Delhi University Alumna Now the COO of PwC

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“One of the biggest mistakes women commit is that they give up too soon and too easily. Having the zeal to succeed and reach the top is extremely important”

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In an industry like accounting where usually the big corner offices are bestowed to men there is nothing more gratifying than seeing a woman smash to smithereens this monotony.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Berera is the first woman to become the COO of a Big 4 in India. She took charge as the Chief Operating Officer on January 1, 2016 becoming second only to chairman Deepak Kapoor in hierarchy. Berera replaced Neil Wilson, who has moved to London as global operations partner with PwC. Prior to this she was the Regional Managing Partner (North) and Consulting Leader at PwC, India.

Although many women have attained headship in important portfolios such as consulting, audit and HR, Satyavati Berera is the first to reach up to the post of COO. Gender diversity while prevalent at ground level, seems scanty once one starts climbing up the ladder.

An Economics graduate from Delhi University, Berera was quoted as saying “When I joined the profession in the ’80s, there were a few women at the entry level but rarely any woman at the managerial level. I can even recall that there were clients who insisted their projects should not be assigned to women, probably because they felt it (the job) was not conducive for women. I am happy to see we have come a long way from there.”

She believes women should not be apologetic about wanting to be successful or ambitious. “One of the biggest mistakes women commit is that they give up too soon and too easily. Having the zeal to succeed and reach the top is extremely important,” is what she said when interviewed by the Times of India.

Berera also feels that it is pivotal to be open to changes and push the limits. Along with that, being able to acclimatise to different situations plays a very important part in the path of success. Working and being associated with a Big 4 can be daunting at times as it demands long hours of tireless work ethic; but Berera says “PwC provided a robust support system. This, coupled with support on my home front, enabled me to overcome the challenges.”

She now stands with other high profile achievers including Chanda Kochhar, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Aruna Jayanth, Sangeeta Pendurkar and many more.

We give a hearty congratulation to Ms. Satyavati Berera on her achievement and express thanks; to be unapologetically successful whilst empowering others in more ways than one!