International Women’s Day: Powerful Women Leaders Share Insights on their Inspiring Journey

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New Delhi (India), March 7: In this modern era of women empowerment, women are pursuing their aspirations and speaking up for themselves. Influential women are breaking societal standards to go further, accomplish more, and rewrite the rules. We are celebrating the International Women’s Day by highlighting extraordinary abilities of women for their creativity, resiliency, and strong-willed personalities that have created an impact on society at large. These strong viewpoints are being expressed by these strong, independent women, and it’s time for you to be inspired too.

Ms. Uzma Nawaz, Founder – Aaghaaz Welfare Foundation, New Delhi

Uzma completed her post-graduate degree in psychology and started her career as a counseling psychologist. She has experience in providing counseling and therapy to people from different walks of life with emotional, behavioral, and emotional issues. She worked in both hospital and community settings before starting AWF, a Delhi-based organization working in the fields of mental health and education. She believes, “if you love and enjoy your work, it doesn’t feel like work anymore.”

“You cannot achieve your goals without believing in your abilities, hard work, and a supportive family. I am proud of where I am in my journey. There will always be challenges and changes, and how you react to the situation matters. Remain positive and focused”, Uzma reflects upon her journey so far.

Ms. Saloni Goel, Founder & CEO – Glamwiz, New Delhi

As a woman founder, I have experienced both the exhilaration of creating something from my passion and the feeling of being undervalued and overlooked by people around me. But these obstacles have also taught me valuable lessons about resilience, as well as embracing the uncomfortable moments and never giving up. My advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs is to follow their passion and believe in themselves during hard times, even when all odds are against them. Listen to your peers and supporters, but do that feels right. And most importantly, strive to become financially independent to support yourself. As women achievers, we have the power to inspire and empower others. So take your decision wisely and create a positive change in the world.

Ms. Raveena Sethia, Co- Founder – AVSRAK Foundation, Senior Associate – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, New Delhi

International Women’s Day marks a great moment to reflect on the achievements of women. As a lawyer in India, I have witnessed the growth of the women around me across court corridors, legal journalism, academia, and within law firms. As relatively younger professionals, we had the privilege of witnessing the careers of some of the most prominent lawyers, who happen to be women, and taking inspiration from their journeys and drive for change. Personally, it marks a celebration of personal and professional achievements and an opportunity to reflect on how we can empower more women around us to join the change. As part of the AVSRAK Foundation and Her Forum, my attempt remains to continue to empower, assist, and draw light on the power of women around us.

Ms. Anvitha Kollipara, Founder – CareGood Foundation, Hyderabad

Three key necessities for being an impactful leader are empathy, cooperation, and joy. It is what led me to success with the CareGood Foundation. In March 2020, I started with medicine deliveries for senior citizens at old age homes and have since expanded to impacting 230+ senior citizens monthly. I’ve also conducted solar power workshops for over 700 rural children, been named one of Forbes top 3 teen change makers, and presented my work at the United Nations. My key learning to be a leader is to push yourself when no one else is and never look back. Seeking perfection isn’t always the key; executing impactful solutions in the best way at the best time and bringing others up with you is the key to success.

Ms. Jasmine Mehta, Co-Founder – Global Policy Insights, Vice President – MSCI Inc, London

In the last decade, Jasmine has been committed to advancing the sustainability and climate agenda with various stakeholders, including governments, corporations, and investors alike, to bridge sustainability financing and climate funding gaps. She has been wearing various hats at MSCI, across different continents, leading many ESG and climate functions, and more recently driving the commercial strategy for corporations and advisors in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Given her background in finance, ESG, and international relations, she actively mentors a wide array of professionals globally on emerging issues entailing climate diplomacy and how that plugs into policy decision-making. Her objective to educate and empower youth and women to own a purposeful journey has been well received by her mentees. 

Ms. Sadaf Shaheen Awan, CEO – Women Technology House, Founding Member – WomenCodersPK, Pakistan

It is time to close the gender gap and create an inclusive culture for females in the technology sector. As a technopreneur woman, my journey has been both challenging and rewarding. I have faced many obstacles and biases. Through hard work and perseverance, I have been able to overcome these challenges and become a successful tech professional by running my own software house, making it Pakistan’s first women-led software house that provides IT services, training, and courses to produce technopreneurs. My vision is to advocate for equity for females in the technology workforce in Pakistan. I believe it’s essential to empower and inspire other women to pursue their dreams in tech, and I’m committed to sharing my story and helping to create a more inclusive and diverse tech industry.”

Ms. Kritika Kalra Ghai, Founder – Medneed India, Team Lead – Paytm, New Delhi

Kritika is an accomplished technical program manager and team lead at Paytm. With almost six years of experience in product and program management, she has previously worked with Eaton India Innovation Center. Kritika is a recipient of the 2021 Women in Engineering Collaborator Award and has been a brand ambassador for Eaton, actively contributing to inclusion and diversity efforts. She has co- founded Medneed India during second wave of covid to provide medicines to those in dire need. Voluntary initiatives through which they donated more than 500kg of medicines and reached people PAN India.

Kritika’s message to all women is: “Don’t let anyone decide what you can or should do. There is an ocean out there to explore. You need to jump into it and grab that opportunity that will make you the person you want to be.” She inspires other women to take control of their lives and pursue their dreams, urging them to seize opportunities and explore the vast ocean of possibilities.

Ms. Ritika Malik, Co-Founder & Market Research Consultant – Combine Ways, New Delhi

I think it’s the fear that drives us—fear of failure, sharing our vulnerabilities, incompetence, not being able to reach a deadline or manage time well, both personally and professionally, and a million other points. We need to take up the difficult tasks first, dealing with the most complex client situation, laying down the most tedious strategy, analyzing the most complicated data set, and evaluating the most laborious report.

Maybe even re-doing all these in half the time available because we failed at something the first time. So what! Making mistakes is inevitable, despite trying our best. Since one cannot control every aspect, the best thing to do is to accept and move forward. As it’s rightly said, the best is yet to come! Always!

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