Catalyst India WRC held a Catalyst Connects event in Mumbai featuring Priya Nair, Vice President Laundry, Hindustan Unilever; Geetu Verma, Executive Director Foods, Hindustan Unilever; Sukriti Soni, Associate Director Marketing, Merck; and Vinaya Parvate, Director Asia and Japan Regional Head, Customer Acquisition Due Diligence Business Support Unit. The panel discussion, which was facilitated by Shachi Irde, Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC, Research Manager, Catalyst, touched on sponsorship and mentoring, and the importance of networking and overcoming obstacles as a career woman.

Aarti Shyamsunder, PhD, opened the session with a brief introduction about Catalyst and its mission. She also spoke about the importance of networking and opportunities created by Catalyst Connects. Priya Nair then shared stories about the cheerleaders in her life and how it’s essential to surround yourself with people who will encourage you to aim higher professionally. Throughout the session, all of the panelists shared their personal experiences as well as advice for women who are climbing up the corporate ladder.

Attendees left the session with food for thought, including:

1) It’s important to have “personal board” of people to get advice/direction from who also believe in you and will push you to achieve.

2) Challenging work brings rewards, even if they’re not clear to you from the beginning.

3) Being a successful career woman means making difficult choices sometimes.

4) Everyone should develop their own style for networking.

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