The NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business (DPB) hosted an Industry Connection Series (ICS) webinar with guest speaker Shailee Basnet on October 29th, 2020. Basnet is a mountaineer, social advocate, and stand-up comedian who scaled Mount Everest in 2008 and went on to lead the “Seven Summits Women Team,” the first all-female group to scale the highest peak in each continent. With her team, Basnet now leads a program to help train young female survivors of trafficking to become trekking guides. Following the 2015 earthquake, the team is also working toward rebuilding schools in remote Nepal.
During the webinar, Basnet recounted growing up in Nepal as a young girl who dreamed of leading a more physically active life, contrary to societal expectations of women. She studied business management and initially pursued a career in journalism, which led to the discovery of an organization attempting to form an all-female expedition to Mount Everest. Eager for adventure, she decided to join a rigorous training program for the expedition. She and her teammates faced various socioeconomic challenges and widespread ridicule yet were ultimately able to achieve a historic feat as the largest and most successful women’s team to ever climb Mount Everest. Basnet shared with DPB the highs and lows of this journey and how they apply to personal discovery and visionary leadership. She also talked about expanding her mountaineering mission to empower female trafficking survivors and the role of stand-up comedy in developing her platform. To learn more, graphic notes of the webinar can be found below.
Basnet currently travels internationally as a motivational speaker sharing some of the hard-earned insights learned both on and off the mountains. She enjoys hitting the stage as a stand-up comic and has performed at prestigious clubs in Nepal, USA, and India. Her journey has been covered by the BBC, ESPN, and New York Daily News, among others.
For over three years, the Industry Connection Series has garnered a growing audience for innovative topics such as "VisuaLeadership," "The Performance Management Revolution," and "Design Thinking & Understanding Your Customer." Each session provides DPB students, faculty, alumni, and staff with leading-edge insights into current business trends and industry developments.