Sarika Gupta Bhattacharya is the founder director of Biz Divas and the winner of "Leadership in Mentoring Award" by Vital Voices and Hillary Clinton in June 2014. The Kolkata born entrepreneur belongs to a traditional Marwari family and is married to a Bengali - her MBA batch-mate. An Economics Graduate from St Xavier’s, Kolkata and an MBA from MDI Sarika Joined Merrill Lynch and worked as an investment banker till 2011 when the entrepreneurial bug bit her.
Responsible entrepreneurship creating inclusive work environs
Biz Divas is a New Delhi based platform for creating awareness on inclusive practices, conducting research and providing mentoring support to promote inclusive leadership. It also provides an opportunity for women of today to come together and raise a common voice for promoting women leadership across all walks of life. Since its inception, Biz Divas has already impacted more than 10000 individuals, mentored more than 5000 women, and partnered with more than 75 corporate houses across India.
It was after 12 years of career in Banking, that Sarika decided to quit a corporate job in 2011 along with couple of her friends - Ranjana Deopa & Priyanka Awasthy and started a talent Management firm - Altavis focussing on Diversity Hiring & consulting. “More and more women are dropping out of the corporate world owing to the non-inclusive culture and we wanted to create a difference in the scenario. However, our experience of working with organisations as consultants, revealed the complexities of the situation. We realised that there needs to be a major change in the way the system, the work culture and the mindsets of people function and above all it is of utmost importance for women professionals to believe that they can reach the top leadership positions. To build an enabling ecosystem and culture which encourage inclusive leadership - Biz Divas Foundation was formed in July 2011,” shares Sarika.
A platform for women empowerment
Biz Divas identifies, invests and brings visibility to extraordinary women leaders from all walks of life through three Cross Industry Mentoring programs -
- Women on Boards which helps women to get in C Suite,
- Career Growth programs - which helps women in mid level careers to reach leadership positions
- Pay it forward - the mentees of the past programs become mentors to pay it forward and mentor younger women.
These programs are open to corporate professionals, entrepreneurs and NGOs. The organisation works with women leaders as mentees who are mentored by Global & Indian CXO leaders who can be both men and women. “Besides, through our programmes like - Women on Boards, Inclusion in India Inc and Biz Divas blogs & magazine - we have tried to promote inclusive stories, women role models and provide a mentoring networking platform through our events like Global mentoring walk & I Inspire,” informs Sarika.
Sarika has launched Women on Boards initiative in 2016 which has an aspiring Board-ready women directory connecting them to board positions. It also offers training, mentoring and guidance for these women. She is also working towards creating an online mentoring app which would connect women leaders from all regions and walks of life and give them a platform to seek a mentor. Sarika believes that having an idea is great but one needs to execute it with good intent and lot of perseverance, rest just falls in place.
More power to you!