Building an Early Foundation:
Being a daughter of the Armed Forces, growing up; elements of Diversity, Inclusion, Discipline, Integrity, and Respect have been a part of my DNA.
In my journey, even when I was figuring out my true north and aligning towards my purpose, these elements have always and continue to be an integral part of my being, both as an individual and as a professional.
The other childhood factors that contributed towards the Philanthroprenuer in me are life experiences. From being bullied and body shamed, to experiencing the imposter, from first hand experiencing gender discrimination to having a family system that treated me and my sister as equals in a male dominated society… My childhood has been a mixed bag of gratitude, destruction, reconstruction and that unconsciously inspires me to keep building others; may the ripple of construction travel far!
Beyond the Barricades:
When you are in the process of experiencing setbacks, they can be devastating. But, trust me, as I look back at every set back…I am propelled to consider them as “Steps forward.”
They may always not happen in a progressive way, but sometimes, regress, defeat and failure sets you up for newer heights, higher than you could ever imagine for yourself. And that’s what I’ve learnt the very hard way.
Therefore, failure or even negative feedback, is no more taken as a low/guilt/regret/shame, it is considered by me as a free of cost self-audit, to excel beyond the already high standards I set for my team and self, and so we progress!
“You don’t always need to be harsh on yourself to rise; you have to trust the process enough, for it to pave way for the rise of your phoenix!”
Defining D&I – A Holistic Approach:
I’ve always said, beyond systems, processes, policies… at the end of the day, we are all human, co existing in a human ecosystem (though surrounded with tech)..Let’s keep the ecosystem Humane. This one word pretty much defines Diversity, Inclusion, people, culture, work ethics, empathy, authenticity, integrity and so much more…
While most organisations are building or strengthening DEI systems and processes, the efforts still remain under the shadow of “KRA tick marks.” And in my experience, that’s where the problem and the solution is!
We need to move beyond tick marks, and genuinely invest in employee development. Genuinely groom and grow people leaders, genuinely have learning and mentoring forums (non agenda based), and genuinely know our workforce and their power force (families) better. For an individual reporting to work, climbing the ladder of career growth cannot do so, without the air of support below their wings… and we need to nurture that air, while most of us focus only on the bird and its flight!
In my opinion, if the above and similar other factors are considered, then beyond evolution, one can definitely foresee effective implementation that translates to impact oriented results - progress and evolution of DEI being by products.
Enriching Women with Corporate Diva:
As nearly a decade unfolds, Corporate Diva has evolved to be something magical. The platform not only addresses the challenges encountered by women professionals but also enables them to transform into authentic, empathetic LEADERS.
It is where credible women come together to embark on a self growth journey, invest in their own development, learn the nuances of leadership from stalwarts, where learning is not restricted to a curriculum but life journeys are shared and hands on life enrichment is soaked in. It is where lasting bonds are established, where we stand tall as examples for our next generation and is a safe space where we share vulnerabilities, cheer achievements and celebrate milestones.
When one does all of the above with a pure intent, the value delivered is truly par excellence, and that’s what we pride ourselves in.
In terms of our progress, the team consistently works towards reaching newer horizons. We started off with one city, led to multi-city within India. The Platform recently concluded a global summit on Women Leadership and diversity, with 700+ people from 14 countries across the globe, listening into 21 experts from 12 countries with dignitaries like Cherie Blair, Abhinav Bindra, Mohandas Pai and more in support of the summit and with CherieBlair Foundation for women in Business , MASHAV Israel, Abhinav Bindra Foundation, Keynote Global speakers community as summit partners.
While we continue to create our impact ripples in home country, on the parallel we are creating global footprints with South Africa and Norway being the most recent.
Did we have a zero-error growth plan, No. Did my team have a KRA to meet an ‘x’ amount of registrations/memberships/organisations, No.
Do we work with focus; tirelessly towards a larger goal, YES. And so, we prosper.
“We don’t just preach to trust the process; we practice that virtue first hand.”
Sources of Powerful Lessons:
My journey has led me to understand that “You don’t always have to seek a mentor, your grit and determination will align forces and make a mentor seek you.”
The one thing that remains consistent is my perseverance to learn and better my skills (in the journey mentor others to share the highways and potholes of the path I’ve already traversed).
Therefore, I applaud the grit, the determination, the patience, the keep going…never give up attitude. These elements have been the reason I’ve managed to fall, rise, build and thrive.
Having said that, no matter how much you believe in yourself, the journey stagnates, if others don’t believe in you. Which is why, I hold some people very high in respect and gratitude, for they showed me light on days I had power cuts on self.
The most valuable life lesson learnt “Give unconditionally.” The most valuable work lesson learnt “Replace the IF with When”, for hope keeps you going long after your batteries have run out!
In gratitude to all my life and work mentors, thanks for having my back, for me to create and build a support ecosystem where the baton of having each other’s back keeps passing on, may the marathon never stop!