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Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month - Deepti Turlapti

May 2019

Be yourself, be the change


There’s so much happening in the world that stresses us all out. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, like there’s nothing we could do to possibly make a dent. Many people feel a sense of powerlessness. But there are things we can do to combat that. Deepti Turlapti shares her journey of listening to her instincts and finding ways to make a difference. Deepti lives in New Jersey and is a Senior Account Manager in the New York office for Microsoft Advertising. For her, the value of listening to your instincts and helping where you can are critical pieces of living her best life. “One of the things I really appreciate about Microsoft, “she says, “is that the culture creates a real sense of freedom to express yourself, be true to yourself, be your authentic self. And when your real self is supported, it becomes easier to help others. That inspires me every day.”

Mama knows best

While there are many amazing people in her life, the person who most inspired her to be who she has become, is her mother—the only girl after seven generations of boys in her family. Deepti’s mom married young, but that didn't stop her from finishing her education. She made sure Deepti and her brother understood the importance of family and education, teaching them by example. “She took evening and weekend classes after we were born and recorded her notes on cassettes,” Deepti recalls. “I distinctly remember her listening to them while cooking—that's how she studied.” Her mother finished her Bachelor's degree at age 43, then went back to school for her law degree and has been practicing law in India since 1997.

A global citizen

Raised in India, Deepti eventually moved to the U.K., then to the U.S. four years ago. Watching her mom pursue her passion changed Deepti’s life. She was instilled with the understanding that you can do new things in life at whatever stage you’re in. This gave Deepti the courage to pursue her education, and made it possible for her to take leaps of faith when moving to new countries. “I have an eight-year-old daughter and I want her to be as strong as she can be,” Deepti says, “so I support her the way my mom nurtured me. I carry the confidence she instilled in me everywhere I go.” That confidence enables Deepti to move to whatever country holds the next right step for her life, including turning her passion for helping people into action. “I really hope my daughter grows up wanting to make a difference in society, too,” Deepti shares.

It adds up

Giving back to community is important to Deepti, who gets involved as much as possible both in her community at work and the community she lives in. “There are a lot of people who feel that in order to help, they must do big things,” she says. “It’s important to remember we’re not superhuman and we can’t be in all places at all times. Rather than letting that stop you, it’s important to realise that every little bit of help counts. It all adds up.”

Passion projects

Deepti is passionate about diversity and inclusion, mental health, and suicide prevention. She actively seeks out opportunities to bring these topics into the open, particularly at work. Deepti’s suicide prevention work at Microsoft includes bringing in people from different organisations for conversations that broaden the mental health awareness of colleagues. She’s also a member of the Embrace community, bringing diversity and inclusion awareness into the day-to-day lives of her Microsoft community. For Deepti, diversity and inclusion aren’t a goal, but rather a journey. It’s not easy, but it’s important to change old mind sets. Recently, she was invited to join the advisory board for ADCOLOR, a professional volunteering service. Through this organisation Deepti gives back by sharing her experience and lending a hand wherever possible.

A domino effect

Deepti’s approach is a great reminder that on any given day we can embrace our personal power and take action. “There's a widely taught practice in India,” Deepti shares. “When you help one person, tell them to help three more people. This creates a domino effect of good. You may not see the result of your efforts, but helping in whatever way you can, creates change. Everything starts with one person. Help somebody. Talk about things that need talking about. That chain reaction will create greater good for society.”

To learn more about Deepti or connect with her, check out her profile on LinkedIn.