I have avoided the word “diversity” for most of my career, thinking this is not a “bucket” I want to be pigeon-holed with. Surely my career is about my individual merits after all?! However, as I have become more senior, I have realised that if people like me don’t engage then how will things actually change. If you want to move the needle, sometimes you need to push it along…
By background, I am British Asian of Indian and African descent, born in Birmingham, brought up in Essex and now live in West London. I come from an entrepreneurial family, with my grandad and his family of wife and 6 children leaving Uganda in the 1970s with next to nothing to go on to build a successful business of their own. This has very much been an inspiration in my career. Yet, despite this, I am still the first to graduate in my core family and the first to venture into working in the City from my extended family.
After a summer internship, I started my career with a coveted position on a business graduate programme at JPMorgan but soon decided that Law was where I needed to be. However, those beginner years in a bank and investment manager stayed with me, leading me to specialise in financial regulation, even when such things were not seen as “hot” as they may be today!
I am grateful to have had a diverse range of sponsors and supporters along the way, including both men and women – as supervising partners, colleagues and crucially clients who have backed me by giving me work. This led to me being promoted to a partner at the age of 32 and continue to work in a world-leading buy-side focused law firm, Dechert.
My joyful spirit comes from being a wife to a fantastically supportive husband who keeps telling me to continue “leaning in” – even on those days when I most don’t want to. We typically spend our time juggling between our work and probably the most challenging and rewarding aspect of everything we do – raising our son, Kabir. For me, I guess I am raising my hand for him and those girls and boys like him who need us to ensure we create a legacy which provides an open and supportive working environment for all.
Diversity Project Ambassador