Finding Innovative Ways to Empower Women through Resource Development

    As a first-generation student from Chennai, India, Zubaida Bai was determined to make a difference. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Dalarna University in Sweden, Bai spent four years working back home in India to provide communities with the necessary resources. Bai was specifically interested in finding ways to help the women in her community. She entered the Global Social & Sustainable Enterprise MBA program at Colorado State University in search of innovative ways to empower women through business.


    One issue in particular struck a chord with Bai: the number of women who die in childbirth. Having had her own complications with infection after delivering a baby, Bai understood the urgency of the problem. One of the main causes of complications is “a lack of access to basic clean tools at the time of childbirth,” said Bai. She and her husband founded the company ayzh (pronounced eyes) to create innovative products, including a birth kit (called JANMA) to provide the necessary tools for clean, safe childbirth in the poorest communities.


    Since creating JANMA, Ms. Bai has developed additional resources to assist women: a neonatal kit, a postpartum kit, and a program to provide women with the menstrual supplies they need.  Bai has received global recognition for her work. In 2009, she was named a TED Fellow and delivered a TED talk in December 2016 that has been viewed nearly 900,000 times. In 2016, Bai was named an SDG Pioneer during the United Nation’s Global Compact Summit. To learn more about Zubaida’s work visit the Colorado State University website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.



    Photo Credit: Ryan Lash/TED



    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.