Living in Silicon Valley, we get temperate weather all year long compared to a lot of places I've lived in before. As we get into February, we are still getting some cold nights (around 48 degrees) as winter started late. This past Thursday I was scheduled to attend a dinner of with a group of South Asian Professional Women, organized by Neythri. It was a cold evening but I am glad I went! As soon as I entered the restaurant, I was warm with the heat but also warm in my heart, seeing a group of engaged Asian professional women coming together, for a meal, as if they had been friends for years.
Let me step back to describe my life journeys, social history. Most people have social & professional circles of people similar to them in demographics, geography, culture, work function etc. I've spent, all of my life, moving around the world (every 2-3 years) and interacting with very diverse groups of individuals. My own social circles have consistently been different than me (diverse). My friends and I agree that the connecting factor in my social circles is usually just me. In my social circles, there are folks from all over the world - different races, ages, cultures, geography, ways of thinking, lifestyles, etc. Prior to moving out to Silicon Valley, I had built a few (2) very close Indian origin, female friends that grew up here in the US. However, after moving to Silicon Valley that number has grown significantly.
Back to the Neythri dinner - This was the fourth event, I have attended with this amazing group of successful, professional women with a South Asian background. My mom was a nuclear engineer so I grew up with an amazing role model of a South Asian professional female. As a culture norm, many of these women still focused conversations on family and home when getting together with other Indian families versus the men who focused on work and sports. Neythri gives this group a place where they can bring their entire self - professional, social, personal, hobbies, ideas etc. It is a place of comfort for me as I now had a room full of women with a similar cultural background that I could speak to without explaining some of the nuances of how and why I do certain things or think a certain way. I felt like I could belong for a moment to learn and interact with ladies that may not have the same journey as me but have had a similar cultural experiences with parents, family and social norms in their inner circles.
Through, Neythi, I have been given the chance to explore my culture, as a part of who I am, as an adult. Each conversation I have had with another Neythri member has helped me come up with new solutions, in the problems I am solving or has given me ideas that I wouldn't have thought of. At the dinner, I realized that many of these women are on journeys similar to many of my executive coaching clients and I could provide my own client a different perspective. That night, we had technologists, lawyers, marketers, entrepreneurs, finance professionals and a one physician who broke "bread" - naan to be precise and got to know each other. During dinner, we had the chance to hear from each woman about her background. Additionally, one of the fearless leaders of Neythri - Mythili Sankaran, added a twist to the conversation. She asked for every person to put one ask, into the universe, at that dinner. She wanted to see the power of this network to help each other and support each other, in our endeavors.
I am amazed, at the leaders of Neythri, they have quickly brought this group together (showing the need for it). In just less than 6 months they have organized multiple events and have amassed a large number of women who are volunteering to get the organization up and running, based on the wants, of the members.
As I took in the experiences, the asks and the khana (food) from The Mynt, I got a chance to reflect on how my culture has been a part of me and how these women's stories inspire and continue to motivate me on my journey of bringing "the human element" and "cognitive diversity" into our worlds both personal and professional.
You can join by clicking on this link Neythri on Linkedin.
If you would like to get involved and be on a committee you can reach out to Mythili, Sruthi, Chrita to learn more and get connected to the right committee.
Welcome to Belle’s world. Everything in this world is based on a bell curve. Our media concentrates on giving advice to make everyone be a part of the masses. Belle's world focuses on the outer extremes of the bell curve.
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Belle’s world explores the extremes and goes beyond the surface. Ready to read about some of the “elephants in the room?”
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