Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.

What is your name and title?

Mousumi Behari, Senior Director, Strategy Practice Lead at Avionos.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

I leads the Digital Strategy practice at Avionos. With more than a decade of experience in ecommerce strategy and implementation in both the B2B and B2C space, I’m focused on helping clients enable their digital journey through prioritized, data driven decisions. I focus on helping businesses define their strategic goals, create an actionable roadmap and ensure the adoption and engagement of technology for a successful project. While strategy is technology agnostic, I have experience in the Adobe and Salesforce environments.

How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.

I was one of the very few women who graduated with a Computer Science degree in 2001 from SMU, and right away I got into the digital world. I continued to work hard through several consulting companies. I realized my niche was in defining the people and process side of technology, and determining how business could evolve and achieve higher revenues.

In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?

I’ve always been authentic. I’ve chosen the roles that I can make a difference in, learn from and ultimately pay it forward.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?

Meeting the 2020 goals I had set for myself was tough given the pandemic. I realized it was much more about setting my intentions daily and living my life with purpose.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

I find that I have to work harder, be more vocal, and ask for the promotions and projects I want. Nothing is ever handed to women in this business.

Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?

I do have a few mentors and they represent different aspects in my life. Mentorship is extremely important to me and I always take the time to mentor young women in my industry. I believe that representation matters, as well as leading by example.

What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?

Understand your strengths and find your niche. In any industry there are all kinds of opportunities. It’s up to us to take them, use our strengths to make an impact, and further not only our careers – but our personal development.

What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?

Creating a mentorship program and a safe space for women to ask questions is important. Often women don’t think they are qualified enough for a particular role and need the confidence and encouragement to apply. Enabling women to have the right conversations and creating an open, transparent environment goes a long way.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I’m starting a podcast called Overworked which aims to create a platform for women to foster community and connection where they can bravely tell their stories, learn from others and thoughtfully define a balanced and fulfilled new future with purpose and intention. I would love for this to be successful in starting a conversation and helping women.

Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?

I’m passionate about Women in Technology and founded the Avionos Women’s Leadership Network which connects women with supportive and diverse allies to build personal and professional relationships driving growth, inclusivity and innovation. I also founded Little CEOs, a virtual marketing camp for girls ages 7-12 where they learn how to concept and market a business idea.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?

I think Pledge 1% is an important way to give back and be part of a bigger cause.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?

Currently I am spending a lot of time in getting my podcast up and running. But in my free time, I love to dance and draw. I grew up performing Indian classical, tap, jazz and ballet dance, and I try to keep in touch with it when I can.

Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!

I’m reading Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser right now. I also love any podcast by Brene Brown or Super Soul with Oprah. So much to learn!

What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?

I’ve starting meditating in the mornings and that really helps set my day off well. With remote work, I always finish at a certain time and then I don’t work again till the following day. It’s so important to set boundaries.