A community of optimists hosted by Melinda French Gates

Aparna is recreating seats of power for and by womxn of color so that our workforce reflects what WoC bring to the table: resilience, ROI, and liberation.

Aparna is an educator, innovator and disruptor working at the intersection of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and organizational design. Her decade-long career in workforce development has advanced thousands of individuals in under-resourced communities through culturally relevant resources and leadership.

Beginning her career at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Aparna contributed to UBC’s first open journaling system, democratizing research for all, not just the wealthy few with journal access. Aparna has since launched a number of groundbreaking equity initiatives, including Project Feast, a platform providing employment pathways for immigrant and refugee women in the food industry, and Firki, a highly scalable, nationwide teacher training portal in India.

Today she is co-founder of Future For Us, a platform dedicated to advancing of womxn of color through community, culture, and career development, and Moving Beyond, an impact practice that operationalizes DEI and supports fund managers, wealth advisors, investors, philanthropists, and social innovators creating positive impact for people and the planet.

Aparna believes in the power of story and frequently shines a light on equity at work as a presenter, keynote speaker, and panelist. Her voice and vision has been covered in Seattle Business Magazine, Forbes, Geekwire, The Seattle Times, and more.

Growing up in 5 countries, Aparna witnessed the power of diverse voices early in life. This concept continues to be reinforced personally and professionally: diversity and inclusion is a pathway to success.

Based in Seattle. Follow this dreamer, doer, and dissenter on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Medium.


What inspires you to do the work you do?

My reasons are entirely selfish. I want a world where the girls are just as likely to be the CEO of a billion dollar company, where womxn’s leadership is the norm, and one where women of color are represented in leadership across all industries.

On Sunday afternoons, you can find me...

At the Farmers Market

Tell us about someone you admire.

My Mom is the person I admire the most—her resilience, grace, patience, and strength fuels me daily.

Please share a favorite quote.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”—Dr. Seuss