Sonali Virendra is a woman worth watching.

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Sonali Virendra, Senior Vice President of Sales & Digital Strategy at New York Life, has been recognized in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s annual Women Worth Watching Leadership Awards.

Profiles in Diversity Journal believes the issue includes personal essays because the awards are based on the belief that what successful women have to say is important. The takeaway from Sonali's story  is to think excellence, not perfection.

 “Despite the steady rise in women’s participation in the workforce, career success is still often defined by the standards established by a male-dominated society generations ago.” Women today have a chance to change that paradigm by defining success based on their own values and goals. Sonali says she felt intimidated at the start of her career, but gained confidence as she began to realize that people were listening when she spoke, and that most of the limitations were only in her head. She says she learned two important lessons:

“Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to take risks.”

It was three years ago when Sonali was asked to take on the new role developing a digital strategy and building a new ecosystem of digital tools for the sales force. She accepted the challenge, and learned that if you work hard, learn, and lean on those around you, anything is possible.

Sonali says to strive for goals that connect with your internal belief system, and that matter to you and engage you every day but also long-term. She suggests creating your own personal vision of success and then remaining true yourself.

“For me, that personal vision means doing work that matters and being authentic, honest, and kind to everyone, regardless of my title or theirs.” 

According to founder and publisher James R. Rector, the list is not just a yearly exercise in profiling successful women. “It is the celebration of women who have proven their leadership potential and skills, providing the marketplace with a plethora of qualified leaders for business, nonprofit, military, and government positions.”

Go to the Profiles in Diversity Journal and scroll to page 115 to read the full essay.   

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