“A lot of different flowers make a bouquet.”
– Islamic Proverb
“Unity in diversity” may be an oft-repeated phrase, but are diverse groups or systems really united? While researching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion history in India, most articles online led me to corporate interventions in the space. However, it extends well beyond that. The need for representation of diverse groups, equity, and inclusivity is critical both socially and professionally. In our 4th episode of The Hero’s Journey, the conversation centered around DEI and what it truly means.
In conversation with Avril Quadros, DEI and mental health consultant Deepa A Agarwal, talked about inclusion programs and the subtle nuances that are to be considered in building a culture of inclusion. Deepa discussed what has driven her to support the need for building diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures and the challenges and learnings that she has had on her way.
During the webinar, Deepa highlighted the difference between equity and equality. She explained it as “The fact that removing barriers for people’s participation is equity.” This got me thinking that equality is about ensuring equal access to resources, equity is about recognizing and respecting the circumstances that differentiate people or groups and providing the same resources or opportunities to reach a similar outcome.
She further added that change brings resistance and she explored how ‘resistance to change’ can be a significant block in inclusivity. Have you experienced this?
Talking about the challenges that come in the way of building DEI in organizations, Deepa underlined the importance of the ‘why’ in inclusivity programs. She also reiterated the importance of both intent and consistency in building inclusion, adding that consistency is the only thing that is actually going to take the inclusion efforts forward.
Here are some of the key themes that were explored during the webinar:
- The fundamental difference between equity and equality
- Inclusivity programs and their nuances
- How can successful inclusive spaces be created?
- DEI breaches
- Why is DEI vital to the growth of an organization?
- Being gradual in change, avoiding suddenness
- Recognition of exclusive behavior as and when it occurs
- Shared Vision and its impact on Inclusion
The devil is always in the details. While DEI is talked about a lot, it was insightful to actually get to know the ground-level interventions taking place and how lack of awareness leads to exclusive behavior. One of the major takeaways for me was understanding the many touch points while creating a culture shift. I encourage you to watch this webinar to learn more about inclusion and how thoughts are actually put into action through DEI interventions. What has been your experience of inclusion or exclusion? Tell us in the comments section or feel free to share your thoughts with us on CoachNook.
At Coacharya, we believe in creating safe, inclusive spaces through coaching and fostering a community that embraces people regardless of their differences. If you’d like to know how coaching can support your needs, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinar: The Hero’s Journey with Deepa A. Agarwal
Like to listen instead? We have a podcast!
This session is also available as audio-only on our podcast. Listen below or find Coach to Lead wherever you listen to podcasts