The First, the Few, the Only
How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America
Women of color are ready to lead, but many of them are one of the first, few, or only women of color at their company. Deepa Purushothaman gives women of color the tools to discover and share their unique power at work: she was the first Indian woman to become Partner at Deloitte, and she learned what it takes to overcome the specific challenges that women of color face in corporate life. Her book The First, the Few, the Only is an urgent guide to help women of color prevent burnout, lean in, and speak up. Courageous and bold, Deepa has empowered millions of viewers as a TED Women speaker, and social justice legend Billie Jean King says she will “build bridges, dismantle barriers, and change how we lead.”
“Deepa is a courageous and honest resource, empowering women of color to boldly venture into their full power.”— Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code
Deepa Purushothaman is a global leader in the vital, on-going dialogue for workplace diversity, racial inclusion, and leadership initiatives for women of color. She triumphed over her personal challenges of isolation and burnout as a high-level executive at Deloitte, and broke new ground for women of color as the first Indian American woman and one of the youngest people to make partner at the company. As Deloitte’s National Managing Partner of Inclusion, Deepa spearheaded its world-renowned program for recruiting and empowering women in the workplace.
Deepa is also the co-founder of nFormation, a company which provides a brave, safe, and new space for professionals who are women of color. She says that women of color are ready to “alter existing narratives, change the game, and lead in a brand-new landscape”—they just need the resources to get there.
In her book The First, the Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power In Corporate America, Deepa shares the wisdom she gained from interviewing hundreds of other women of color across many different industries and cultural backgrounds. She teaches readers how to shed harmful messages in the workplace, navigate challenging corporate situations, and expand the future of what leadership looks like. Publisher’s Weekly called the book “empowering” and a “fresh, worthy addition” to our conversation about diversity.
Deepa has been featured in publications including Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Huffington Post, and Harvard Business Review. She is a Women and Public Policy Program Leader in Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School. Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, lauds the way that Deepa’s urgent work “has yielded a powerful collective narrative that business leaders would be wise to study closely.”
“The way [Deepa] was able to articulate her experience as an Asian-American woman in the workplace impacted a lot of people at LiveRamp. We really appreciate her ability to put our feelings into words and address the systemic issues that we face every day.”LiveRamp