I'm Monica Gangwar and I'm so glad you are here.
Monica's experiences growing up in a community that lacked diversity and where people feared differences is what drove her to pursue a career in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her career path has been unique and non-linear, but it has equipped her with a diverse set of skills and experiences that make her well-suited for DEI work . Her work in the finance, healthcare, tech, government and aerospace industries allowed her to develop valuable skills.
Monica has a 10+ year career in DEI work, both nontraditional and traditional roles. After years in corporate, she left that life behind and joined the Peace Corps in 2017. Monica lived in a rural village in Nepal, where she was also part of the Peace Corps Diversity & Inclusion department. This experience was profound because Monica was experiencing racism and sexism to a degree she was not aware of, both within the cohort and country and she was witnessing how other non-white volunteers were being treated by the organization they were volunteering for and by the country they volunteered in. This provided her with an entirely new perspective of just how deep white supremacy runs throughout the world. After her 27 months in Nepal, Monica decided to continue her career in DEI. In 2022 she started to experience burnout and quickly noticed a negative shift in the equity, diversity and inclusion field. Slowly and painfully realizing she was unable to continue this work due to multiple factors, she was left no choice but to resign and focus on recovering from the systemic oppression she experienced and witnessed.
After multiple conversations, researching burnout and trauma amongst DEI professionals, mainly BIPOC DEI professionals, she started seeking out other professionals. Monica realized others in her line of work were having a similar experience. She decided to create a nonprofit, Restore Recenter Retreat as a healing space for BIPOC DEI professionals which provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to process their experiences and heal. Not only is it important to advocate for systemic changes that address the root causes of these issues, it is just as important to raise awareness about the impact of burnout and trauma BIPOC DEI professionals may be experiencing.
Along with being a co-founder of RRR, Monica is also consulting for several organizations. She is also guiding young professionals with their experience navigating predominantly white professional spaces for the first time in their career. Monica is currently living abroad, in Bali.