CEO, Nabil Bank
My perception of a working woman was formed at a very early age because from the time I can recall I remember my mother going to work. Bhinda Swari Shah, my mother, following the completion of her Bachelors from Barnard College, Columbia University and Masters from Johns Hopkins University, gave her Lok Sewa examinations and joined the Foreign Ministry of the Government of Nepal. So for a very long time I thought all mothers, in fact all women went to work, just like all fathers and all men.
The fact that my mother was a professional woman shaped my perception about all women. Today I see no difference in the ability or capability in women and men in the workplace because I never saw my mother as being any less than anyone else, regardless of gender in her profession.
So being the son of the first Nepali woman to have done her Bachelors and Masters from the United States, who came back and build a formidable career in the Government of Nepal, and became Nepal’s first woman Ambassador to India, I have to say I have not only drawn professional inspiration from, but must give full credit to who I am today to the woman who gave me life and then showed me how to live it, my mother, Bhinda Swari Shah.
It’s difficult to say that I have drawn inspiration from one woman at work. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by strong empowered women who push me to be better every day. It starts at home with my mother, aunts, sisters who are leading the best schools in Nepal, policy change, and impactful sustainability initiatives. Then at work, I have teammates who work hard not only to make constant changes in our own office but also seek to connect with professionals in other organisations for larger community change. Some of the initiatives my female teammates have led are Women In Tech events to discuss problems women face at work and solutions that we can suggest to the broader tech community. When the men colleagues were playing football, my female teammates took the initiative to bring in a female coach to get trained and start playing together; its super inspiring to see them take charge to even the uneven playing field. Every day I see the women around me breaking gender barriers, challenge gender norms and in the process make me more aware of my privileges. I learn from them about gender issues and how I can address them at my personal and professional level.
Founder, Chairman & Principal, Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management
Being in the hospitality industry and it’s academia for more than two decades, I look up to one woman who has crossed all odds of social boundaries and is determined to showcase Nepalese hospitality products to the world. She marched to give uniqueness and commitment of vision to serve better for the entire tourism fraternity. She is no other than Ambica Shrestha of Dwarika’s. I always feel very proud to take my guests there and experience the true Nepalese way of hospitality. She has even redefined Nepali cuisine into various courses. She is my true inspiration. We are proud of her.
Founder/CEO, Global Academy of Tourism & Hospitality Education
There are many women inspirational figures that I can draw inspiration from. One that I truly admire outside Nepal is Prof. Karin Schachtele, Professor of Economics and Finance in Switzerland. When she takes on an assignment, she goes out of the thick wall to make things happen. In Nepal, Prabha Amatya, a television personality and a mother has been my role model in the professional arena as she leaves no stone unturned when it comes to perfection and she does everything absolutely selflessly.
While growing up, I always saw my mother working hard tending to her domestic duties as a mother, a wife and a daughter-in-law. She was always ready and willing to take on any domestic duty whether it be cooking, cleaning or washing the dishes. She never relied on any domestic help. This taught me the value of hard work and being self-reliant. As a university professor, my father did not earn much. However, my mother was thrifty and made every rupee count. She frowned upon any waste, including the food on our plates. In this way, I learnt to be frugal and careful with my money. But most importantly, I never heard her complain no matter how difficult the situation. She always remained calm and persistent, and guided our family through difficulties. I am fortunate to learn the value of self-satisfaction and gratitude from her. These values that I learnt from my mother have helped me create and build Worldlink.