The conference will also be addressed by Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Ms. Melinda French Gates,

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, will inaugurate a conference titled, “Women Leading Change in Health and Science in India” in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The conference will also be addressed by Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ms. Melinda French Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ms. Amie Batson, Executive Director, WomenLift Health.

The conference being organized by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a PSU of DBT, in collaboration with WomenLift Health and Grand Challenges India will highlight and promote the importance of women’s leadership in health and science and seek to identify attainable pathways and goals to strengthen the representation of women in leadership positions in India and Global health ecosystem.

This conference honors and celebrates Indian women’s accomplishments in overcoming unprecedented challenges over the past few years and advancing STEM innovation and healthcare with their indefatigable resilience and unwavering perseverance.

Dr. Alka Sharma, Senior Adviser, DBT & Managing Director, BIRAC, said, “Women’s leadership is now recognized at the highest level and is steadily on the rise. Through various schemes and programs of BIRAC, the researchers and entrepreneurs are being promoted and supported across the country”. She added that “this conference is certainly going to help in building a national focus on women’s leadership”.

Though the global healthcare workforce is predominantly women, yet they remain underrepresented in leadership and decision-making positions. Especially at the higher executive or board levels, they are denied opportunities. Under-representation in STEM is also one of the major concerns. In India, the healthcare workforce participation is somewhat similar between men and women, still fewer women are in leadership roles.

The panel of speakers at this conference includes Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, former Chief Scientist World Health Organization, Dr. Renu Swarup, former secretary, of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, member, of NITI Aayog, and Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, and Secretary, Department of Health Research, Dr. Tessy Thomas, Director General of Aeronautical Systems, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and many other prominent names working in health and science.

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