Working Mother magazine has named Ankita Mirchandani as the 2018 Working Mother of the Year. Mirchandani of Chicago is the senior manager of operational transaction advisory services at Ernst & Young LLP. The Indian American executive is also the mother to 2-year-old Amara, the publication said.
At the outset of her career, Mirchandani spent a good amount of time away from home serving clients around the country, Working Mother wrote.
In 2016, before her maternity leave, she started discussing with her practice lead and mentor, Mitch Berlin, about how she could successfully continue her client-serving role as a new mom, given her extensive travel, it said.
Returning from maternity leave, Mirchandani and her mentor piloted a program, now known as NEST, designed to strengthen Transaction Advisory Services’ client delivery model.
It challenged where and how work gets done by exploring client-serving opportunities that can be done at the EY U.S. office with limited presence at a client site, the report said.
This program enables employees to focus on niche offerings and continue their career trajectory in client-facing roles while limiting the need for typical Monday-to-Thursday travel.
What was originally conceived as a solution for retaining high-performing working mothers has now been expanded to all employees, both male and female, who need the additional flexibility, it added.
The program, under Mirchandani’s leadership, has grown from three to 25 people in the last two years with plans to expand more, and it now has a global presence with hubs in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, London and India, Working Mother said. “Ankita continues to challenge norms and think beyond just working parents to promote flexibility for all,” Ernst & Young said in a statement.