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Vidya Shakti Saathi Mentorship Programme

Powering the careers of aspiring women learners

To increase the female labour force participation, focusing solely on young women’s skills is necessary but insufficient. Three main challenges faced by women for not being able to join the labour workforce are:

upGrad provides 100% scholarship in the following certification courses:
  • Skills deficit
  • Information and Network gap
  • Restrictive gender norms

The Vidhya Shakti Initiative for Women is an initiative by the upGrad Foundation that aims to work towards improving the skills deficit and promoting inclusive education in the country.

The other two challenges can be solved through Mentoring support. In this virtual program, upGrad employees (mentors) will help close the network and information gap which is vital for young women who lack career pathways through their immediate family or extended networks. It will also help improve the restrictive gender norms by providing the correct information and new perspectives to Vidya Shakti Scholars (mentees).

Mentoring programmes have emerged across the globe as an effective positive youth development practice. At upGrad Foundation, the virtual mentorship program aims to improve the employability of mentees through its employees (mentors).

Since the Foundation is currently running the Vidya Shakti program for female students, the mentoring opportunity is ONLY open for female employees at upGrad. The mentors connect with their mentees either through video calls or phone calls, and guide them, mentor them, and educate them.

Mentees virtually meet their mentors to discuss and learn about the opportunities, demands and cultures of the professional world. It gives mentees an insight into potential career paths and helps them to fulfil their aspirations for employment opportunities.
Mentors also discuss their own vulnerability during the mentoring process. Sharing their failures and their learning through failures proves to be useful for the mentees. This process equips the mentees to become increasingly more self-sufficient in dealing with their own challenges as they face them in their adventures, giving them the confidence, they need to succeed in the future. 
Mentors give one-hour each week at a mutually convenient time for three months to provide mentorship through a predesigned curriculum on topics like CV preparation, soft skills training, interview tips, support in preparing LinkedIn accounts, job hunting, financial literacy etc. Each mentor can develop a plan after understanding the needs and aspirations of their mentee. After every session, a feedback form is shared with Mentors and Mentees to assess the progress and impact of the programme.

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