Though two women in our New Delhi office, Ritu and Vibha, have had different experiences, their ZS stories are woven together by a few common threads: challenging and diverse work, the ability to grow into new roles and the flexibility to prioritize their personal lives outside of the office. Their experiences highlight just a few of the many ways ZS creates an inclusive and supportive environment for women, as evidenced by our recent recognition as a best workplace for women by two industry rankings. Hear about their ZS journeys below.
Vibha joined ZS in 2011 with two years' experience in market research. She began her career in business operations and today, is focused on serving our European clients. She also works in new and emerging markets, and enjoys the diversity in her daily work.
"Throughout my career, I’ve always tried to take on new challenges while keeping other parts of my work familiar and comfortable,” said Vibha. “This allows me to experiment with new things without becoming overwhelmed."
After joining ZS, Vibha got involved with the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) – an affinity group that supports women in building successful longterm careers and fosters an inclusive culture. She recalls many ZS leaders visiting the office and sharing their personal stories. “The WLI encourages ZSers to be courageous and don’t hesitate in making bold decisions,” said Vibha. “The openness of our leaders has inspired me to be bold and make my opinions heard.”
One of my friends was working at ZS and convinced me to apply. I didn’t know much about the firm, but I was excited to shift from research to a hands-on, data-oriented position. During the interview process, I was struck by the knowledge, expertise and passionof the ZSers. It was then that I realized I was making the right choice.
ZS offers a lot of flexibility and is always looking to evolve and improve its policies and programs. Though
I haven't taken maternity leave yet, I know women who have. They’re able to flex their work schedules by coming in late or leaving early to take care of their families after returning from leave — benefits that are offered to everyone at the firm across all levels. At ZS, you truly have the flexibility to manage your work schedules to suit your personal commitments.
I took a sabbatical for three months in 2014, which was primarily due to health reasons. My project manager was supportive. The leave ended up being a nice time for me personally as I pursued passions such as traveling and painting, and developed new hobbies such as practicing yoga. Best of all, I had more time to spend with family.
Ritu joined ZS after a four-year maternity leave. Before her leave, she spent nearly a decade working in financial analytics and market research supporting many Indian and European clients. After having three children and moving often for her husband’s job, Ritu decided she was ready to settle down and return to work.
Ritu found ZS and began supporting the ex-US market for a large pharmaceutical manufacturer with reporting operations and brand analytics in a business consulting role. Eventually, she found her work more closely aligned with the business operations team and with the support of her team, she transitioned roles while continuing to support her same client.
A friend who worked at ZS referred me and told me about the great people and collaborative culture. Other analytics companies I interviewed with were fixated on the number of people I managed in my last role, but ZS placed greater value on my knowledge and skills. The fact that ZS did not hesitate to hire a mother returning to the workforce after a long break further exemplified how much the firm prioritizes expertise and cares about its people.
I love that ZS supports my work-life balance and I’m so grateful to have consistency. My teams have always been supportive of my goal to be home by 7:30 p.m. at least three days a week so I can spend time with my children. I have the flexibility to log back on after my kids go to bed and take a few evening calls to close out the day.
More broadly, ZS is working on several initiatives focused on hiring, engagement and retention of women with the ambitious goal of achieving equal gender representation. I’m excited to be part of the team working on this. Seeing these initiatives come to life gives me confidence in the future of our firm.
I got involved with the WLI shortly after joining ZS and instantly became passionate about the group. At the time, there was only one other female manager in New Delhi and the WLI created a network for us to connect with female leaders around the world. One of my favorite WLI memories is from the 2018 WLI summit in New Delhi. With nearly 200 women in attendance, we made a conscious decision to encourage women to share their stories of success across all levels of the firm — including our more junior women. It was a very powerful session because not only were the women who shared proud, but their stories inspired others in the audience.