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IWD 2024: Lessons learned: Reflecting on career growth and diversity
Thu, 7th Mar 2024

As I reflect on International Women's Day, I am reminded of the progress we have made here in the United States, globally, and of my own journey. As Aras’ general counsel and chief people officer, I never imagined how my career would evolve from where I began.

Since one of the joys of IWD is paying it forward, I'd like to share three takeaways from my 20+ years working in the legal profession and technology.

First and foremost, don't pigeonhole yourself or your career aspirations. Be open to and embrace growth opportunities. As you move forward, experience provides perspective, and thinking of things from multiple perspectives creates advantages. My career journey began with a degree in Electrical Engineering. I was interested in understanding the technologies involved and excited by them at the same time. I was also fascinated by the law and confused about how to pursue both passions. During my college summer internships, the engineering team I worked with opened my eyes to the intersection of technology and law in intellectual property law. I decided to go to law school and chose Boston University School of Law for its strong Intellectual property law program.

Second, embrace change. Many jobs and companies are going through changes; change is constant, and if you can't embrace it, you will face additional challenges. In fact, you often discover your greatest growth opportunities at times of change. In my career, it was at times of change that I gained new experiences and expanded the scope of my responsibilities – all because I was open to embracing the unknown and going outside my comfort zone. It's okay to feel uncomfortable; you need to jump in and learn as much as possible to develop your growth mindset.

Last, you don't need to have a plan. Although you will always hear folks talking about their 3-year or 5-year plans, you can stop feeling guilty if you don't have one. It was never in my career plan to one day become a General Counsel who expanded her role to lead Human Resources.  While you do not need to plan everything out, you do need to take an active role in your own career. If you don't plan ahead, and actively seek out the right growth opportunities, no one else will.

I have been a passionate advocate for women in the workplace. At Aras, I sit on our Diversity Council and am an active member of our Women in Leadership Business Resource Group.  I am also actively involved in various legal and community organizations.  I am the co-founder and a fellow of the South Asian Bar Association of the North America Leadership Institute and currently Board Member and Chair of the DEI Committee for the Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Chapter. I enjoy sharing my career journey with others, particularly when it helps to provide a roadmap for other women. I hope that I inspire inclusion every day.