Rita Kakati-Shah

Rita Kakati-Shah is an award-winning, gender, diversity, inclusion and career strategist, speaker, mentor and advisor to Fortune 500 companies. She founded Uma in response to her personal journey of motherhood, transitioning careers and entrepreneurship, and is dedicated to empowering women and minorities around the world. Prior to Uma, Rita lead Business Development globally in CNS healthcare. She began her professional career at Goldman Sachs in London, where she was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Citizenship and Diversity Award. She is also a Distinguished Alumna of King’s College London and a triple Stevie Awards for Women in Business winner and is also a judge for the Middle East Awards.

Rita is a graduate of King’s Business School, is actively involved with the King’s Leadership, Diversity and Entrepreneurial Institute Mentoring Programs, and is also a member of the New York and Los Angeles Alumni Committees. Rita actively coaches and mentors business leaders, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, women in technology/STEM, schoolgirls and students. She also serves as an advisor, ambassador, and diversity and inclusion expert to multiple boards and global organizations around the world, such as the JCC of Manhattan, Women Veterans’ Founding Circle of the ACP, New York City Bar Association, Democracy Without Borders in India, Turning Rock Partners, Ormiston Park Academy and the London Bihu Committee.

Rita is also a regularly invited speaker and guest lecturer at various academic institutions, multinational corporations and global policy forums such as UNESCO in Paris, European Parliament in Brussels and many more spanning New York, Delhi, London, Madrid, San Francisco, Shillong, Sochi, Toronto and Zambia.

Rita has been featured as an expert on multiple international television and news shows, interviewed and quoted in various podcasts and publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Thrive Global, Dell Technology, PRWeek and iHeartRadio. Rita also hosts the popular South Asian television show, The Uma Show, on Mana TV International. She is also a best-selling author, and has co-authored books on women in business, diversity and inclusion. Rita is also a trained and accomplished classical Indian dancer in the forms of Bharata Natyam and Xattriya, enjoys Post-Impressionist oil painting, is a foodie and loves trying new spots for afternoon tea around New York City, where she lives with her husband and two young children.

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

– Mahatma Gandhi