April. It’s a month of new beginnings, heralding the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere. Here in the United States, the days are getting longer and the weather warmer. And with that comes a feeling of being lighter.
I wake up to the sound of birds chirping, and walk by crocuses peeking through the thin layer of frost in the garden. The air feels clean and crisp and fills me with a sense of optimism. I know challenges lie ahead and that there are the dragons of fear, bias and prejudice to be slain, but I am ready to spring forward and seize the day.
Our April issue features many women who have done just that — seize the day, and the opportunity to make a difference in the world, to effect positive change and create an impact for society that is bigger than personal victories.
Take our cover star, Anjula Acharia. A Punjabi girl from Buckinghamshire, UK, who is now living the American dream. An angel investor to numerous women-led billion dollar companies, Acharia has has been part of the impressive list of Billboard Int’l Power Players, Vanity Fair’s Next Establishment List, and ELLE Magazine’s Top Women In Tech. She also is the brains behind the successful crossover of superstar Priyanka Chopra Jonas from Bollywood to Hollywood and to international stardom.
Firmly rooted in Bollywood, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Acharia has successfully managed to combine technology and entertainment and sought and promoted talent in its different forms. I was particularly inspired by her commitment to to be a mentor to women entrepreneurs and helping them succeed — the kind of person she lacked as a young entrepreneur herself. Her advice to other South Asian women is to be passionate and persistent and to not give up easily. Her goal is to catalyze success not just for one of us but all of us. That there is room for everyone to occupy the top!
That said, you don’t have to be at the top to make a difference. Sometimes the biggest impact is made from behind the scenes as the story of Tanya Mohan demonstrates. Mohan, who specializes in counterterrorism and conflict management, has been resolving these problems in different parts of the world. As a security analyst at the Threat and Risk Service unit of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) at the UN headquarters in New York, she heads a training unit responsible for an analytical course for UN personnel. In her stint with the UN, she has covered almost the entire globe, including the Asia Pacific region, Middle East and Africa.
She says her story is testament to the fact that women can do anything they put your mind to, and that international relations and strategy and foreign studies – traditionally male-dominated disciplines – can be fulfilling career paths for women. And that no field or discipline is out of the realm and so, if you are interested in something, just go for it!
As we welcome April and also mark important observances like Ramadan, Easter, Ugadi and the Tamil New Year, we are ready focus on family, rekindle connections, give to others and celebrate new beginnings. And we we are ready to spring forward and seize the day.