Most Influential Women In Education Today

On this International Women's Day, BW Education '15 Most Influential Women' is an initiative to recognise women leaders in the education field who are breaking the bias and leading the way for the youth.

Education is the core building block for society and educators are at the centre of this. The children today are the leaders of tomorrow and it is a teacher's duty to prepare them for the future.

On this International Women's Day, BW Education unveils '15 Most Influential Women' who are breaking the bias by empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

Most Influential Women In Education:

Dr Ananya Mukherjee, Vice-Chancellor, Shiv Nadar University

Dr Ananya Mukherjee is the third Vice-Chancellor to lead Shiv Nadar  University. Before taking on this role, Dr Mukherjee was Provost and Vice-President Academic at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan, Canada. 

A widely recognised academic leader, having held senior positions in two of Canada’s largest universities in Ontario and British Columbia. Dr Mukherjee has also spent more than two decades at York University in Toronto. She was Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, where she led the largest liberal arts faculty in Canada with 23,000 students from 123 countries.

Dr Mukherjee obtained her doctoral degree (Political Economy & Public Policy) from the University of Southern California, USA and her BA and MA degrees (Economics) from Jadavpur University, India. Her work focuses on inclusive and people-centred development.

Annapurna Devi, Minister of State for Education 

Annapurna Devi began her political career in 1996 as a Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly. She is currently the Minister of State for Education in the Second Modi ministry in India. She is also a Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha.

Archana Shukla, Director, IIM Lucknow

Prof Archana Shukla became the Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow in 2019. Prior to this, she taught Organisation Behavior in the Human Resources Management Group at the institute.

Prof Shukla obtained her PhD in Organisational Behaviour from IIT Kanpur and has more than 30 years of teaching, training and research experience. She has also authored a book on knowledge management architecture.

Dilafroze Qazi, Founder & Vice Chairperson Srinagar School of Management

Dilafrose Qazi started Srinagar School of Management-College of Engineering, the first private engineering institute in Kashmir. She has also opened two free primary schools and a secondary school in Kashmir. She was among 90 women from India nominated for the 1000 women for Nobel Peace Prize.


Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder, Byju's

Divya Gokulnath is an entrepreneur and educator. She co-founded one of the largest edtech ventures, Byju's. Divya contained her Bachelor of Technology degree in Biotechnology from RV College of Engineering in Bengaluru. As an educator, she taught mathematics, English and logical reasoning.

Lata Vaidyanathan, Director, TERI Prakriti School, Delhi

Lata Vaidyanathan is a veteran educationist and currently the Director, TERI Prakriti School. She was the Principal of Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan's school at Chandigarh, the founder Principal of Eicher School at Parwanoo and the Principal of Modern School Barakhamba Road, New Delhi for the last fourteen years.

She was honoured with the 'National Award to Teachers' in the year 2003 by the President of India. She is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Dr Radhakrishnan Award, 'Bharat Shiromani Award', 'Madhav Gourav Ratna Achievement Award', 'International Lifetime Achievement Award 2009' and 'Global Warming Reduction Award 2009', 'Educationist of the Year Award 2013' and 'Lifetime Achievement Award by the Patanjali Trust 2014'.

Mamta Saikia, CEO, Bharti Foundation

Mamta Saikia is the Chief Executive Officer of Bharti Foundation. She has led the development of the organisation’s education programs at primary, elementary and senior secondary schools. Under her leadership, the Satya Bharti School Program, the flagship initiative of the Foundation, provides free education to around 40,000 children from marginalised communities in rural areas, through its 183 schools across six Indian states.

She has served as the Chair of SAFRG and has been honoured as 2019 Influencer Leader by AACSB International. She was also among the 100 Women Achievers of India (2015-16) under an initiative by the Ministry of Women & Child Development. She has been conferred the Karmaveer Puraskaar: National Citizen Awards for Social Justice & Action.

Dr Monica Khanna, Director, K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai

Dr Monica Khanna is the Director & Professor of Marketing at K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Mumbai and Dean – Faculty of Management Studies at the Somaiya Vidyavihar University, Mumbai. She is an experienced academician and professional with 29 years of experience in Academia and Industry. The area of specialisation includes Brand Management, Services Marketing and Marketing Management. She has worked in the area of Engineering & Industrial Automation with Siemens Ltd, Mumbai. Dr Monica is a member of the Academic Board, Board of Management, Finance Committee and Board for Research and Consultancy at the Somaiya Vidyavihar University.

She has won several awards including the best research paper award at MICA Ahmedabad, awards for excellence in teaching by Bombay Management Association, Higher Education Forum, Somaiya Vidyavihar, and Y K Bhushan Award for 100 Most Dedicated Teachers of India. She is also an elected member of the Executive Council of the All India Management Association (AIMA), New Delhi for four consecutive terms.

Dr Neharika Vohra, Founding Vice-Chancellor, Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University 

Prof. (Dr.) Vohra is a  specialist in behavioural science and on leave from IIM Ahmedabad, where she served as Professor in the Organisational Behaviour area for 21 years. She has been involved in the Centre for Innovation and Incubation in Entrepreneurship at IIM Ahmedabad and is currently the Director of the Centre. She has extensive experience with the corporate sector as a consultant, coach, mentor and independent director. She has won the best instructor award and has been the Chairperson of IIM Ahmedabad's Doctoral Program (Fellow Program in Management), editor of Vikalpa, on the editorial board of several international journals. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed research papers in top-level international and national journals and authored 3 books and developed teaching material that is used in several countries. She has guided 12 PhD students at IIMA and has been an academic advisor in five national-level educational institutions.

Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Mpower, an initiative by the Aditya Birla Education Trust

Neerja Birla is a philanthropist, educationist and mental health activist in India. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Derby. She founded Mpower to focus on improving, removing stigma and creating awareness on mental health.

She is the chairperson of The Aditya Birla World Academy, board member of the Pratham and Make-a-Wish Foundation and is actively involved in non-profit organisations Muktangan, Save the Children and Seva Sadan.

Dr Punam Sahgal Past Director IIM Lucknow

Dr Punam Sahgal is a professor of Organisation Behaviour at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. She has also held the position of Director at the institute, Noida campus. Dr Sahgal holds a Master in Psychology from Delhi University and a PhD in Management from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University, Accredited Sensitivity Trainer.  She has formerly been a visiting scholar at Kellogg Graduate School of Management, USA and has more than 3 decades of experience in teaching, consulting, research and training. 

Dr Sahgal has consulted widely with corporates and international agencies in organisational change, design of HR systems and processes and assessment. She has authored and co-authored four books and several research articles.  

Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, VC, JNU

Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit is the first woman Vice-Chancellor at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Prior to this appointment, she held the position of Vice-Chancellor at Savitribai Phule University, Maharashtra 

Pandit holds an MPhil and PhD degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University and is a member of several organisations, such as the American Studies Research Institute, Hyderabad, the Indian Association of American Studies, the All India Political Science Association, the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, the Indian Secular Society, etc. 

She has authored two books: ‘Parliament and Foreign Policy in India’ (1990) and ‘Restructuring Environmental governance in Asia-Ethics and Policy’ (2003).

Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation

Sudha Murty is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. She is an Indian businesswoman, teacher, author and social worker. Murty became the first female engineer hired at Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company. She taught engineering and started Infosys Foundation.

Murty has written novels, technical books, travelogues, collections of short stories and non-fictional pieces, and books for children in English and Kannada. Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages. 

Dr Swaroop Rawal, Educator

Dr Swaroop Rawal is an actress and educator in India. She holds a PhD. degree in Education from the University of Worcester. She has travelled throughout India to empower teachers and to impart life skills to students in government primary schools. 

Rawal was awarded, 'Most Committed Person of the Year in Inclusive Education' at the 4th International Early Childhood Conference in 2016. She was one of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize conducted by Varkey Foundation, amongst 10,000 nominations from 179 countries. She has also written a book: 'Learning Disabilities in a Nutshell: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia'.

Dr Vinita S Sahay, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Bodh Gaya

Dr Vinita S Sahay is the Director, Indian Institute of Management, Bodh Gaya. She holds a PhD in Customer Value from CSJM University, Kanpur. She has published six books on management, five cases, numerous research papers and regularly attends workshops and conferences.

Dr Sahay received Business School Affair & Dewang Mehta B-School Award for Best Teacher in Marketing Management for the year 2011 and won the ‘Gold Medal’ for being Topper in M.A (Economics). Her area of interest in research includes marketing of services, retail management, retail supply chain management, customer value & customer satisfaction, customer relationship management and trust & relationship in the supply chain.

BW Education 'Most Influential Women' is an annual initiative to celebrate the leadership spirit of women educators.

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