As the Founder and President of bhasin consulting inc., Ritu applies her first-hand experience as the daughter of immigrants who overcame work and cultural expectations to become a thriving entrepreneur.
While growing up, Ritu’s instincts were to become an advocate against racism and the inequities that People of Color and Indigenous Peoples experience. She describes how, unfortunately, “When I was growing up, holding a fulltime job in equity, diversity and inclusion didn’t really exist, but I knew that this is what I wanted to do.”
As a result, she chose the closest career option - becoming a lawyer - and spent a decade in the legal profession in Toronto’s conservative financial district, first practising law and then working as director of legal talent. Recalls Ritu: “I came to realize that being in the legal profession in this way wasn’t right for me. I felt like I couldn’t be who I am, and it felt really lonely and difficult.”
After a decade attaining professional success in the legal sector, Ritu decided to pursue her mission of helping create a more equitable, just society. As she reflects on her tenure of leading her own consultancy for over ten years, Ritu confesses that, “For the first several years, I doubted my abilities as a businessperson. I only recently said to myself that ‘I am a really good businessperson and why should I shy away from holding this belief and talking about it?’”
The reason, concludes Ritu, is that “A lot of women, especially women of color, have been socialized to think we are not entrepreneurial and we should favor stability and security over exploring an entrepreneurial path.”
Ritu’s entrepreneurial style has also solidified her belief in the value of equity, diversity and inclusion. She explains how, “My company has been successful because - rather than ‘duplicate and amend’ the standard approach - I apply authentic, independent thought to how I do things, and that leads to market innovation. And that’s the benefit of diversity in business: When we create environments where different people can share opinions and do things differently, that’s when innovation and creativity are born.”