YWLC’s Diversity in Womanhood flagship event has returned for its third year at Canary @ Crane. This year’s topic focused on the question of: “What’s In It For Me?”
Discussing diversity and inclusion in the workplace can be a challenging topic. Additionally, sharing these personal views with strangers can be intimidating. To ease the tension and to create a safe space for participants, the event organising team created a “fun fact bingo” icebreaker activity and opened the session with Community Guidelines to remind participants to maintain an open mind, maintain confidentiality and practice mutual respect.
To provide context for the breakout discussions, the organising team presented fundamental concepts relating to diversity and inclusion, such as: (a) Equality vs. Equity, (b) Intersectionality, (c) Biases, and (d) Privilege, Power and Allyship. The organising team also shared perspectives on how DEI practices can benefit both organisations and individuals. For example, organisations implementing these practices enjoy better employee retention, profitability, and innovation, while individuals gain access to new opportunities.
In small groups, participants were invited to look at a Privilege Checklist to identify their own privilege and consider what stood out to them about their own privilege. In the second break-out discussion, participants discussed what they thought about diversity and inclusion in Singapore, and what gaps/biases are observed in our society. In this regard, participants also explored ways to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At the end of the session, participants were invited to write down a personal pledge to the DEI agenda, such as a small action step to DEI they would take in their personal or professional lives and what this step means to them.
Overall, the event was a rewarding experience for participants, who had the opportunity to explore a sensitive topic in a safe, intimate environment. We extend our gratitude to those who made the event successful by sharing their stories and listening with an open mind.
For those interested in learning more about this topic, we recommend checking out the following resources that we found helpful and enjoyable:
The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity while Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work by Laura A. Liswood
How to Be an Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive by Jennifer Brown