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Priya Dinkar on diversity, resilience, and adaptability

As a child, all we really want to do is fit in. This urge for acceptance continues to grow and peak in our adolescent years where the only opinion we care for is that of our peers. However somewhere along the way, maybe its experience or maybe its neurodevelopment, some of us begin to recognise that our difference is our superpower. Priya Dinkar is one such woman, and today is an advocate for diversity and difference. She knows the world needs people who are different to make a difference. Priya Dinkar is the Director of Organisation Design and Effectiveness at CSL Australia – a leading biotechnology company. As part of the CSL Career Files Priya sat down with Business Chicks’ Briony Hunt to discuss this and many other important topics.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into your role?

I am originally from Delhi, India. Before CSL, I was working as a consultant for a financial institution in Vietnam. Prior to that I was in Dubai. When I came to Australia about three years ago, I started working with CSL. I am somebody who believes in working smart but also hard.

You’ve transitioned your career through so many countries, do you have advice for others who want to do the same?

We all go through challenges and changes that we need to adapt and work with. The only thing that will help you succeed is resilience. Understand your strengths and play to them. Embrace your background and legacy, they are not your handicaps, they are your strengths.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced throughout your career? 

I’ve worked with people representing over thirty nationalities. This has presented a range of legacy views and attitudes. In some cases, it was a challenge to prove that you can do what you say you are doing. There are people that come in with a lot of existing biases.

Another challenge would be that knowledge is transient. I have been working for over twenty years, and not all that knowledge is relevant is today’s environment. I am always learning, and the challenge is to remain relevant and ensure you adapt.

What would you consider the three most important factors to your career success?

The ability to see the big picture is important. Not just in a career but also in your personal success. If you do not understand how things in the big picture operate, you cannot achieve these things. Secondly, I think resilience and adaptability have served me well – these two go hand in hand. Thirdly, it is my thirst of knowledge. I think you need to keep learning to maintain your relevance and provide a futuristic perspective. Constantly upgrading yourself helps you to achieve career success.

If you could go back and give a piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

When I was young, I didn’t understand that I am my own unique person. So, my advice would be to be that you are fine as the person you are, and it is okay if you don’t fit in. The world needs people who are different and make a difference.

How has CSL supported women into leadership positions?

At CSL we believe in leaders and ensuring that strong women get the right platform. To share an example with you, when I was in talent acquisition there was a person who had applied for a role and was selected for the role. We then found out this person had just had a baby and was not able to start for a number of months. So, we decided we would do a backfill until that person was ready. There have been so many cases of this. We have always been protective of the right talent and providing alignment for them to flourish.

What is your favourite part of being a leader?

My favourite part of being a leader (and being a person) is how I am able to make a difference and add value to the world around me.

Want to hear from more inspiring women in STEM? Catch up on our chat with CSL’s Lisa Lamb and why she considers her career her greatest adventure yet! 

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