE, FORE, SPJIMR, etc.
    ● Chair FICCI Taskforce for development of Traditional Clusters through Skilling.
    ● Founder & Chair of NOWE @DMA ( Network of Women Entrepreneurs )
    ● Fellow of All India Management Association
    ● Fellow of World Academy of Productivity Science ( WAPS )
    She has been recognized with various awards in Human Resources and Leadership in India and abroad.

  • Mr. Verghese K. JacobManagement Mentor and Social Innovator

    Verghese is a veteran Management Consultant, Social Innovator, and CSR advisor. He has more than 40 years of industry experience, across Corporate and Non-Profits sectors. He is the Chief integrator at Byrraju Foundation and Brane Enterprises and mentors the CSR programs of some companies. He is also the Founder Trustee of the ‘Foundation for Capacity Building in Science’ and ‘Care for Your Kidney Foundation’. His mission in life is to bring about social equity and to transfer the best management practices and technology solutions from corporates to the social sector.


  • Ms. Pritha Dutt
    Chairperson, CGEIL-XLRI

  • A postgraduate from XLRI, Jamshedpur and a Masters in Development & Extension from IGNOU, she worked for 2 decades in the Corporate Sector, handling Industrial Relations, Human Resources and Learning & Development in India and abroad before moving to the Development Sector. She is passionate about empowering women and youth, building institutions and designing large-scale programs for change. She has worked with Feedback Infra as President of the Capacity Building Division co-founded Phicus Social Solutions and was CEO, Empower Foundation. Since 2011 she has been co-owner and Board Director, Empower Pragati (a funded partner of NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) .In early 2023 she launched a social enterprise MeraBizNet (www.merabiznet.in) to enable and grow women owned businesses from the low and middle income category. She has been a Governing Board Member for the Alliance of Skill Training Partners (ASTP) and Board Chairperson of the DWSSC (Domestic Worker Sector Skill Council). She is a recipient of the British Chevening Young Manager’s Award for a scholarship to Leeds University, UK for the year 1997.