I was named Joya, after the Hindu goddess of wealth. But my childhood was anything but rich. Growing up in Pennsylvania to immigrant parents from India, I learned about bharatnatyam dance and eating poori.
I also learned that women didn’t have a voice or decision making power.
Ironically, today I make my living with my voice as a television anchor. And with my women’s initiative "LadyDrinks", I’m working to help other women find theirs. Having spent 15 years interviewing Fortune 500 CEO’s I’m creating panels and events designed to help the South Asian female entrepreneur overcome those blocks to create the whole selves they deserve.
So today, when people ask me," What do you do?" I say, "I inhabit three avatars."
I'm a TV anchor first. I cover business news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. You can see me currently on NY1. I also host a popular Saturday morning show that keeps me connected to my South Asian roots.
I'm a documentary filmmaker. This avatar began in 2009 when I directed my first feature length documentary in Tamil Nadu, India. For three subsequent years, I directed a series of documentaries for the Rockefeller Foundation, including travels to Africa. This past year, I directed a photo essay series on female survivors of domestic violence.
This past year, I was named exec. director of a film festival, presented by HBO.
Third, I helm a women's networking initiative called LadyDrinks. www.lady-drinks.com. It champions the South Asian female entrepreneur or woman in corporate management. I'm using my 15 years of interviewing Fortune 500 CEOs and business journalism to curate and design a curriculum that provides an actionable takeaway from an event each month.