Has there been a time in your life when you felt like an outcast? Recall the chaos in your mind, the self-deprecating thoughts and the aching loneliness you endured because you were different from others. You faced disdain from people. A few words of ridicule from people you treasure was borderline anguishing. You might have tried to change yourself to fit in. Or you might be one of the unapologetically true-to-yourself people who remained unhinged. Regardless of where you fall in this spectrum, you have probably wished the disparity and inequity would disappear.

As the human mind comprehends, time moves forward. And so do you. You mostly want to grow. You want others to change for the good. You have encountered a variety of rules in the organisations you have worked for as you transitioned from your school days to your college years to your job. As your network grew, you gravitated toward those who made you feel more inclusive. Discrimination made you resentful. You knew more about the corporate world and more about laws. Prejudice against people based on their caste, gender, sex, sexual preferences, religion, race, ethnicity, language and other bases seemed very unfair. Even the smartest of individuals might have shown you such discrimination, or you might have witnessed someone else experiencing it.

Your ray of hope was the people who thought the same as you. Finer were the people who fought for the same and created rules to move towards the elimination of discrimination. You get to see youngsters in colleges banding together to raise awareness and preach the idea of equality. Several firms, old or new, have excellent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies. Fortunate women in society have Sexual Harassment laws to protect them from unsolicited events occurring in their lives. Companies are trying to ingrain better systems having fair opportunities for all and unbiased processes towards performance evaluation and appraisals. Some companies maintain inclusion by using one common language (for example, English) for better communication with internal and external stakeholders. People are motivated to speak up. Social media and other areas of the internet have numerous posts and analyses exploring the same.

But there is something that might faze you- A dire need for society to encourage more people to speak against discrimination. People are afraid of being a castaway. Some fear that their future will crumble. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” education is awareness in this case. Thankfully, there is no scarcity of education against discrimination in cyberspace. The dilemma is how to reach people about the same. It may sound like a pipe dream, but perhaps one day, data analytics and AI will come to our aid, use the power of the internet to reach as many people as possible, and persuade them to embrace DEI beliefs.

Shambhavi Devi

Shambhavi Devi is an IIM Kashipur first-year MBA (Analytics) student. She is an active member of the institute’s Media and Public Relations Committee. She used to be a consultant. During her free time, she can be found painting and sketching at random. She enjoys writing poetry and reading on occasion. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply