Imprints from Formative Years:
It wasn’t easy at all. I think if there is something that teaches us most about life, it is our own experiences. So my inspiration lies in my mirror and not in any human being. I faced a lot of challenges and backlashes from the society, in terms of their narrow mindset, derogative labels and hate comments. While all my initiatives, especially TV shows seemed glamorous and fancy, the other side was surrounded with darkness as the most extreme form of threats were directed towards me. So, I think the road to the top has been a true driving test to my strength of character.
Embracing the Warrior Within:
There is no simple answer to this. When you are pushed to a point that you hit rock-bottom, then the only way you survive is rise above & beyond the challenges, and that’s what I have always tried to achieve. I believe that we should never try to suppress somebody’s desires and ambitions or entire life so much, that the mere act of living for that person becomes an act of resilience.
Evolution of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
Diversity and Inclusion is not limited to the corporate sector alone but holds an integral value in our everyday reality. It is about understanding that we all are privileged in some ways and not in others. That’s why it becomes important for us to constantly take a pause in different stages of life, be conscious of our privileges and more importantly, help extend it to the ones who do not enjoy the same recognition.
To elucidate about my personal experiences in the corporate world, this has been my first corporate job and I really haven’t faced any struggle as such. But this always comes with certain presumptions that I deal with from time to time. In every sphere of life, I have been strong enough to stand for myself. There were certain people who attached my identity to stereotypical box of assumptions they had for the LGBTQ Community which wasn’t accurate in any way. There was no sort of bullying per say, but I was determined to break such stereotypes.
To discuss the evolution of DE&I - there has been some colloquial changes that I have witnessed. Earlier, nobody ever cared to consider LGBTQ+ community as a crucial part of DE&I and understood diversity as only hiring more women. Today’s LGBTQ workforce has undergone a fundamental, generational shift, both in how it defines itself and what it expects of workplace inclusion. The LGBTQ workforce is far more racially diverse and more likely to include women, transgender employees, and people with more varied sexual orientations than in the past and I truly believe that we are headed in the right direction.
Aspiring a Society Free of Labels:
Being a social activist, I have been working towards eradication and awareness of multiple societal problems. As I try to dive deeper, I realize that such causes have underlying layers to it. However, the ultimate solution lies in humanity and the core of empathy. As long as we see empathy, it is something that can bring us all together, help eradicate these issues and seek change and betterment for all.
Life Learnings & Mentors:
I am fortunate to have some very supportive people in life. Our head HR Rajkamal Vempati has been a true support system. All my bosses have been wonderful people - mentoring me in tremendous ways, including some colleagues from my previous organization. Most of all, my life experiences have been the biggest mentor and guide in helping me navigate life so far. I believe that everyone should be duly inspired and motivated by their own story. The biggest learning that I would like to share through this platform is- “the onus of inclusion lies on those who are included, not on those who are excluded.”
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