On Friday, March 16, Barnard hosted its fourth annual Global Symposium in Mumbai, India. This day-long event, Women Changing India, brought together exceptional leaders in government, commerce, academia, media, and the arts from across the country for panels addressing social activism, entrepreneurship and cultural expression. 

The event opened with introductory remarks from Mihir Doshi, Managing Director and CEO of Credit Suisse India, and Barnard alumna Saloni Chand Jhaveri '86. President Debora Spar also spoke, noting the significance of holding this year's symposium in India. 

The first panel of the day, “Conversations on Social Activism,” showcased women whose work is affecting change and improving conditions for the greater good. Speakers included Kiran Bedi, India’s first and highest ranking woman police officer; Mirai Chatterjee, director of social security at the Self Employed Women’s Association; Shaheen Mistri, founder of Teach for India; Gita Sen, a professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and moderator Kathryn Kolbert, director of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies. In the following video, Kiran Bedi touches on her own experience as an activist.

The following panel, “Voices of the Region,” highlighted major contributors to arts and media in India. Speakers included Nandita Das, actress and activist; Mallika Kapur, CNN's international correspondent; Farah Khan, film director and choreographer; Brinda Somaya, architect and conservationist, and moderator Shayoni Mitra, assistant professor in Barnard’s Department of Theatre. Here, Nadita Das discusses the challenge of representing Indian women.

“Empowering Women through Enterprise” gathered high-profile leaders in business and government. Speakers included Vedika Bhandarkar, managing director and vice chairman of Credit Suisse India; Shaina NC, fashion designer and politician; Zia Mody, corporate lawyer and businesswoman and Chhavi Rajawat, Sarpanch of Soda.and President Spar moderated. Below, Vedika Bhandarkar offers advice to women in male-dominated industries.

View media coverage of Women Changing India, as well as photos and coverage of Barnard's 2012 Young Women's Leadership Workshop.
Learn more about Barnard's Global Symposia Series.