A longtime executive in technology and media, Kanika Soni exemplifies the ingenuity that women from immigrant families bring to their fields. Before serving as Chief Commercial Officer at TripAdvisor, Ms. Soni was head of Global Digital Marketing at Tesla and then SVP of Global Ecommerce at Disney, before moving to Massachusetts in 2019.
The COVID-19 shutdowns have highlighted immigrants’ roles in the hospitality industry at all levels. Raised in a refugee family herself, Ms. Soni has a unique perspective on how foreign-born people and refugees participate at all levels to respond to the crisis. A passionate advocate for refugees and immigrants, she was influenced at a young age by her grandparents, who escaped from the riots in Pakistan during the Partition of India.
“They left behind the only community they had ever known,” she says, “And everything they had built through years of hard work. If only they had more support or a more structured way to help cope with their new reality and integrate into the community, they could have avoided a lifelong struggle building their identity from scratch again.”