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Paromita Bardoloi | Independent Writer & Theatre Activist

I am an independent writer and a theatre activist. My writings over the years have been published in many national websites and magazines, including the Huffington Post, National Geographic, Women's Web, YourStory, Bonobology, Femina, The Quint and so on. My writings have mostly dealt with women empowerment. I strongly believe it's not only laws or education that can empower our women. Empowerment is an inner process that includes self love and self esteem. Over the years, many women have benefitted from them. Thus my work continues to create an equal better India. I am also invited to be part of panel discussions and guest lectures.


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Sushmita Das | Barclays

I am an IT professional working predominantly in the Banking domain from last nine years. I have done my Bachelors in Telecommunication (B.E.) and pursuing a MBA degree in Finance & Marketing.

I have been active in citizenship activities and was chosen as one of the Finalists for Mrs India - Queen of Substance pageant in 2016. I won the coveted title of Mrs India Trendsetter and also honoured by the life membership of World Peace Development and Research Foundation by ASIAN SOCIETY OF FILM & TELEVISION. I am associated with SNEH Foundation, which works for child education and health. I have conducted sessions on Cleanliness and Hygiene for people residing in slums or households of odd job workers, to create awareness and importance of it. I regularly work for donation drives for the NGO and raise charity funding. I am part of D&I and Citizenship initiatives conducted within my organisation and have been actively contributing to by conducting events for charity.

I love writing poems, playing badminton and enjoy fitness dance forms like Zumba.


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Sonal Pawar | Foundation for Mother and Child Health

Sonal Pawar is 38-years-old, born in the slum community of Dhobi Ghat Mahalaxmi. She married Santosh Pawar at the age 18 and became mother of two sons at age of 21. Her education was discontinued after 10th Std to take care of her siblings and the household chores.

My interest was to work for the issues of community because of my passion and determination to bring about change even if lacked support from family. As a result, I got opportunity to work with Pratham, NGO as a preschool teacher and library incharge. In 2009, I joined the Foundation for Mother and Child Health as a cook. I utilised every opportunity dealing with community mobilization in FMCH, as I believe it is first step to bring about change and in 2013 was promoted to field officer with responsibilities of building relationships with community and conducting programs.

Today, I'm working as Field Coordinator in FMCH with the added responsibilities of networking, conducting trainings, coordinating the field programs of two intervention sites. While in FMCH, I completed my paraprofessional course in Social work and counselling course from Care institute. Now I am pursuing my higher education so that I can complete my Master in social work course.


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Nidhi Joshi | BlackRock

I have over nine years of experience in the financial services sector and am currently leading the Institutional Client Businesses Team and BlackRock Solutions team within Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) in India, at BlackRock, the world's leading Asset Management Firm. Having worked in finance Industry for so many years I have had the opportunity to work in diverse finance domains including financial planning & analysis, Stock Audit, MIS, Automation & process improvements projects, Cost Benefit Analysis Projects as well as people management.

I have earned a MBA degree with dual major in Finance & Accounting and Human Resources and attained distinction in all the subjects from Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan in 2007 and B.Com from Garhwal University, Dehradun in 2005.

I started my career journey with the Indian Retail giant Future Group in 2007, and was working as the stock auditor for the entire north zone stores. I joined Ameriprise Financial in 2009, where I was working as a Team Leader Ameriprise Financial in the Analytics department of Advice & Wealth Management Group. At Ameriprise, I was leading a team who was responsible for providing financials of the various products offered by the firm, Variance Analyses, Dashboards/Scorecard preparation and presentation to the ELT members and verbiage writing for the quarterly release to the Wall Street Journal.

I joined BlackRock on 29th September 2014 and in my current role I support many critical processes, including the production of the weekly flows reporting for senior management to measure BlackRock's ability to execute on its organic growth goals, and a large portion of month-end reporting for all regional Institutional Sales teams. In this role, I am supporting a global process which requires me to have frequent interactions and manage stakeholders across various regions including NY, London and APAC, as well as COO / Business Management teams.

On the personal side, I am a mother of four and a half year old, who keeps me busy after my work hours. In my free time I enjoy, reading fictional books, cooking and watching Hollywood sitcoms and movies.


Garima Aggarwal

Garima Aggarwal | Barclays

Life for girls born in middle class in rural Haryana in the 80s was tough, but I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged me to work hard and dream big. And dream big I did!

My father's transferable job took us to towns with little quality-education, but I learnt to make the most of my situation; a value that helped me win a Gold-Medal in MCA.

My first step in a metropolis came with my placement in Infosys, where my performance exposed me to what would later become a passion for Information Security. This passion has taken me to many countries, but I particularly enjoyed my time in Australia, which was as challenging as it was exciting - what with working on new technologies, winning excellence awards, and earning CISSP certification.

I initiated vastly successful Identity-Access Management (IAM) practice for our vertical at Infosys. There has been no turning back since, and I went on to lead various IAM solutions and Innovations with Oracle, Deloitte and Barclays. I am currently an Assistant Vice-President leading IAM solutions.

At personal level, I love trekking, travelling and adventure sports. I think learning is a life-long process, and I keep it going!


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Malini Gowrishankar | F5 Escapes

I have had two career switches and three professions - a techie, a dubbing artist and an entrepreneur. I am currently working on my dream to redefine women's travel in India through 'F5 Escapes'.

My love for building communities has led me to volunteer with Headstart Network for three years - conceptualised and headed the Women Entrepreneurs initiative nationally, directly impacting over 500 lives.

I have also delivered motivational talks at IIM Bangalore, IIM Vizag, PES and SAP Labs amongst others.

My dream is for India to be a safe haven for female travellers and global sisterhood, achieved through travel.

I already believe I am a Rising Star. This award will just validate that.


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Sneha Lugade | Barclays

I graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering in 2009 from Goa University.

I have six and a half years of software industry experience and am always enthusiastic about giving my bit to society.

i have taken part in a number of citizenship activites including MAD (Make a Difference) Day's in October 2014; and a visit to Katraj dairy and Sakal Newspaper in October 2014 in which 33 girls from 9th Std participated. The functioning of the dairy and newspaper functioning was explained to the students.

I also conducted activities such as paper quilling, crafts, painting, essay writing and English speaking with 40 children from the Rachana Hostel, an underprivileged hostel in the village.

In 2015, I held fundraising activities via food stalls and games at Masti ki pathshala and I actively participated in the organisation and management of the event. We raised 85 K INR

I have also been involved in assembling school kits for distribution; fundraising for the Nepal Earthquake disaster; and supporting farmers of the Dhule district through the Farmer's Helping Hand programme

Outside of Barclays, I am associated with below NGO's social activities such as the Helping Hands group, volunteering activites at Aksharbharti and Seva Sahyog

At work I pride myself on customer satisfaction, optimisation at work, getting innovative ideas at work, coordination between users.

I have conducted a number team building exercises including setting up a Team Vibrant committee with other team members; celebrating at work on birthdays, work anniversaries and festivals; and fire marshalling. This has helped me progress in team building, mentoring and self learning in leadership and organising qualities. This has also made an impact on society which has created a positive change in society. The recognition that the small efforts make a big difference in other people's lives. By extension these initiatives help inspire work related empathy and sensitiveness to colleagues. This only motivates me to do bigger and better for the team and community at large.


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Shripriya Venkataraman | Aon

As a India Delivery Manager at Aon, my role demands execution with excellence on business priorities, identifying opportunities to improve delivery, influence teams to excel, resolve client escalations and ultimately help to improve governance and execution of our client delivery and relationships. In my accolades, I recently received the Annual Platinum Award for Business Results in 2016, for delivering with excellence. I enjoy mentoring and coaching my front line managers, and feel that it is my responsibility to ensure the knowledge that is gained is shared and hence am also partnering with the talent and development teams in facilitating corporate trainings both technical and management workshops

We have over 700 female colleagues in the location and my interest in empowerment of the women workforce has given me the opportunity to lead the Women's International Network Chennai Chapter. Alongside this I am also leading the CSR projects and activities for the location, which has earned the Global Innovation Award recently. As the core theme of the CSR is on education, we support on the projects that support the economically in need, visually challenged and hearing impaired students. As a part of the diversity workforce project team, currently working on implementing and imparting hearing impaired potentials into the organization.   'How deeply you touch another life is how rich your life is', is my mantra. My future vision is focused on enriching and enabling the lives of physically challenged through technology.


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Farah Siddiqui Matin

Farah Siddiqui Matin holds a Ph.D from the University of Allahabad and is a poetess of her own choice. She was born and raised in Allahabad and is currently residing in Ireland with her scientist hubby Shafique Matin. She started composing poems in January 2014 and published her first book 'The Bliss of Solitude' in May 2014, which was a collection of 50 poems. Her second book, 'Like I Born in Venus', comprising of 70 poems was inaugurated in 2015. Besides this she has 12 anthologies and numerous poems in international and national offlne and online magazine. She has also been awarded 'The Best Poetess Debut Award in 2015. Her third book based on "Nirbhaya" dedicated to every woman, will arrive on the market in November this year. She writes mainly on female empowerment and the issues that they are facing in our current society. Farah has had her poems published in the very famous International American Magazine, Life and Legends and famous French magazine Levure Litteraire in 2015. She was also nominated along with 100 other women in a honour ceremony in 2016 and has also been interviewed in Indian National television that was aired on 25th March 2016.


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Shilpa Gupta | Barclays

Shilpa Gupta is a go getter, the most talkative person around and finally a girl with a shiny nose!

She has always been like that - from being a naughty, only child to two ex-iitians, to having an awesome childhood troubling parents and then going on to become an engineer followed by an MBA. The professional journey has been encouraging as well. Shilpa had a good stint at ICICI, followed by Wipro and then Barclays. A couple of certifications and trainings have been sprinkled on top and that's been a good professional salad.

That's the boring part! The more interesting part is her creative side wherein she has been able to translate her dreams to thought-churning prose and poems, much to her delight. She has travelled a good deal and played some refreshing sports.

She has been associated with the Spastics Society and multiple schools for the needy. To be able to make a difference to the lives of some of our brothers and sisters has been food for her soul. Lastly, she takes pride in carrying on a self-imposed agenda to make two different pairs of eyes smile each day.

That's her smiling indeed. Wouldn't you smile back?