Each year on International Women’s Day the contributions and achievements of women around the world are celebrated, and we are reminded to help, year-round, in identifying and removing the barriers that block opportunities and stifle the dreams of women and girls worldwide.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Embrace Equity,” which has inspired us to share the story of an incredible woman we know whose career and life paths absolutely embody that theme—she’s our CEO.
Rayman “Ray” Kaur Mathoda was born in Delhi India to parents who believed her gender was not a barrier to success. Encouraged to aim high, Ray graduated with honors from Princeton University, followed by an MBA (in Marketing and Entrepreneurship) from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
With that impressive educational foundation, Ray quickly rose in the ranks at the global management firm McKinsey, where she became Senior Engagement Manager, helping leaders of Fortune 1000 companies solve complex strategic, organizational, and operational challenges.
After leaving McKinsey in 2004, Ray Mathoda’s career path can best be described as phenomenal. Not only did she bring several struggling companies to prosperity while nurturing her own successful tech and biotech startups, Ray has stood at the helm of major companies as a C-level executive. As Chief Administrative Officer at IndyMac Bank, a residential mortgage lender with 10,000+ employees, she led and transformed multiple departments simultaneously, including Human Resources, Global Resources, Culture and Communications, Real Estate, Procurement and PR. Mathoda has since served as Chief Executive Officer at Genesis Capital and Xome, and is currently the CEO at Anchor Loans.
Best known in the corporate world for her incredible talent for transforming companies, Mathoda says of her success, “My special sauce in companies is connecting with each other on our humanity first.” A practicing Sikh who believes that in our differences there is strength, and at our core we are all the same, Mathoda’s “our humanity first” leadership produces impressive results. “I’m a social entrepreneur,” Ray says. “I want to make a difference in the world.”
One of the very tangible ways Ray has made a difference in the lives and careers of women is in her commitment to coaching and inspiring women on subjects of equity and excellence in the workplace—sharing with audiences of women what she has learned about navigating the corporate ladder, adequately valuing their own skill sets and negotiating fair compensation.
Embracing equity is also powerfully reflected in Ray’s family life and in her passion for giving back to the community. Ray and her wife and four children contribute to several social and community causes, and Ray actively serves as Chairperson of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for South Asian families with LGBTQIA+ individuals.
The Oxford Dictionary definition of the word “embrace” is to accept or support willingly and enthusiastically. Ray knows firsthand that too many of the LGBTQIA+ community do not receive enthusiastic acceptance or support, and are instead subjected to painful rejection and debilitating shame. Ray encourages us all, whether family members or allies, to educate ourselves and speak out and “to model the right behavior for others, especially elders, and to give LGBTQ+ children and youth shelter so they may become strong and prosper.”
We are proud to share this story of one brilliant and committed woman whose talents and values have touched thousands of lives along her path, and whose work makes a difference in the world. Happy International Women’s Day, Ray Kaur Mathoda!