‘THE FIRST, THE FEW, THE ONLY' A Special Conversation with Deepa Purushothaman

What does it feel like to be the First, the Few and the Only? Today's guest is Deepa Purushothaman, co-founder of nFormation which provides brave, safe, new space for professional women of color and a Women and Public Policy Program Leader in Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to this, Deepa spent more than twenty years at Deloitte and was the first Indian American woman to make partner in the company’s history. Deepa was also Deloitte’s national WIN (Women’s Initiative) leader, the firm’s renowned program to recruit, retain, and advance women.  Join host Natalie Benamou and Deepa Purushothaman for this special conversation about her new book: THE FIRST, THE FEW, THE ONLY: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America.

Deepa shares how she interviewed over 500 women of color for this book. She highlights both individual stories as well as the numerous commonalities she has observed from having these discussions. Her personal stories and actionable takeaways in the book will resonate with a wide range of readers, from CEOs and HR teams to managers and employees.

“There are these amazing women who have been first, but we don't spend enough time talking about the barriers that they overcome and how much extra work there is and how difficult it is.” – Deepa Purushothaman


In this special discussion, Deepa describes:

  • The extra burdens and excess work WOC take on for companies in the name of culture building.
  •  Pushing back against toxic messaging—including the things we tell ourselves.
  • Embracing the valuable cultural viewpoints and experiences that give us unique perspectives at work.


Two Surprising Discoveries From The Book:

1. “Many of the women of color I interviewed were actually sick with mysterious illnesses.”

2. “Women shared with me that they felt other women didn't support them in the workplace.” 

“I want women and women of color to be in full voice when they get to the seat at the table. So they can actually show up, with all their super powers, and all the things that they bring to the table.”- Deepa Purushothaman


Find Deepa Purushothaman on LinkedIn | DeepaPuru.com TEDx Talk HBR Article: Leaders, Stop Rewarding Toxic Rockstars

Natalie Benamou is the Founder of HerCsuite™, HerCsuite™ all-in-one platform is a SaaS private network hub is designed for organizations to retain and engage female talent. Our simplified user interface makes it easy for women to achieve success in every level of their careers. It is a ready-made customizable solution for Employee Resource Groups, Membership Organizations, and Individual Women Leaders.  Check out our Newest Mastermind HerCsuite™ NEXT for Women over 50.

LinkedIn: Natalie Benamou | HerPower2 Lead | HerCsuite™

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Credits: Thanks to Julie Deem and the Business Podcast Editor for editing our podcast!

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Natalie Benamou
Founder, CEO 
Herpower2 Lead | HerCsuite™ Platform | HerCsuite™ Radio Podcast Host 

Natalie founded Herpower2 Lead to create products that empower women to make lasting impacts today and into the future. She takes a ‘serve first’ approach to life and has applied this principle throughout her career, serving in leadership positions in business as well as non-profit organizations.

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