We are a product of our experiences, and my style was shaped by my youth in India. Respect for elders, religious tolerance, non-violence, humility, sharing whatever one has, value for education, and faith in democracy are fundamental teachings Indians learn.
Encouraged by my father to get the best education possible, I courageously left India with $8 in my pocket for a foreign land. The amazing faculty who served as my role models at school awarded me opportunities to learn and grow in ways that I had not dreamed possible. Hard earned successes that followed inspired me to believe in myself and in the power of a nurturing environment that brings out the most in all.
My advice to all aspiring young women is to believe in yourself, be guided by your own internal compass of values, leave your comfort zone, and make courageous moves to achieve your goals.
Throughout my career I have been very fortunate. My leaders and mentors believed in me and provided me opportunities to grow. From my role models I have learned that in a supportive and inclusive environment, people rise to any challenge. At one stage in my career, I was asked to lead an organization that had been downsized several times, felt a loss of identity, demoralized, and unappreciated. I spent time under- standing their history, achievements, skills and capabilities.
I created opportunities for them to be visible and excel so that they could reclaim their pride. Today they are a highly valued organization in the company.
Working for a company that supports opportunities for women and supports diversity has contributed to my success. Comfort with my style, a track record of credible results, and the courage to speak out on issues and take on difficult challenges are some of the reasons I have been given ever increasing responsibilities at DuPont. Thanks to the guidance from my mentors, I am now giving the next generation of leaders the same opportunities that my mentors gave to me.
Having a leadership role is a great privilege and it is truly humbling. The greatest contribution you can make is to take the organization you lead to a new level of excellence by creating an environment in which goals are clear, people learn from and teach one another, people feel valued and rise to their maximum potential, adapt to change, and have fun along the way!