To mark the first day of Diwali–the renowned festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists all over the world–we sat down with former reporter and author Sonya Singh–who revealed the cover of her debut rom-com novel Sari, Not Sari earlier today–and Etalk and Your Morning reporter Sonia Mangat, as they reflect on on-screen diversity, women empowerment and the need for more South-Asian role models.

For Singh and Mangat, learning to embrace their Indian roots within their field of work has not been a straight path, and both were faced with challenges while working for entertainment brands reluctant to really bring their diversity commitments to life. But today, they’ve made it their mission to raise the bar for the industry and break down barriers for South-Asian women.