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Dr Arpinder Bansi: In Conversation

Arpinder and I had started our conversation only to find that there was interference on the call which made it difficult to hear so we had to reschedule. It turns out that that the noise was a blessing in disguise as, rather than attempt another call we managed to meet at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. It was great to meet one another and Arpinder fell in love with my beautiful borrowed dog, Woody (I had to be careful - she was threatening to take him home with her!).

Arpinder talks about the environment she grew up in that, had she not pushed against it, would have seen her life take a very different path. A path restricted by her community and the beliefs of what a woman should and could do. Arpinder's parents were asked why they were worried about her education as she was going to either end up working in a factory or, if she worked really hard, the typing pool. Her community asked why her parents were letting her get an education as there was no way they'd be able to find a husband for her if they did.

Against all of this, with her parents support, Arpinder pushed ahead - become an Engineer, getting her PhD and had a successful career in corporate. She then discovered that she loved helping people - women to begin with - reach their potential. She combines research and practical application working with a wide range of individuals and organisations.

We talk about how history and how it impacts the gender gaps and more that we are still seeing today, where it stems from, the lack of women role models in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as Arpinder's desire to make sure she leaves a lasting legacy for her children and her children's children.

Our conversation includes:

  • Why she decided to run her own business

  • Unlimited potential in all of us

  • Unconscious bias

  • Women role models in STEM

  • Her parents being told "Nobody wants a wife that is more qualified or educated than they are"

  • Sticky floors and how the gender pay gap starts

  • How our history continues to shape the business world today

  • Research

  • Has she done her bit in making this a better world for her children and her children's children?

  • Networking - seeing the unconscious bias she'd seen in corporate were reflected in many of the networking groups she went to

  • Challenges she faced within her business

  • Family time and downtime

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