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LedBy Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions



Q1. What is LedBy Foundation?

LedBy Foundation is a leadership incubator that is closing the opportunity divide for Indian Muslim women by providing them skills, experience, and support through a tech-based, non-religious, social, and professional community platform that brings together inspiring and aspiring Indian Muslim women and the people who support them.


Q2. How were we formed?

LedBy Foundation was incubated and developed at Harvard University in March 2019, with seed funding from the Social Innovation and Change Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School. More information can be found by clicking here.

Q3. Why were we formed?

There are 2 million Muslim women in India with graduate degrees, yet very few Muslim women leaders. A dearth of role models and customized programs contextualized to the unique struggles of these women could account for a lack of C-suite success stories. 

While education is an important ingredient in climbing professional ladders, it does not always translate into career success. LedBy Foundation transforms Indian Muslim women's education into empowerment by providing them with real-life career skills, a supportive ecosystem, and access to the right opportunities and networks.


Q4. What do we do?

We are creating a community of Indian Muslim women who have professional skillsets to conquer their career goals while being supported by experts with shared backgrounds. Our program focuses on L-B-F:


  • Logic: Thinking/ Clarity/ Goals-setting/ Career Planning

  • Broadcast: Presentation/ CV writing/ Story-telling/ Writing ability

  • Feedback: Up-Down mentoring/ Allyship building/ Team strengthening/ Systems improvement.


Q5. What do we provide?

For India Muslim women in their early career years, who have high ambitions, and an apetitite for professional excellence, our programs offer a unique opportunity to hone their professional skills, while networking with mentors from the community who have achieved success.


We run two, fully funded programs in a virtual setting, contexutualized for Indian Muslim women who are 18 years or older. More details about our programs can be found by clicking the below links:

Q6. Who is the founder of LedBy Foundation?

 Dr. Ruha Shadab, Founder & CEO of LedBy Foundation is a physician and a Master’s graduate from Harvard University. Born in Saudi Arabia, raised in India, heavily influenced her strong conviction that empathy is one of the most important virtues we can harbor. She is very passionate about working for Indian Muslim Women. This section of Indian society (8% of the population) has massive underrepresentation in business, politics, media, and even, generally, in higher education.

Q7. How are the programs executed?

The programs are held virtually with a possibility of 1 or 2 in person sessions like orientation or graduation. Though depends on multiple factors especially safety protocols and travel restrictions.

Q8. What technology/devise is needed to participate in the programs?

We require our participants to have a laptop or tablet with webcam and microphone and a fast and reliable internet connection. We will not be able accommodate applicants who do not have consistent access to a computer; it is not possible to complete the programs using a smartphone.

Q9. Is it a paid program?

No, all our programs are fully-funded for selected candidates.

Q10. Who is the foundation supported by?

LedBy Foundation was seed funded by Harvard University and incubated there too. More details can be found here



Q1. What is the Corporate Leaders Fellowship?

For Indian Muslim women with 12 months - 36 months of full time, paid work experience, we have the LedBy Fellowship; our flagship program is a 5-month intensive leadership and professional development program, free of cost, for high-potential Indian Muslim women. We select 30 women who have the aptitude, aspiration, and ambition through a rigorous selection process and provide them with avenues, agency, and access. The program's components include workshops, executive coaching, one-on-one mentorship, and speaker sessions. 


Q2. Is it a paid program?

No, this program is fully-funded for selected candidates.


Q3. Do the Fellows receive any stipend?

No stipend is paid to the Fellows for the program. 


Q4. Are candidates from a specific academic background or industry preferred?

Our Fellows represent diverse academic and professional backgrounds. 


Q5. What is the time commitment required to do the coursework?

Our Fellows dedicate around ~8 hours per week towards the program. This includes attending the workshops and completing pre and post-workshop assignments. 


Q6. What is the duration of the program?

The Fellowship runs for a period of 5 months with classes held on a weekly basis, along with pre and post-course work. Typically, the Fellowship starts in May and concludes by October or November.


Q7. What is the brief layout of the program?

The details of the course structure and components can be found on our website or by clicking here


Q8. How many Fellows are selected each year?

This year we will be selecting 30 Fellows


Q1. Who can apply to the Accelerator program?

​If you identify as an Indian Muslim woman and are between the age of 18-30 years as of 30 June 2023, then you are eligible for the program. The program will be even more beneficial for you if you are looking to hone your professional skills and create a network of experts to guide you as mentors. If this sounds like you, then apply now and share it with your friends who you think will benefit from this.


Q2. What is "cohort-based" learning?

It means that the selected candidates will be grouped based on certain traits and characteristics to ensure the success of individual volunteers as well as their groups. Research suggests that cohort-based learning is the most effective form of learning, and we believe in this method too. Our programs are designed to help you achieve your goals with mutual growth for you and your group.


Q3. How many participants will there be in a cohort?

A cohort will have a total of 150 participants.


Q4. Can I choose to be in a certain cohort as I have a friend who is applying too?

There will be only one cohort with 150 participants.


Q5. Is the curriculum the same for all cohorts?

Yes, there will be only one cohort with 150 participants, and the curriculum and the learning outcomes are the same for all.


Q6. Is the program free?

Yes, the program is fully funded.

Q7. How much time do I need to dedicate to the program?

For the Accelerator program, classes will be held every month for 12 months, always between 3-4 hours. In addition, there will be allocated pre and post-work, which must be completed. In total, a participant will require between 6-8 hours of work per month to make the most of the program.

Q8. What can I expect after the program?

There is a lot that you will learn and achieve in this 6 moth long program. Firstly, you will develop a sense of confidence and professional skills. Along with this, a fantastic network of peers, advisors and mentors. This will play a significant role in your career. It also has certain tangible outputs, like adding to your resume and LinkedIn profile. The experience will reflect in your interviews and all kinds of professional communications, irrespective of your job or field. Finally, if you are looking to start your own enterprise or looking to study further, you will have access to our resources and guidance at every step. 


Q9. Wouldn't I be able to learn professional skills off the internet or through books?

Absolutely. But what sets us apart is that we contextualize the learning process, case studies, and every single session for an Indian Muslim woman. This is not something readily available online but is offered by our team dedicated to the professional development of Indian Muslim women. 

Q10. Why do we need 100% attendance?

The Accelerator program has been designed to suit all ages. We understand that you may have multiple commitments; therefore, classes will be scheduled at convenient times on both weekdays and weekends. The modules are concise and relevant, designed to accelerate your career. We encourage 100% attendance so that you can gain from each one of the unique sessions. 

Q11. Why is the LedBy Accelerator program 6 months long?

The Accelerator program is for college-going and working people with limited time. We have asked for a pragmatic amount of time from our participants. Just one session a month, over a year. This also helps the participant absorb the material and reflect upon it between sessions. (There is pre-work and 1:1 engagement between sessions)

Q12. Will I be able to apply for international universities and/or get scholarships?

The intention of the program is to ensure Indian Muslim women contribute to the workforce in the country. Providing access to foreign universities and scholarship opportunities is not our primary goal but on occasion, we do have workshops and webinars conducted on this topic

Q13. What do I get upon graduating from the programs?

You will receive a Diploma after successful completion. You get access to workshops on professional and leadership development. You get a chance to interact with a network of peers from your cohort who are talented, intelligent Muslim women from all walks of life. Finally, you get mentored by the team, and by industry professionals who have more than 10+ years of experience. These professionals guide you in your career and help you succeed.


Q1. How do I qualify to be a volunteer?


ANYONE can be a Volunteer at LedBy. As long as you have the willingness, passion and motivation to make a difference and support our cause.

Q2. What are some of the responsibilities as a Volunteer?

The first task will be to conduct 5 in-depth interviews with Indian Muslim women. Details of the interviews, methods, questions, format, etc. will be shared in an email once you sign up. Thereafter, we request you to follow us on all social platforms and help spread the word. If you wish to continue then we give you the opportunity to select a function to support us on.


Q3. What are the different modes of conducting the in-depth interviews?

You can choose to do the interviews in person (as long as you are safe given the COVID situation), or online i.e. via phone, email, video conferencing, etc.


Q4. What will LedBy Foundation do with the information collected from the in-depth interviews?

Our team will use this information for research purposes to help make our programs more relevant, suitable and effective to the audience i.e. Indian Muslim women.


Q5. Will the personal data of the interviewees be safe?

Absolutely. Personal data will not be shared or further used for any purposes. 


Q6. What are some of the incentives for the interviewees to agree to this?

Interviewees will have the opportunity to share their stories, life experiences and genuine concerns about whether a community needs professional support to help them blossom as professionals. In addition, they get exclusive access to programs, and events conducted by LedBy throughout the course of the year. Hence, they get to be the change they want to see.


Q7. Can I conduct more than 5 interviews? 

Sure, you can choose to do as many. Five is the minimum we request from you.


Q8. Can I register as a Volunteer again? 

Yes, you can choose to be a Volunteer once again by signing up upon completion of 1-month. 


Q9. Is there a time limit before I can register again?

No, there is no time limit to register to be a Volunteer again.


Q10. I have registered twice as a Volunteer - Will this be an issue?

We will consider your first application and monitor 30 days from the date you applied for the first time. The second application will not be considered. If you have a logistical concern due to this, feel free to write to us at


Q11. When will I receive my certificate?

If you have submitted 5 in-depth interviews, you will receive the certificate at the end of your 30 day volunteership, as mentioned in the acknowledgement email.

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