New York: As many as 10 Indian American women find themselves in the Forbes 50 Over 50 List for accomplishments in areas as diverse as gender equality and financing book clubs to investing in sustainable seafood extraction.
They share this exclusive space with super achievers such as Oscar-winning Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis, US Commerce Secretary Gina Riamodo, Republican Party presidential aspirant Nikki Haley, and Adena Friedman, Chair and CEO, Nasdaq.
The List includes 200 women organised in groups of 50 each in four categories:
- Lifestyle, where Jamie Lee Curtis is the poster woman;
- Impact, led by Riamodo and Harvard University President Claudine Gay;
- Innovation, headlined by Peggy Wiston, who holds two records -- first woman to command the International Space Station and also logging in the most days (675) in space; and
- Investment, topped by Nancy Pfund, who was one of the earliest backers of electric-car maker Tesla.
The most number of Indian American women appear in the Investment list. They are:
Geeta Aiyer, founder and president, Boston Common Asset Management, a majority women- and employee-owned sustainable investment firm, with $5 billion in assets under management (AUM);
Mala Gaonkar, who last year founded SurgoCap Partners, a New York investment firm focused on disruptive technologies across broad industry categories, and she's also a widely published short story writer;
Former Michael Bloomberg adviser Ranji Nagaswami, who's is the chief strategy officer of Strategic Value Partners, a global investment company managing nearly $18 billion in private credit; and
Purnima Puri, governing partner, HPS Investment Partners, a $100 billion-AUM global investment firm, where she leads the company's $22-billion liquid credit business.
On the Impact list, which includes such big names in the news, from feminist writer Gloria Steinem, seen most recently with Rahul Gandhi, to Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis, who will lead the prosecution team against Donald Trump in the latest indictment against him, the three Indian Americans who've made it are:
Sarita Mohanty, CEO and president of The SCAN Foundation, a California-based healthcare nonprofit focused on improving care for older adults;
Ghazal Qureishi, founder, UpBrainery Technologies, expanding online education through AI, machine learning and a neuroscience-backed curriculum;
Kolkata-born S. Mona Sinha, a former Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Unilever executive who's now the global executive director of Equality Now, an NGO working for the rights and protection of women and girls around the world since 1992.
On the Lifestyle list, Alka Joshi shares the spotlight with, apart from Jamie Lee Curtis, actor-producer Viola Davis, celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz, and Lisa Vanderpump of the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'.
In 2020, Joshi, who was 62, published her debut novel, 'The Henna Artist', which she had begun writing in 2010. It became a global phenomenon, making it to the 'New York Times' bestseller list and getting translated into 29 languages. Netflix has announced that it would develop 'The Henna Artist' into a television series starring Frida 'Slumdog Millionaire' Pinto.
The Innovation list, which includes Nobel Prize winner Carolyn Bertozzi and Oracle CEO Safra Catz, has two Indian Americans:
Monica Jain, founder and executive director of Fish 2.0 and Manta Consulting Inc., who has created a network of entrepreneurs and investors focused on ocean conservation and sustainable seafood; and
Padmasree Warrior, Cornell-trained engineer and former CTO of Cisco and Motorola, who is now the founder-CEO of Fable, a platform for social reading and book clubs, which she leads from the front apart from serving on the boards of Microsoft and Spotify and keeping in touch with her 1.3 million-plus Twitter followers.