Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law, is a consultancy focused on gender equality, diversity and inclusion (and related capacity building) with an aim to empower women (and men), transgender persons and the LGBTQ community, in a multidimensional manner.
The Centre works with leading corporates, private equity and venture capital funds, accelerators and incubators, trade bodies, government entities, philanthropic organisations, educational institutions, startups, and all forms of business entities - through five key verticals : (I) Gender Impact Investing, ESG & Women’s Economic Empowerment; (II) Gender Mainstreaming in Philanthropy & CSR; (III) Gender Diversity & LGBTQ Inclusion at the Workplace; (IV) Anti Sexual Harassment / PoSH Compliance; & (V) Advocacy on Gender Laws & Policy.
The Centre creates strategic initiatives and solutions, across varied (quantitative and qualitative) parameters, customized to the relevant sector and also specifics of the organization, and believes in working in a collaborative manner with all stakeholders and across genders, to create workable solutions based on innovative thinking and an inclusive and pragmatic approach.
Samāna which means “equal” represents our vision - the progressive realization of the cherished Constitutional (and fundamental) Right to Equality, and the Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality outlined by the United Nations.
The Centre was founded by Aparna Mittal, a leading lawyer with over fifteen years of experience in practicing law in India.
I. Gender IMPACT INvesting, ESG & WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT
We offer a range of services to financial institutions, private equity and venture capital funds, accelerators and incubators, corporates, and trade bodies to promote gender impact investing and women’s economic empowerment, such as:
Economic Empowerment: Advising on and creating specific initiatives for promoting women’s economic empowerment, and financial inclusion including addressing the prevalent systemic challenges in the same.
Entrepreneurship: Advising on and curating a wide range of initiatives, programmes and trainings, to promote women entrepreneurship, including working with a variety of stakeholders – to create specific interventions across thrust areas.
Gender Lens In Investing/ ESG Compliance: Advising conglomerates, corporates, private equity, venture capital funds and investing entities to devise and incorporate gender (and gender diversity) based diligence, conditionalities and milestones (and related monitoring) through the investment cycle and legal documentation.
Gender Impact Investing: Advising private equity and venture capital funds, accelerators and incubators and trade bodies on adopting the gender lens in their programmes and processes, and curating specific goals, processes, and initiatives to enable gender impact investing.
II. GENDER MAINSTREAMING IN PHILANTHROPY AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
We offer a range of services to philanthropic organisations, corporates investing in corporate social responsibility and NGOs (irrespective of the focus area of such philanthropic / CSR activities), such as :
Gender Lens: Advising on how to adopt the gender lens as a focal point of policy and program making, and through different stages (such as problem identification, planning, project making, budgeting, monitoring, implementing, and evaluating).
Project Curation: Customizing existing and new programmes and initiatives to bring in the gender lens and to make women and members of the LGBT community – direct and targeted beneficiaries.
Impact Assessment: Evaluating programmes and initiatives to assess gender impact from a multidimensional perspective.
Training & Workshops: (i) To promote gender awareness, sensitization and diversity and inclusion; and (ii) Training on gender mainstreaming and adopting the gender lens.
Goal Setting: Curating gender goals based on the specific industry / sector.
III. GENDER DIVERSITY & LGBTQ INCLUSION AT THE WORKPLACE
We offer a range of services to companies, trade associations, private equity and venture capital funds, educational institutions and all forms of business entities, to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion,such as :
Human Resource Policies & Initiatives: Preparing and advising on an array of customised initiatives/ policies (across sectors and functional verticals) including leave policies, flexible work arrangements, hiring, relaunch and retention programmes, mentoring and leadership programmes for women, tackling gender career gaps and pay gaps; entire spectrum of gender neutral policies and progressive policies for transgender and LGBTQ inclusion at the workplace.
Diversity & Inclusion Consulting & Capacity Building: Preparing end to end solutions for promoting diversity and inclusion for women, and the LGBTQ community, with a special focus on Transgender persons. This includes preparation and advice on best practices and progressive policies.
Training & Workshops: A wide range of customized training and workshops (i) To create gender sensitization and promote diversity and inclusion; (ii) Tools for addressing barriers such as unconscious bias, stereotyping, and discrimination; (iii) LGBTQ inclusion - best practices; (iv) Transgender inclusion – best practices; (v) Creating and leveraging allies at the workplace. The workshops are customized respectively for senior management, HR & D&I professionals, all other employee cadres, management/ HR trainees and educators.
Client Interface: In certain customer facing sectors such as hospitality, healthcare, aviation. entertainment (including cinema business), education, real estate, advertising and retail - promoting gender sensitization and inclusion (with a special focus on LGBTQ persons) through customised policies and training, so as to enhance overall customer experience.
Vendor Integration/ Supplier Diversity: Advising on and creating initiatives for extending learnings, sensitization, and best practices to vendors / suppliers on gender diversity, LGBT Inclusion, and anti sexual harassment measures. Preparing appropriate provisions related to compliance and conditionalities in vendor contracts.
Gender Diversity Assessments: Curated programs such as gender diversity assessments entailing a deep dive into various (quantitative and qualitative) parameters devised by us & workplace benefits analysis; and recommending specific and customized solutions based on the findings of the aforesaid.
IV. ANTI SEXUAL HARASSMENT / PoSH COMPLIANCE
We offer a range of services to companies, private equity and venture capital funds, educational institutions, startups, and all forms of business entities, to prevent, prohibit and redress sexual harassment at the workplace, such as :
Policies: Preparing and advising on progressive internal polices for prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment in accordance with the Indian anti sexual harassment laws (PoSH Act).
Employee Sensitisation: Customised trainings and workshops for all employee cadres on sensitization about sexual harassment, and measures for prevention and redressal of the same as per the PoSH Act and the internal policy applicable to them.
IC Training : Trainings and capacity building workshops for members of the Internal Committee and HR teams on the key areas under the PoSH Act and evolving jurisprudence, the entire inquiry process and best practices (legal as well as soft skills) for conducting a fair, transparent, confidential and thorough inquiry into a complaint of sexual harassment at the workplace as per the PoSH Act.
V. ADVOCACY oN GENDER LAWS AND POLICY
We offer a range of gender advocacy and advisory services to government entities, law and policy making bodies, civil society participants, non profit organizations and NGO’s, enterprises and individuals, such as:
Legal Reform: Addressing lacunae in law and policy including by seeking specific amendments and / or judicial intervention.
Affirmative Action: Advising on law and policy to enable affirmative action, eliminating regressive social practices and norms, and promoting equality, equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.
Legal Awareness: Devising focused initiatives and programmes to disseminate information about legal rights; and promoting a rights based gender discourse.
Training & Workshops: (i) To promote gender sensitization and diversity and inclusion; and (ii) Creating awareness for mainstreaming and inclusion of LGBTQ persons. The workshops are customized respectively for administrative and judicial officers.
Research & Data: Undertaking and curating focused research programs to identify, evaluate and address gender gaps; advise on collecting and analysis of information and data using the gender lens.
* Terms of engagement and detailed experience statement for the aforesaid services are available on request.
Samāna Centre was founded by Aparna Mittal.
She leads the advisory work across our 5 service verticals and is one of India’s leading advisors in these areas.
With over 15 years of professional experience, her industry knowledge and expertise spans a diverse range of sectors including hotels & hospitality, information technology, hospitals & healthcare, pharmaceuticals, telecom, wholesale distribution, retail and e-commerce, media & entertainment (including cinema business), banking, insurance, oil & gas, infrastructure, hydro power, automotive, real estate, mining, food and manufacturing and service sectors.
Prior to this, she was Partner – Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions, with India’s leading corporate law firms AZB & Partners, and Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, with more than a decade of experience in advising leading multinational and domestic clients on significant and complex M&A matters including cross border acquisitions, business/ asset transfers, joint ventures, private equity transactions, investment structuring, commercial contracts, franchises, due diligence, and extensive general corporate and regulatory advisory matters. Labour and employment laws formed a key part of the advisory work undertaken by her.
She has consistently been ranked by international and Indian publications as a leading / recommended advisor for the aforesaid, including :
Godrej India Culture Lab in their Manifesto for Trans Inclusion at the Workplace, 2018;
Chambers and Partners (Asia)- in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and Chambers and Partners (Global) in 2010; and
Asialaw in 2017 and 2014;
She graduated from India’s foremost law school, the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (2005), and is registered with the Bar Council, New Delhi (2005).
She is a regular speaker at key conferences and publishes frequently in national dailies and leading journals, on issues related to women’s economic empowerment, LGBTQ inclusion, and diversity and inclusion. She is also a mentor for several leading organisations. For details please visit the media page of this website.
This is only a snapshot of public events and publications, and not a summary of the wide range of initiatives, advisory work, trainings and workshops undertaken by us for clients. Certain additional information is available on our social media pages (links provided below). A detailed capability and experience statement across our service verticals is available on request, please write to us through the contact us page of this website.
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