Discover Avtar: 22 Facts about India’s oldest D&I solutions firm

  1. How many years of experience does Avtar have in the field of Diversity and Inclusion?

The first venture by Avtar was launched on 03 December 2000, marking its legacy of 20 years of expertise in the field of Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Is Avtar the first Diversity and Inclusion solutions firm in India?

Yes, Avtar is the pioneer in the space of Diversity and Inclusion, in India. Through state of the art research, it familiarized India to the D&I gaps that were there. It is also India’s largest provider of second-career opportunities for women.

  • What services does Avtar offer?

Avtar is an organisation committed to improving the workforce participation of under-represented talent groups, including women, PwDs and members of the LGBTQ community. All its services are towards building a welcoming and sustainable environment for the minority and diverse set of talented professionals. Avtar is keen on providing the best of its services to the upliftment of diverse groups in the workplace. Avtar’s services, which are also the firsts to India, include:

1) Creating a marketplace for second career women to meet potential employers.

2) Developing a comprehensive set of career enablers which companies can implement in their workspaces.

3) Spearheading original research in D&I that has provided cutting edge insights to organisations.

4) Re-Skilling, Up-skilling, and Counselling of women to pursue sustainable career paths.

5) Building career intentionality amongst underprivileged girl children.

The periodical research conducted on careers of diversity talent groups and attached inclusion dimensions, is one of the significant value-adds that Avtar fosters, which is the foundation of all of Avtar’s services. With the strong base of research-driven data, Avtar has conducted over 500 workshops in 80+ companies and impacted 10,000+ employees through its various flagship training programmes. It has also enabled career opportunities to over 40000 women and trained over 35000 women in attitudinal skills relevant for careers. Through its services, Avtar has helped over 400 organisations walk the path of inclusion, through building diversity awareness and accountability in their workforces. 

  • Who founded Avtar?

Avtar is the brainchild of Dr Saundarya Rajesh, a social entrepreneur, one of India’s respected thought leaders, and the advisor of choice to frontrunner business conglomerates and corporate leaders on the benefits of Diversity and Inclusion. Dr Saundarya is recognised globally for her efforts towards improving women’s workforce participation. She is also the recipient of an impressive list of awards and has gained recognition of ‘#100 Women Achiever’ and ‘Web Wonder Woman’ by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Recognised among UN’s ‘Women Transforming India’, Dr Saundarya is one of the Top 35 Global Changemakers, featured in a specially commissioned exhibition of portraits at a London Art Gallery.

  • Which major companies are in the clientele of Avtar?

Over its two-decades-long existence, Avtar has helped charter Diversity & Inclusion plans for several organisations in the IT, BPO, FMCG, Banking & Financial Services, Retail and other industries in the country. Its clientele include, Accenture, IBM, Google, Cognizant, Capgemini, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Barclays, Ford, BASF, GSK Pharma, Abbott, P&G, JSW, Aditya Birla Group, and Mahindra Group.

  • What are the various workshops offered by Avtar in the space of Diversity and Inclusion?

Avtar’s services, which predominantly are for advocating the need for Diversity and Inclusion have encouraged it to build a set of training programs, bolstered by its strong, research-backed background. The list of which is given below:

  1. Diversity Immersion Workshop

The Diversity Immersion workshop aims to reveal the decision constructs that other best-in-class organisations have used to leverage the power of a diverse and inclusive workforce. This half-day session will enhance each participant to recognise what D&I means holistically for one’s own organisation and create a blueprint to plan the way forward.

  • B-DivInE – Unconscious Bias Workshop

B-DivInE workshop unleashes the power of behavioural changes in addressing the concepts of Diversity and Inclusion for managers. Not travelling the beaten path of identifying differences and learning to synthesise them, the B-DivInE program looks at the inherent changes required in the psyche of the manager to lead diverse teams successfully. This half-day program is designed for senior managers, managers from all functions, leaders and change agents to experience the benefits of Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Gender Sensitisation

To address gender-related issues, and to make the work environment more inclusive and diverse, training sessions on Gender sensitivity are critical. A gender-sensitive and diverse working environment opens the widest possible range of life options for both men and women. This full-day program will enable junior level staff, team leaders, managers, senior managers, change agents and leaders from all functions to develop a deeper understanding of gender diversity and recognise false assumptions and overcome stereotypes and manage unconscious biases.

  • Inter-Generational Competence

This workshop on Hosting Inter-Generational Conversations helps in identifying generation gaps, leveraging generational differences and similarities for the growth of the organisation. This results in better employee engagement and more productivity. The half-day program is aimed at senior managers, managers from all functions, leaders and change agents.

  • Gender Intelligence for Talent Acquisition

Gender Intelligence Workshop is designed for Talent Acquisition professionals and is aimed at addressing common challenges in acquiring diverse talent and will provide answers on how to overcome them. The process of being aware, comprehending and applying Gender sensitivity is termed as Gender Intelligence. This full-day program is ideal for senior managers, hiring managers from all functions, leaders and change agents.

  • Men as Gender Advocates

Engaging men become crucial for the success of any gender balance agenda and goals of the organisation. This will increase awareness on unconscious gender biases and its cost in the workplace; improve knowledge on gender differences and enhance the ability to be a better communicator and team manager; and most important drive commitment from men professionals for a gender-fair workplace based on trust and respect. This half-day program is targeted at male leaders, managers & senior managers from all functions.

  • What are the career-enablement training sessions offered by Avtar?

Avtar has a series of workshops and training materials developed, exclusively for benefitting career-ambitious individuals. A few of the marque training sessions under the belt are:

  1. Intentional Career Pathing (ICP)

Intentional Career Pathing (ICP) is a flagship training programme for mid-career women professionals in India. One of the most innovative training interventions, ICP is a method of developing specific skills convergent with mid-term and long-term career milestones, which will enable women to pursue their career vision successfully and sustainably. ICP is a six months’ long training intervention that is designed based on experiential learning and research studies such as Career Trajectories of Men and Women in India, Career Enablers for Women, Flexible working and Work-life integration.


This training program is customisable within the pillars of the ICP requirements. The ICP training program has been successfully delivered across India in multiple organisations from diverse sectors.

  • Women in Sales

Women in Sales training programme is based on research that is aimed at enhancing the skills and behaviours of women sales professionals so that they can become outstandingly successful in their careers and steadily rise to leadership positions. This full-day program will help women professionals to analyse unstated, unmet needs of clients, negotiate effectively, exhibit executive presence and close business deals.

  • Everyday Leadership for Millennial Women Professionals

Everyday Leadership for Millennial Women Professionals is a training programme designed for early-career women. This programme will help young women professionals in setting the future direction for their careers, building commitment and creating alignment for collaboration at the workplace. This full-day program training programme will equip millennial women professionals with the tools that they need to grow and thrive.

  • What is Avtar’s Flexcurity?

Flexcurity is Avtar’s proprietary tool to assess jobs/roles for their suitability for flexible working. An in-house built tool, Flexcurity begins with identifying job prototypes and analysing job/role descriptions for their operative dimensions to arrive at resonance/dissonance with flexible working models. This is followed by the crucial stages of flexidising and unbundling jobs. For more details, please click the following link: Flexcurity by Avtar.

  • Is it possible to shift career field to an entirely different one? Does Avtar offer such services?

Avtar’s pride, Avtar Women is a platform where one can explore the possibilities. It is a platform that provides return-to-work opportunities for second-career women of the nation, also enabling the women for this transition journey through avenues for up-skilling. The network which originally launched with 200 women in 2005, is now 350000 strong. Shortly, Avtar will launch the myAvtar.com, India’s’ first diversity hiring portal.

  1. Is there a specific training program offered for creating awareness on Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH)? 

POSH Workshop for ICC Members is a program by Avtar that addresses this need. The core objective of this workshop is the capacity building of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) members. This workshop is aimed at training ICC members to conduct a formal investigation in case of a complaint, help them with interview tips while interacting with both the aggrieved and the accused, legal requirements while accepting a case, drawing conclusions, assessing the credibility of the complaint and deciding on corrective action. This full-day program, with the help of real-life cases, will help the participants from recognizing sexual harassment to handling incidents appropriately in the most efficient manner.

  1. Which are the significant research papers published by Avtar?

The annual research report, namely Viewport, which is in its 9th edition, is one of the flagship initiatives by Avtar. A publication undertaken on the subjects of Alternate Talent Pools, Indian Demography, Gender and Generational Profiles and Employee Behavior, is used and quoted extensively by decision-makers across industries and functions to form the basis of strategic thought.

The other prominent research works by Avtar are:  An empirical investigation into the role of mentor competence in the development of career intentionality among the underprivileged girls in India, a 2019 publication, Gender Inclusion in an Indian VUCA World, a 2019 SAGE publication, Are men more intentional about their careers than women? An exploration of the career trajectories of Indian Professionals – a 2015 publication in Indian Journal of Management, and a 2014 study on Barriers to Flexible Working for Indian Women Professionals, published in Global Journals.

Researchers at Avtar have published over 25 papers in journals of national and international repute.

  1. Can the research reports published by Avtar be availed for free?

A few of the published works like Viewport, the annual research report by Avtar, and a few publicly available reports can be accessed free of cost. If a firm wishes to do syndicated research in the domain of D&I, there would be cost implications.

  1. Does Avtar allow external writers to contribute to their research articles or blogs?

While Avtar’s dedicated research team develops materials related to research, Avtar is happy to reflect the audiences’ take on everything that is in line with its mission and vision. You may submit your communication collaterals through the ‘contact us’ option given on the website. You also have the opportunity to exhibit your creative side by contributing to the Newsletter, on relevant events and happenings aligning with the principles of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

  1. Does Avtar have a recognised portal for job search?

Avtar Women (www.avtarwomen.com) is a dedicated site created for this purpose. With hand-picked jobs for women, Avtar Women has dedicated space, where one also could explore self-potential as well as skills through the series of assessment tests laid out, especially for the benefit of ambitious women in India.

  1. Is the registration free for being a member of Avtar Women?

Yes, the registration is free of cost for signing up on Avtar Women.

  1. Which are the flagship events and conferences conducted by Avtar?

Avtar, in association with Working Mother Media (a celebrated gender parity champion of the US), conducts India’s largest gender analytics exercise – Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI), which is in its fifth edition in 2020. More than 300 companies participate in this annual study sharing more than 500 diversity metrics and best practices to identify the 100 best companies for women. In 2019, Avtar and Working Mother together launched India’s largest and only inclusion Index that looks into diversity strands of LGBTQ, PwD, generations, and culture.

The other Diversity and Inclusion programs and events by Avtar include, The Power of I Conference, D&I Reboot – Facilitated Learning Session, partnered events on D&I dimensions, webinars on topics like Gender Intelligence in Talent Acquisition, POSH, Male as Gender Advocates, Managing Remote Working During the Pandemic, all for growing business potential of organisations through intentional career enthusiasts to thrive in the market. For more details, please check the website, avtarinc.com.

  1. What is the eligibility requirement of companies to participate in BCWI?

To be eligible to apply to BCWI, your company should employ at least 500 employees (an all inclusive head-coount) in India. Upon receipt of your registration, Avtar shall write to you with more details about the way forward.

  1. What is the BoB Conference?

The Working Mother and Avtar Best Practices of the 100 Best Conference, or the Best of the Best Conference, in short, is India’s most awaited event in the D&I Calendar. As the premier D&I Awards Conference in the country, Best of the Best Conference has, over the past three editions, created a platform for sharing the innovations in the field of Diversity & Inclusion. The Conference will recognize and showcase the best practices of the top 100 Companies in India for Women and the Most Inclusive Companies, innovations, and other state-of-the-art trends.

  1. Does Avtar undertake any CSR activities?

Aiming for a growth structure that enables collective growth and social inclusion, Avtar extends support as advocates of change through the channel, AVTAR Human Capital Trust (AHCT). Founded in 2008 with an aim to disseminate information, knowledge, and skills to people belonging to diverse segments of the Indian society, AHCT has reached and impacted the lives of several thousand through developmental initiatives like Project PUTHRI and MITR.

  • What is the focus area of Project PUTHRI and MITR, the two major CSR initiatives of Avtar?

Project PUTHRI is AHCT’s (AVTAR Human Capital Trust) flagship programme launched for educating and empowering underprivileged girl students of the age group of 13 to 18 years. Its aim is to develop a cadre of women professionals from the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, equipped for pursuing white-collar jobs. A structured five-year program, Puthri seeks to create a sense of ‘Career Intentionality’ among the scholars, parallelly training them in other strategic skills, and guiding them to complete tertiary education and subsequently a sustainable career. Starting in 2017 with just one school as the beneficiary group, today AHCT proudly supports a total of 62 schools. With the support of more than 500 volunteers, 25 institutions, and close to 30 corporate friends and collaborative partners as stakeholders, AHCT is on its journey to reach its target to cover 100 schools for creating an impact in the lives of many.

The second initiative, MITR (Men Impacting Trust & Respect), is a unique attempt of AHCT in educating and empowering young, adolescent male population as empathetic “Gender Champions”. The vision is to develop a rich brigade of the male population of the country with age-appropriate information, sensitizing them empathetically for understanding the female community, thus contributing to reducing the crimes against women in the country.

  • What is myAvtar?

myAvtar is India’s only diversity job portal that will connect people from under-represented groups like People with Disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ Community, Veterans and women on breaks, to jobs at the most inclusive companies in India. For more details, visit: https://www.myavtar.com/

  • What is the #MyAvtar #MyIdentity series?

This is a video interview series hosted by Avtar’s Founder-President, Dr. Saundarya Rajesh. Luminaries and leaders who have established themselves through their work, are the guests on this show. Launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020, the show hosted on Avtar’s YouTube channel has been receiving amazingly positive reviews on social media.


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