Few people at BDO have broken down more biases about women in the industry than Shilpa Mishra, BDO's Managing Director and Capital Advisory Leader.
It was for this reason, among others, that she was one of six women to win an inaugural WISE (Women in Search of Excellence) award.
Seen and heard
Shilpa shatters biases by showcasing her willingness to get out there. Rather than keep her head down, she put it in front of the world as the creator and host of a monthly webcast. This was in addition to her day-to-day job as a sales leader.
“Business owners I worked with were not being represented in the media,” said Shilpa. “I thought it was important to have a fuller spectrum of mid-market voices to hear and faces to see. I want aspiring business owners to tune in and see mid-market CEOs and other mid-market influencers who look like them. And I want my viewers to believe they can get there too.”
She supports the show with an impressive personal brand built thoughtfully and intentionally.
“I simplify complex issues around capital, finance, M&A, and real estate for my audience. I create and curate content valuable and relatable to my audience. We have mutual appreciation for each other and everyone wins.”
She chose to air her show on LinkedIn to maximize reach and guarantee global access. In retrospect, that was a good move because it's now being watched across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. More impressively, the audience has organically grown from 20 to well over 3,000 in six months.
Here and now
Every day, Shilpa shows the world the value of women with ambition. She does this by actively wielding the power of capital markets to fuel wealth creation for female entrepreneurs so they can refute the bias right alongside her.
“In Canada,” she says, “only 15% of mid-market businesses are female owned and only 3% are owned by women of colour. Also, globally, female-led businesses receive only 2.2% of the billions in available venture capital funding.”
Rather than lament this fact, she's set on making it different. She's currently leading the effort to bring in more female business owners as clients, and opening them up to BDO's global network.
“Change will only come with women on the inside making change happen,” says Shilpa. “My goal is to lead the charge in the coming years.”
Ready and willing
Shilpa diffuses another bias regularly by proving that women look out for other women. She does this by being a mentor.
“Shining a light on other women is a responsibility I take seriously,” says Shilpa. “I actively seek out and mentor female leaders within the firm to ensure our voices are constantly heard.”
Between her commitment to elevating excellence among females internally and with her clients, and her barrier-breaking web series that will no doubt inspire the next generation of female excellence, the podium of the inaugural WISE Awards was exactly where Shilpa Mishra deserved to be.