Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Welcome back! Spiffy here, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs working to make this world more equitable. Today I’m super excited to speak with Abhirami Suresh, campus ambassador at Girls Who Invest.
Spiffy: Welcome, Abhi. Let’s jump right in. Can you tell me what challenge Girls Who Invest is addressing?
Abhi: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. I was chosen to be a 2022 summer intensive scholar by Girls Who Invest—it was a life-changing experience! Girls Who Invest was founded by Seema R. Hingorani and aims to increase the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the investment management industry.
Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?
Abhi: Coming from a historically women's college like Bryn Mawr, I know firsthand the power of sisterhood and how incredibly unique an environment like this can be. There are many opportunities to grow and explore at Bryn Mawr and I realized that I wanted to further explore what the finance industry entailed. Girls Who Invest allowed me to experience that unique sense of community through the lens of the investment management industry and, after my experience there, I came back to campus with the intention of creating or contributing to my larger campus community.
Spiffy: That’s awesome! What would you say is the impact of your work?
Abhi: My work on campus is the conjunction of my experiences, including my time at Girls Who Invest, and I strive to create safe spaces for students of color on campus where they can be seen and heard. As the Dharmic Students Association’s President, I've been able to plan large-scale events for festivals like Diwali, where students have told me they are very appreciative of being able to have this space. Beyond the space itself, it is a way that makes campus feel like home for so many students here, and I am so glad to be able to contribute to that for the larger South Asian community. Additionally, I am the co-treasurer for the Self-Government Association, in charge of club funding and reimbursements on campus.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organizational milestone or initiative. What impact does that make?
Abhi: The larger Girls Who Invest alumni community just hit 2500 members! I am so excited to continue to make my own impact as an alumna and as a campus ambassador on my own campus. Within my campus roles, we've been able to reimagine and streamline a lot of club funding and reimbursement processes, and are thinking of new ways to strategize and make this process that we have more effective. As the Self-Government Association as a whole, we've been able to bring the campus community together by showcasing our alliance/affinity with multicultural organizations on campus and continue to hear student input throughout challenging times around the world. In all of my roles, I aim to support, uplift, and empower students!
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Abhi: Girls Who Invest was a phenomenal experience for me and, even after the program, I realized that in a lot of rooms I'm in there isn't enough diversity or representation. This is one of the reasons I strive to create spaces for students of color on campus and practice equity work as a student consultant for the Teaching and Learning Institute! It's incredibly important for youth to be able to see themselves represented in roles, and having communities like this creates a window to do so and allows us to invite the next generation of changemakers and leaders to the table.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Abhi—it’s been an honor!
Abhirami Suresh is a campus ambassador at Girls Who Invest. She is a senior at Bryn Mawr College, studying mathematics and educational studies. She is passionate about the investment management industry; entrepreneurship; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Abhi holds various leadership positions on and off campus and seeks to uplift, empower, and support fellow individuals within the South Asian diaspora and all individuals of color. (First published on the Ladderworks website on November 29, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.