Deepa Purushothaman: Breaking Glass Ceilings and Revolutionizing the Workplace
- Paradigm-shifting business leader and founder who, as senior partner at Deloitte, spearheaded the firm’s transformative programs and influenced the evolution of modern workplace policies
- Draws from her experiences as a senior executive at a "Big Four" firm to share new perspectives and strategies for creating more dynamic workplaces designed for collective success
- Shares “Deepa’s Defining Decisions” — valuable insights and strategies for stepping into the future of leadership, building and developing high-performance teams, and overcoming the challenges of the modern workplace
Play Video View Fees
Deepa Purushothaman (per-shot-a-man) is a corporate truth teller and growth-minded visionary who, throughout her illustrious career, challenged and redefined the status quo of leadership, success, and power on her incredible journey to becoming a transformative influence at one of the internationally renowned “Big Four” global services firms. For more than two decades, Deepa held various high-level executive leadership roles at Deloitte, eventually becoming the first Indian American woman and one of the youngest people ever to make partner at the organization, and developing breakthrough strategies for aligning the business’ focus on people, purpose, and profit.
Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Deepa leads revelatory sessions in which she introduces the audience to “Deepa’s Defining Decisions,” drawing from her own experiences to share valuable insights for how leaders can create more dynamic cultures within their organizations and, ultimately, change the game in their industries. Deepa helps audience members understand the actions they can take to realize their strengths, rethink the way things are, reimagine how organizations operate, and step into the future of leadership, while offering adaptable tactics for overcoming burnout, outdated norms, and the other challenges that stand in the way of individuals and their teams achieving their goals in the workplace.
Throughout her highly transformative career at Deloitte, Deepa advised the firm’s top clients on strategies for powering growth within their organizations and creating solutions and value for the people they serve. As a senior partner, she was the U.S. managing partner for WIN — Deloitte’s renowned women’s initiative — and also spearheaded many of the company’s other inclusion programs on its mission to make a social impact and foster more empowered workplaces designed for everyone to reach their full potential. Deepa left Deloitte in 2020 and founded re.write, a think tank that partners with leading organizations to rethink their workplace strategies. In addition to her leadership of re.write, she is an Executive Fellow at Harvard Business School an Aspen Institute Fellow, and a board member of Avasara, India’s first leadership academy for girls.
Deepa continues to be a leading voice and champion for reworking the corporate workplace experience. Her debut book, The First, The Few, the Only: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America, was published by HarperCollins to international acclaim, and was called an “an important and engaging book that will help build bridges, dismantle barriers, and change how we lead in the workplace” by Billie Jean King. She has spoken at SXSW and her TED talks have amassed more than three million views. Her sought-after thought leadership has been featured in major media outlets, including TIME, PBS, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review. She has been widely recognized for “yielding a powerful collective narrative that business leaders would be wise to study closely.”
When Deepa is not focused on workplace issues, you can find her trying to manage the chaos caused by her fur babies.
Deepa’s Defining Decisions: Harnessing Fuel for Excellence. Deepa Purushothaman reflects on 12 defining moments from her career as a leader at Deloitte to share actionable strategies for how to nurture dynamic, high-performing cultures where each individual is empowered to participate, innovate, and thrive. As she introduces audiences to “Deepa’s Defining Decisions,” she underscores distinctive approaches for reworking conventional norms to align with the cornerstones for leading and influencing in the modern workplace — courage, transparency, empathy, and authenticity. Deepa’s insights spur audience members to step into the future of leadership on the path to achieving big goals as teams and individuals.
Thriving Cultures: Surviving Super Moments. One of the main takeaways from Deepa Purushothaman’s talks is that failure and psychological safety are the backbone of innovation. In order for teams and individuals to solve complex challenges and hit their stride, they must first work through the setbacks and stalls. In this talk, Deepa breaks down the common challenges organizations face in actualizing thriving cultures — including bias, toxic rock stars, the meritocracy myth, and the inclusion delusion — and lays out a roadmap to assess, reform, and maintain a work culture that’s a magnet for rising talent and an industry model for the future.
Why One Burnt-Out Executive Left Her Job to Write the Book (Literally) on Women of Color in Corporate America
I thoroughly enjoyed Deepa’s session. She provided so many gems and I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback via emails, texts, and phone calls. Everyone is sharing their takeaways and how impactful this was for them. Thank you for raising our awareness of the causes of burnout; how to recognize the symptoms of the three phases; and strategies to mitigate it.
My heart and brain were full during Deepa’s session. I kept asking myself, "Is she speaking to me personally?" Hearing from Deepa was the highlight of the day and the deposits she made were extremely meaningful to our group.
Click one of these resources below for another way to find more speaker ideas for your audience.