Darshana Kadakia"I #ChoseToChallenge the impediments women professional have to face in their careers. I ventured into diverse domains involving financial transactions, regulatory approvals, raising funds, to name a few and moved to a senior management role creating an inclusive culture with equal opportunities, agnostic of gender. With the norms changing now and moving towards an equal representation of women and men in the same domain, we still have a long way to go. As women first, there are lot of expectations and pre-defined responsibilities for us. However, it is imperative to strike the right balance. With our heart and soul into everything we do, it is a test we all need to champion."

Darshana Kadakia

David Jones"In order to create an inclusive workplace, it is important to not only recognise the different areas of strength that each individual contributes to the team, but also be aware of one's areas of improvement. Each member must be given the opportunity and space to play to their strengths and lead the team when the situation demands. It is only when we go beyond gender and generalist assumptions that sustainable success as a team is possible. I have always tried to follow this principle when identifying teams. Healthy respect for the individual, driven by appreciation of their capabilities and potential, irrespective of gender, colour, caste, ethnic background, societal and financial status, is a sure shot ingredient in building a sustainable organisation. A slightly different angle to our culture concept of #HowBigATeamAreYouPlayingOn but equally important to support our evolution as we strive to become the Most Recommended Firm by Our People and Clients."

David Jones

Richa Sawhney"I successfully chose to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices around women in tax, which is considered a complex and demanding field. One key learning I picked up as a woman in an ever-evolving knowledge-based industry it to be a student all your life. Keep upgrading yourself. The moment you stop, you tend to stagnate. There will be times in your career where you want to take it slow, but even in those phases, do not stop learning and upgrading yourself. It will help you make a comeback, whenever you are ready. Stay grounded and value the power of collaboration. Both men and women can create a gender inclusive workplace by respecting each other’s views and building trust. We need to remove stereotype biases and create an inclusive working environment where gender neutrality is at the forefront of any decision."

Richa Sawhney

Vikas Vasal"In today’s dynamic business environment, #ChooseToChallenge any unconscious bias is not merely a slogan but a business necessity. It is imperative to understand different perspectives and thought processes before reaching a conclusion. Ideas and issues that are well researched, thoroughly debated, must be deliberated across gender, age etc. and ultimately lead to better solutions with wider acceptance. These days, culture conversations often form part of the business discussions and are taken quite seriously by our clients and our firm’s leadership. As an organisation, we are committed to ensure that each individual contributes his/her best towards the common objective and any hurdles including any unconscious biases are openly discussed, counselled and addressed with a positive frame of mind."

Vikas Vasal

Raja Lahiri"One of our culture concepts is power of thought, which basically covers how our thoughts impact our behaviours and therefore, our actions and results. Creating a gender inclusive workplace is about being self-aware of one’s own thoughts first and nurturing the mindset of deep respect for each other, understanding and appreciating the differences. Yet, realising that the so called differences, are actually strengths, which completes a team. I believe culture of deep listening, curiosity and learning of each other’s views and incorporating it in our decision-making process provides the bedrock of a gender inclusive workplace and high performing teams. Let’s not forget being “curious” takes us to higher end of the mood elevator and let us continue to celebrate the power of gender inclusiveness in our Firm."

Raja Lahiri

Nidhi Maheshwari"The best way to make a gender inclusive workplace is by not bringing gender into the equation. I #ChoosetoChallenge and stand for merit based gender equality and strive for ascent in corporate hierarchy that is powered by competency and knowledge. On a personal front I #ChooseToChallenge to create an ecosystem for oneself to desire and have it all in life. I endeavour to strike a financial, emotional and spiritual balance and the equilibrium is possible with good time management and a simple mantra that I follow ‘Sacrifices are vital when needed, but so is putting yourself first!’
My advice to women would be to have a strong support system, build a good coping mechanism, do not give up on your economic independence, train your spouse to be an equal partner and lastly a good laugh with friends always helps!""

Nidhi Maheshwari

Alok Saraf"Diversity at workplace specially inclusion of women is no more an option for modern businesses but a necessity to succeed. I #ChoosetoChallenge any personal bias by consciously ensuring that I don’t expect stereotyping activities that can be done by men or women specifically. It all begun for me at home where household chores generally considered to be women’s department but consciously during lockdown, my wife and I agreed to share the overall work including cooking on a rotation basis. Similarly at workplace also, I consciously try to eliminate any bias while allocating jobs to my colleagues and the key metric considered is the skill set and not the gender."

Alok Saraf

Kalyan Bose"Both men and women must treat each other as an individual and address their individual needs (professional and personal) in their working relationship. I question the composition of any leadership group, panel, working party, committee, etc. that does not reflect adequate and appropriate diversity. I refuse to serve on or participate in any panel or working party that is not appropriately diverse."

Kalyan Bose

Prashant Mehra"A gender inclusive workplace is an environment where opportunities and challenges are enabled without any gender preferences. Careers should not have a gender and that’s how we endow dignity. Compassion and Capability over everything else."

Prashant Mehra

Sonal Jain"The most critical part of challenging the status quo is to pivot into the next level as soon as the current process is entering the evolve phase. I believe looking for deeper and diverse experiences, along with keeping pace with market changes is the key to sustainable growth. Believe in yourself and your team. Empathy, optimism and sincerity are the mantras for the road to self-progression. I believe gender equality requires some work at the foundation level. All of us, regardless of gender identity, should believe that a work culture focused on gender inclusion has the power to elevate previously unheard voices and value diverse experiences, fostering an environment of mutual respect and trust."

Sonal Jain

Krishan Arora"As a true believer of promoting a diverse, inclusive and belonging culture, I have immense respect and gratitude for the talent, capabilities and commitment levels demonstrated by our women colleagues who #ChooseToChallenge the stereotypes. Self-awareness and personal reflection can help address existence of any unconscious bias within ourselves and others, which will help create the right trust, engagement and creativity to enable a gender inclusive workplace. As leaders, we have the unique opportunity to become the ‘change agents’ aiding this transformation and do whatever it takes to help build a workplace that embraces and encourages our women colleagues with a #CultureofAppreciation to strive, excel and aspire."

Krishan Arora

Aasheesh Arjun Singh"I #ChooseToChallenge my unconscious bias of what I set out to achieve professionally is more important than the choices or goals of my spouse. As a man, it is easier to stay focused with the end clearly defined since the goalpost remains the same. However, the goalpost may continue to shift for my spouse or a majority of women in workplace. Be it marriage, raising children or all other significant expectations that come along with it. It is for the men, like us, to ensure that they provide the support that is needed for women to achieve what they set out to do, supported by us (as they support us) and not inspite of us. Am I completely there yet? Absolutely not. But I am clearly much more self-aware of my equal responsibilities in making it a level playing field for my spouse and the women that I interact with. In the end, it is about the choices we make and the opportunities offered to us, which should not be based on my gender."

Aasheesh Arjun Singh

Ritika Mathur"I chose to challenge myself and my belief in my own capabilities to take on new challenges in life. As women, we often tend to brush off our own accomplishments. A lot of this is often driven by the social conditioning, where women are expected to take a back seat. I believe the biggest success of the initiative around gender equality is when the need for it to be called out on the agenda ceases to exist. Where equality of chance and equality of opportunities is a standard norm, and the thought of any perceived limitations associated with gender don’t even cross one’s mind. That is the true essence of a gender inclusive workplace. The way for us to be able to create a work environment of this kind is by constantly addressing our individual unconscious biases and calling out others when we feel they aren’t doing so."

Ritika Mathur

Kunal Sood"Our public sector advisory has grown rapidly over last decade and the team has diverse background and experiences, which result in different responses to people and culture situations. It is with that context, I have two specific #ChooseToChallenge priorities- one, to improve gender balance in the team and two, being accountable for leveraging our public sector engagements to generate outcomes that makes our society more inclusive and equal. I must also acknowledge that it is one of our clients who helped us in reinforcing internal and external focus on gender equality."

Kunal Sood