BURLINGTON, MA—Public policy advocate, serial entrepreneur, and innovator Gitanjali Swamy was awarded Woman of the Year 2023 and nine others were honored for their professional excellence, accomplishments and contributions to the society during the 20th annual Woman of the Year Awards gala produced by INDIA New England News. Attended by about 450 people, the awards gala was held on Friday at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA.
Boston’s Indian classical dance icon and teacher Neena Gulati received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Gulati is the founder of the Brookline, MA-based Triveni School of Dance, which is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, and is the first Indian classical dance school in New England.
An independent committee of nine judges selected Ms. Swamy, a public policy advocate and managing partner of IoTask, as Woman of the Year 2023.
“We, women, are here today because of the brave efforts of our mothers, grandmothers, and the women before them and we have the choice to be agents of change for a better world rather than the excuses for the status quo not to change,” Ms. Swamy told INDIA New England News. “Today women are over 50% of the population and half of the college-educated labor force. But they only received 1.9% of innovation capital in 2022, down from 2.5% in 2018. They also earn 65 cents for each dollar that a man earns. So, I hold this award in trust for all those amazing, tireless, under-appreciated women working for true equity, and all the wonderful men who support us because they believe that this is progress for all.”
Ms. Swamy said together women can take the next step to create a better world. If you want to join her movement, please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing support for the Massachusetts Fair Investment Act.
The nine members of the Independent Judging Committee were: Sheetal Acharya, Priti Chatter, Anu Chitrapu, Vaishali Gade, Radha Jalan, Rakesh Kamdar, Raj Melville, Navjot Singh, and Vikram Venkatasubramanian.
“Gitanjali Swamy is an extraordinary individual. She has not only excelled in her field but has also championed solving global challenges, force for impact and women empowerment,” said Mr. Kamdar, chair of the judging committee. “We celebrate her outstanding achievements and eagerly anticipate the continued impact she will make in New England and beyond. May her story ignite a spark within all of us to pursue our dreams and create a brighter future for generations to come.”
Mr. Kamdar said that all 10 finalists were extraordinary, and it was difficult to choose one.
“The sheer talent, dedication, and resilience exhibited by each of these outstanding women have made the task of choosing the winner an incredibly difficult one for the judging panel. However, it has also been a rewarding experience to learn about their incredible journeys and the impact they have had on those around them,” said Mr. Kamdar. “These nominees have broken through barriers, shattered stereotypes, and navigated the complexities of their respective fields with grace and determination. Their stories inspire us and serve as a testament to the power of women to create positive change in the world.”
INDIA New England News honored the outstanding women in the following categories:
Sumeit Aggarwal: Entrepreneurship
Meena Bharath: Community Outreach
Dr. Ami Bhatt: Innovation & Healthcare
Manorama Choudhury: Art & Literature
Parul Doshi; Corporate Executive
Veena Handa: Community Service
Sunita Kanchinadam: Leading Entrepreneurship
Jharna Madan; Volunteer & Networker
Sahana Purohit: Political Leadership
Gitanjali Swamy: Public Policy Advocate.
Susan Whitehead, a Lifetime Trustee of MIT and a founding and life board member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, was this year’s Chief Guest, and Nandita Bakshi, the very first Woman of the Year, was Guest of Honor.
Dr. Manju Sheth, MD and Mandy Pant this year were joined by Hufrish Sirohi to present the 20th Anniversary Woman of the Year Awards gala. Dr. Sheth, director of the Woman of the Year Awards Gala, served as hostess of the evening. Ms. Pant and Ms. Sirohi conducted the evening and awards processes as Masters of Ceremonies.
The gala was sponsored by Merryll Lynch/The Sharma Group and Raj Sharma, the Boston Group USA and Subu Kota, Atamian Honda and Pranav Gill, Realtor Ritu Goswami Chawla, Yash and Jigna Shah, and Dr. Manju Sheth.
Supporting sponsors included Boston Sound & Light Company, Sraveo and Dyuti Majumdar Photgraphy.
The event was organized and produced by INDIA New England News and The Mishra Group.