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WiT-ACE funding

WiT-ACE (Women in Technology- Accelerated Career Experiences) on Thursday stated that it has secured $1 million as part of its first seed fund led by founders of CitiusTech. Other investors including Sumita Ambasta, Founder and Executive Director, Flowering Tree Inc.; CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra; Subodh Bhargava, Independent Director Chairman at Tata Communications and Wartsila India; Sonny Iqbal, Partner and Co-leader, Family Business Practice at Egon Zehnder; Vikram Chachra, Founding partner, 8i Ventures also participated in this round. Dexter Capital also participated in this fund raise. 

According to the company, the recent investment will be utilized by WiT-ACE to improve its tech platform as well as for its extension and strategic partnerships. 

Established in 2018 by Anuranjita Kumar, WiT-ACE is a platform targeted at strengthening women’s participation in the STEM workforce. It has started work with more than 100 companies to engage, enable, and employ women in decision-making by their digital platform and virtual products in a short period.

Moreover, through its industry-governmental-academic partnerships, WiT-ACE is working closely to ensure policy and education impact in the industry. 

Commenting on the new development, Anuranjita Kumar, Founder and CEO, WiT-ACE stated, “The 100+ clients engaged with over 200k women on the platform in less than 11 months in one of the toughest years for business, gives us a good grip of industry needs and the confidence to grow this organization to the next phase of exponential growth. We are focused on the progressive and measurable impact on bridging gender gaps, through skilling and employment that will lead the transformation.

“It is humbling to have partners who are mentors and industry torchbearers themselves, and we are confident their support will be the much-required springboard towards achieving our target of impacting 20 million women by 2025,” she added. 

Anuranjita Kumar is a renowned human resource veteran with more than twenty-six years of experience working across the globe managing several assignments, including Citibank and the RBS Group. She has a very successful track record of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives across various organizations and geographies and is a well-known advocate of action in this space. 

Speaking about the development, Jagdish Moorjani, COO, CitiusTech, said, “WiT-ACE has multiple tracks parallelly focused on developing women as front runners to lead organizations of tomorrow. Both Rizwan Koita and I believe the ‘gender gap’ in multiple ways holds us back as a nation to achieve our full potential and this can be achieved only through consistent efforts that deliver measurable results. We see the potential and believe industry participation could move the needle.” 

“Any effort to correct gender gap needs to be measurable and sustainable, for which we need to tackle the real issues from the root level and further nurture inclusive growth. I believe that technology has a great role to play in ensuring this, and the initiatives led by WiT-ACE in this regard are truly inspiring. I look forward to the next phase of their efforts towards enabling a gender-equal and inclusive future,” added CP Gurnani, CEO & MD Tech Mahindra. 

Sumita Ambasta, Founder and Executive Director, Flowering Tree Inc. and Founder & Trustee, Plaksha, remarked, “Female workforce participation in India has been declining from an already low 35 percent in 2010 to ~20 percent in 2020. At the executive level, women make up less than one percent of C-Suite executives. These facts reveal the immense work and potential ahead of an organization like WiT-ACE. They have shown tremendous progress and impact in just a year and I look forward to partnering with them as they catalyze a workplace diversity revolution.” 

The vision of WiT-ACE is to ensure at least 50 percent of women in decision-making roles. To accomplish this goal, the focus is to strengthen the current weak talent pipeline in the industry through focused skilling for women at all stages. Through their focused endeavors, WIT-ACE hopes to stop the declining rates of professional women in the workforce (currently 20 percent from 32 percent a decade back) and raise the numbers pan India by introducing at least one million skilled women in the workforce over the next four to five years.

Commenting on the development, Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO of StartupLanes said, “While the world is talking about Women Empowerment, startups like WiT-ACE are actually making it happen. The recent funding will enable the company in fulfilling its vision.”

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