The spirit of female empowerment was in the air in Nepal.
ZS’s annual leadership summit for its Asia region coincided with International Women’s Day (IWD) this year. A total of 30 of ZS’s female principals, associate principals and managers from India and the rest of East Asia gathered for the first-ever breakfast dedicated solely to ZS women to kick off both annual events. The breakfast, organized by the Women’s Leadership Initiative for the Kathmandu-based summit, was part of a global celebration held at ZS offices in honor of IWD.
During the breakfast, female leaders shared their journey at ZS, thoughts on how the firm can retain strong female performers and ways to keep females of all levels of the firm engaged. The conversation was insightful and addressed interesting topics including working toward work-life balance, taking advantage of ZS’s flexible work styles, how women and men need to work together to press for progress, and taking on new challenges.
"I was delighted to see that the number of women leaders has increased significantly over the past few years,” said Apoorva, an associate principal from New Delhi and the lead for the Women’s Leadership Initiative in India.
The group also had an interactive session with Naina Lal Kidwai, a prominent Indian business leader and trailblazer. She shared her learnings from the boardroom as well as risks and opportunities that came her way during different leadership positions she held.
The thoughts resonated well with the female ZSers who appreciated her candid stories and they were inspired by her takeaways including not taking a long break following maternity leave to keep their skills relevant, asking family and friends for support, keeping employees engaged and being open to new ideas.
Back at ZS’s Capability and Expertise Center in India, Pune and New Delhi ZSers celebrated IWD by writing and sending passionate and energetic postcards to inspirational men and women in their lives. Many ZSers also submitted ideas around how the firm can continue to press for progress. Each office had a special musical performance, cake-cutting ceremony and merchandise stalls that supported small-scale, female-centric nonprofits through ZS Cares.