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Celebrating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champions at Avtar’s “Power of I” Conference

Business Wire India

Avtar Group, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) solutions firm, recently held the 5th edition of the “Power of I” conference which brought together thought leaders, DEI advocates, and professionals from various sectors, emphasizing the impact of individual efforts in driving organizational change towards inclusion. The conference honored outstanding individuals who made significant contributions to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Themed, Be the change, the POI Conference witnessed day-long sessions including the unveiling of Dr Saundarya Rajesh’s (Founder-President, Avtar) latest book titled, “Conversations with the Career Doctor” by the CXOs – Tarun Sareen, Managing Director, Sun Life Global Solutions; Aditi Shukla, Head of India Shared Services & Country Head, India, AXA XL; Akshay Saxena, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Encore Capital Group Inc. Amit Kalra, Senior Vice President, R1 India; and Sekhar Sahay, HR Director, India, Thales.
 
The Session topics included Shifting Perspectives: Apathy to Empathy; To be Inclusive or not be Inclusive? Tying AI to DEI; Managing your DEI Role: LEAN to Lead, Inclusion Unbound: How learnability fuels Belonging; and Love All: A workplace that works for all.
 
During this conference leaders and DEI allies from different sectors were recognized for their exceptional leadership.
 
Dr Kavitha Kommuri, (Principal Engineer-Vehicle HIL and Digital Twin), leader of the Women’s Resource Group (WRG) at TVS, was awarded with Best ERG Leader – Women (2024) award for her outstanding contributions to gender equality. Dr Kommuri’s initiatives include introducing policies like menstrual cycle leave, higher education policy amendments, and improved women’s travel guidelines.

Ujjwala Singhania, Managing Consultant at IBM received the Best ERG Leader – People with Disabilities (PwD) (2024) award for his extraordinary leadership in advocating for employees with disabilities. Her efforts led to an increase in IBM’s Inclusion learnings uptake, created more allies, and resulted in a significant rise in self-identification of disability.

Ali Khan, (Director of Governance Risk Compliance, ZS), received the Best ERG Leader – LGBTQIA+ (2024) award. Khan expanded the ERG membership from 20 members in 2020 to over 900 globally. His focus on representation, retention, and transgender hiring created a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ employees.

Geeta Gurnani, (CTO at IBM Technology, India/South Asia), was recognized for her exceptional commitment to mentoring and developing diverse talent. Her impact extends to young mothers, women in sales, women on breaks, and STEM girls. She received the Best Mentor Award (2024) award.

Anish Mukker (CEO, Teleperformance India) and Tarun Sareen (Managing Director, Sun Life Global Solutions) received the Best Sponsor Award (2024) award. Mukker’s #GenderSmart initiative increased women’s representation in the Executive Committees significantly.

Under Tarun’s leadership, the DEI journey of Sun Life Global Solutions has witnessed a paradigm shift. His vision draws on his passion to nurture a strong people-centric culture, where everyone is treated fairly and respectfully.
 
Announcing the winners, Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, Avtar Group said, “These leaders exemplify the spirit of ‘Power of I’ by showing how one individual’s commitment can inspire collective change. Their efforts have created more inclusive and equitable workplaces, setting a benchmark for others to follow. These awards are a testament to the incredible power of individual action in driving systemic change. Avtar is proud to honor these remarkable leaders and looks forward to continuing our mission of fostering inclusive workplaces where every individual can thrive and rise to the fullest potential.”

Other speakers at the conference included,
 

  • Apoorva Aggarwal, Principal, ZS
  • Deepti Gupta, EVP, Human Resources, and Administration, Jubilant FoodWorks
  • Deepti Kapoor, Executive Director & Head of People Partnering-Cushman & Wakefield India Pvt. Ltd
  • Jhumur Aggarwal, General Manager, Trade Execution, Cargill Business Services
  • Irani S Roy, CHRO, Signify Greater India
  • Pooja Mehtani, General Counsel, Sun Life Global Solutions
  • Prachi Rastogi, D&I Leader, IBM, APAC, Japan
  • Prashant Gupta, Senior Director, Operations, ZS Associates
  • Richa Sethi, Vice President Human Resources, Global Head – Capability Development and DEI, Coforge
  • Riya Dalvi, Vice President, HR, CEAT RPG                     
  • Santhosh Murthy Neriyanuri, Sr. Director, Operations at KBR C
  • Shruti Sethi, Executive Vice President – HR, HDFC ERGO General Insurance 
The Power of I Conference, is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, provide the perfect platform for recognizing the exemplary contributions of individuals and organizations in various categories. The Power of I Conference hosted virtually till 2023, concluded on a high note at the in-person event this year, with attendees leaving inspired and motivated to continue their efforts towards creating inclusive environments. 

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