Preface: Kumud Srinivasan is a member of STL’s Board of Directors. She has been a trailblazer during her career, achieving quite a few firsts. This mini-blog is her raw take on the importance of forging a new path and the importance of diversity – a must-read for STLers who are on their own journeys.
Forty years ago, I became the first in my family, and the first among my female classmates, to go to the US for graduate studies.
For many months after I arrived, I was drinking from a firehose. So much to absorb. The overwhelming campus, the bewildering accents, the casual atmosphere in the classes, my odd fellow students…all the thrills and mysteries of life in the US. I had been a daring spirit, a pioneer of sorts. But I also felt exposed. I looked for people with experiences that were evocative of mine, ones who had gone before me, and could show me the path. I sought a community I could feel a part of.
It is this duality that explains why diversity is something to value and to nurture. In STL, we strive for an inclusive environment, so each of us can reach further and go deeper in any function we choose to, in an environment we find supportive and caring. We then become role models, guideposts to others who are starting off on their own paths. Collectively, we stimulate STL’s thinking. We help reset paradigms, invite fresh perspectives, and stimulate innovation.
Today, my journey brings me back to India, as an independent director on STL’s board, growing in new and exciting ways, shaping STL’s board in a manner I hope will be long-lasting, and outlining a path for others who, I know, will reach even higher.
I wish you lots of success in your own voyages. Go, STLers!