I see the world as a place of opportunities where people
open doors for each other to make a better world together. I come from a
community where girls are married off at 18; I broke several glass ceilings by
becoming the first female to learn English, go to college, go outside the
country for my graduate studies and excel in a professional career. I am where
I am today because many have opened doors for me, influencing how I see the
On a personal level, I am grateful to be inspiring a
generation in my community to be fierce and independent. I encourage parents to
send their girls to college and talk extensively at schools when I visit India.
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Today, I sponsor the education of seven children in my community, and I feel a
deep responsibility to help them succeed.
As a community leader, inspired by the philanthropy of US
companies, I have helped 5 businesses start corporate social responsibility
programs and take on children’s causes in my hometown, Hosur. These companies
have started scholarship programs for children and contribute to local schools
and hospitals. It has been an honor to bring such impact and inspire other
leaders to give back.
As an influential
leader at work, I strive to develop inclusive leaders who operate with
consciousness, creativity, and commitment. I am a leader who is known to adhere
to the highest ethics, which has strengthened my influence as a leader. I never fail to point out when I see
unconscious bias or unfairness play out. When I took on cyber threat defense
late last year, I started with budget, resource and skillset constraints. With an enormous and immediate challenge to
defend against some of the industry’s worst cyber threats, I relied on the
strengths of my team, helping them find ways to stretch their skills and
uncover hidden talents. I have created an environment that fosters innovation,
values diversity of thought, encourages challenging status quo and taking smart
risks. We made mistakes along the way but I helped my teams learn and grow from
those mistakes while always keeping in mind that whatever we do, we affect real
human beings – customers, employees, clients, community.
As a leader committed to advancing women, I actively
participate in “women in tech” initiatives at Capital One. I lead “Getting to
Yes” negotiation sessions for women and participate in the “Young Women
Leaders’ Forum” and inspire and mentor high-school girls to enter STEM. I am
proud to say that I have been able to inspire 150 women through these programs
in the last 2 years. With my commitment to increase women in cybersecurity, I
have helped junior engineers transition to lead security analysts in my team. I
also represent Capital One in various external conferences including Grace
Hopper, SXSW, and other Security Conferences and also speak extensively within
In the future,
equipped with tools from MIT Sloan EMBA, I intend to further advance the
mission of being a principled innovative leader by continuing to open doors for
others in all spheres of my life – work, community and personal.