Non-profit organisation Neythri recently announced two new initiatives at a virtual event on August 5: Neythri Circles and the Neythri Hub. This is a new digital platform that helps members across the world connect, engage and collaborate. Neythri aims to build a pipeline of South Asian women for leadership roles.
Neythri was founded in 2020 by Indian-American business leaders Mythili Sankaran, Chitra Nayak, and Sruthi Ramaswami. Sankaran soon observed a lack of South Asian women role models, but an increasing and significant energy around what South Asian women have been accomplishing.
“As a leader at Salesforce during the years from 2007-2015, I found that women were often in quest of ways to make themselves heard in the aggressive, male-dominated environment that is often found in tech companies,” Nayak, who has served as the chief operating officer for several San Francisco Bay Area companies, was quoted as saying.
“During the pandemic, women really came together in ways we probably couldn’t have otherwise,” said Sankaran during the ‘Chai Time With Neythri’ via Zoom on August 5. “We wanted to create a group of women who could support one another.”
“The common cultural context of the South Asian experience, regardless of where in the world you live, is opening up conversations among a community of women traditionally quite conservative in asserting themselves and networking,” Sankaran said, adding, “Neythri provides a safe and nurturing environment that can begin to elevate more South Asian women across tech, finance, fashion, retail, healthcare and so much more.”
Sankaran is the former CEO of Koollage, and also led regional operations for the U.S.-India Business Council and the American India Foundation.
According to Nayak, Neythri aims to bridge the gender divide for South Asian women. “We aim to create dynamic spaces for South Asian professional women to collaborate, share knowledge and connect to resources that will help them grow, thrive and support one another. This cross-generational, cross-industry platform aims to foster dialogue and leadership development through connections, mentoring, learning and support,” she said.
Neythri not only held 80 workshops and events but also provides executive coaching. It has established a $7 million venture capital fund supporting start-ups led by South Asian women.
The three levels at the newly-launched Circles are the Discovery Circle, a free membership; the Premier Circle at $99 per year, which gives access to 1 to1 mentorship; free or discounted access to numerous events and the Leadership Circle at $999 per year. The third one is meant for senior executives.
Pragati Grover, a member of Neythri’s Founding Circle, said: “Neythri Futures Fund is disrupting the status-quo. I am truly proud to be supporting this mission as a founding limited partner. Before I joined Neythri, I had never been interested in investing or had the tools to join a Board. Thanks to Neythri I have attended ‘Board Readiness’ workshops.”
Neythri’s Social Impact initiative helps and support women flourish in areas they are passionate about.