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The Indian fashion designer Anita Dongre is working with UN Women to upskill women in Maharashtra

Anita Dongre Not one to limit her efforts to broad brushstrokes, she has worked on reviving Indian handicrafts at the grassroot level while offering a stable livelihood to countless others. And now, the designer has joined hands with UN Women to provide power skills to women in Maharashtra

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Anita Dongre and Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman on Women Empowerment Dr Heena Gavit to kick off 21st-century employment linked upskilling initiative with UN Women  

Anita Dongre Not one to limit her efforts to broad brushstrokes, she has worked on reviving Indian handicrafts at the grassroot level while offering a stable livelihood to countless others. And now, the designer has joined hands with UN Women to provide power skills to women in Maharashtra. X-Billion Skills Lab, a social enterprise for enhancing workplace intelligence, Dongre will now be extending her support to providing women from disadvantaged backgrounds the workplace skills required to be employed. She has partnered with UN Women to provide 21st-century workplace skills to women from disadvantaged backgrounds across Maharashtra. The World Economic Forum in its Future of Jobs report stated that ’21st-century power skills’ such as emotional intelligence, creative thinking, entrepreneurship and problem solving will be the new ‘must-haves’ for job seekers to remain professionally relevant. However, such exposure is limited to only english speaking and upper middle-income audiences. In order to bridge the unemployability gap, this initiative will work with women from lower-income communities across Maharashtra to provide them free access to an e-learning platform which will use bollywood, sports, regional contexts and current affairs to incept these essential skills and their workplace applications. Each participating learner will also get access to a personal mentor, masterclasses with CEOs and a remote internship. Post successful completion of the program, qualifying candidates will also be provided with job access. The aim is to reach 1000+ women in a year’s time.  

To flag off the initiative: Anita Dongre and Dr Heena Gavit (Member of Parliament) were in conversation with UN Women Deputy Director Nishtha Satyam on November 25th. 100s of women through UN’s partner organizations across Maharashtra will participate in this dialogue which will explore the future of work, automation and the 21st-century skills and what it means for rural India.  

Anita’s message to all the girls, “It is very important that you become economically empowered. Challenges will come, but don’t give up. We need to simply believe that we can do it. Find something you love, put your mind to it and you will succeed.”

“The aim is to ensure that not only the women get access to jobs but also the required exposure to be able to build a successful long-lasting career – for which training one’s mind to deal with various workplace scenarios in this dynamic and technology-driven environment is equally as important. In-fact soft skills may become more important than technical skills, in the very near future” Samyak Chakrabarty, Founder X-Billion Skills Lab. 

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