Student Media Body of IIT Kgp


Lean In, IIT Kharagpur

Posted on March 8, 2018

There are some initiatives that we see coming up in the campus for the betterment of its residents. While it takes lot of efforts and courage to delve into the world of new experiences which brings some uncertainty with itself, a group of KGPians have come up with something that deserves applause. A group of girls came together to form ‘Lean In, IIT Kharagpur’. Lean In, IIT Kharagpur was started by a group of women taking inspiration from the book Lean In, written by Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook. The major objective of this group is to create a community for women in IIT Kharagpur and to give them a platform where they can learn, be inspired and serve as role models for others in the community. 

The starting point - Lean In circles

The circle on campus consists of 15-20 women who meet up weekly to for one unique activity that targets personal growth and ends in further self-discovery with each one setting at least one goal for the coming week. The need for such a circle intensifies in a leading technology university where the sex ratio is disheartening and sometimes women get left behind only because of lack of opportunities or support.

One of the meetings of Lean In circle

The circle provides an avenue to meet new relatable people while drawing a new perspective through the wide variety of stories and experiences each one has to offer.

Creating a community of students and alumni

One of the main objectives of this chapter of Lean In is to create a community where girls on campus are able to receive help from alumni through drawing inspiration from their stories, as well as through one on one mentorship. They are currently using interviews of some of IIT Kharagpur's recent female alumni, published through their page, to provide an avenue for girls to get in touch with their role models and be inspired to take on similar paths. 

Next steps for Lean In chapter in IIT Kharagpur

While Kharagpur has a plethora of opportunities to learn and grow, sometimes being a part of the gender minority can prove to be overwhelming. In order to target this, and to create a peer group among girls of similar interests, they plan to organise small workshops targeting specific skills.

Lean In, IIT Kharagpur members with Mrs Sudeshna Sarkar

Other plans include launching a mentorship programme where both men and women can participate to mentor female students interested in their particular field.

Currently, the campus has only one active Lean In circle, but in the coming weeks, it is expected that at least 4-5 circles will be created for girls with various interests and at different stages in their academic life. The group is absolutely open and anyone who wishes to join/contribute can do so by letting them know through this form.

Looking ahead

The foundation of this group lies in the need to create a sense of belonging and understanding amongst women who have experienced similar issues, an opportunity to learn and grow and pick up new skills and to find a support system amongst female colleagues and friends to constantly gain strength from. With the chapter in its nascent stage, it has already garnered a lot of interest and support from the female and male community alike, and in the coming days, the group hopes to take this platform for women further ahead.

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