Structured Approach to Diversity and Inclusion a must – InclusionNow 2021 ” Beyond the Obvious”

Interweave’s flagship event, #InclusionNow was recently held from 17th – 19th March 2021, and was attended by business leaders, thinkers, activists and practitioners of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and students alike. A departure from its previous two editions, the third edition of #InclusionNow was held in a virtual format collapsing borders and enabling global participation across three days. The theme unpacked some of the deeper issues that as a society, have typically tended to underplay or ignore but have surfaced with renewed vigour during the pandemic. Conversations this year were designed to challenge our current thinking and to refresh and re-engage us with clarity and courage to accommodate new and unexpected realities.

Highlights of InclusionNow 2021

  • The impact of the pandemic, the rapid adoption of technology and its impact, the legal nuances on the subject besides exploring broader aspects of gender, gender identities, sexual orientation, abilities, race/caste and the impact of their intersectionalities in real life.
  • A structured approach to Diversity and Inclusions in building a fair society is a must.
  • As a country that is home to over 2000 different languages and dialects, practice different religions, has four major castes and over 4000 sub-castes with regional variations and even wider disparities between urban and rural, a very complex culture exists that throws up tremendous challenges for diversity, equity and inclusion. This has been further complicated by the fact that economic and social inequality are intertwined leaving several sections of socially marginalized from economic growth.

Talking about Inclusion Now, Nirmala Menon – CEO – Interweave Consulting said, “Considering the way the world shrunk in 2020, diversity in our global village to far more than our skills to manage it well. Being a sensitive subject, the conversations in India have generally tended to stay in the safe and comfortable space of the politically right business case and good practices.”

Ms Menon, further added, “while it certainly has its place and value, we felt it really was not discussing the challenges and the not-so-exciting dilemmas we get stuck in as we try to implement it on the ground. This year is the 3rd edition of the conference, and the theme we have chosen is “Beyond the Obvious”. The intent is to address the not so visible aspects of exclusion and discrimination especially in the context of the pandemic. While we do not, anymore, see the obvious exclusions and discrimination of a couple of generations ago, the nuanced presence of it continues to challenge us. And today, with technology, the varied laws, and the strong advocacy for a more equal world, it’s a subject that is begging to be explored further. Inclusion Now was, therefore, born from the need to create a safe space for brave and candid interactions from a multi- disciplinary lens.”

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