Dear Ally of Inclusion,
It feels wonderful to write to you, via our new platform - The Power of Diversity! I hope to stay in touch with you, sharing thoughts and ideas about this amazing, ever-growing discipline of Diversity & Inclusion. I also hope to hear back from you, learn from you and together build a world that's inclusive, innovative and developed.
Last month, I was invited to a housewarming ceremony. Our hosts were parents to two boys and as the pooja progressed, I noticed that the younger one, Ash, was missing. When I walked outside to take a look at their beautiful garden, I found Ash sitting on a bench, in a quiet corner. His shoulders were drooped, he was clearly distressed and possibly did not want to be disturbed.
You are not a mom for a couple of decades, without developing the tenacity to breach boundaries. So, I walked up to 12-year-old Ash and asked what was wrong. After a couple of minutes of hesitation, he decided to share his angst with me. Apparently, Ash's best friend, an older boy who was everything Ash wanted to be, was moving to another school and Ash was bereft! As the tears poured from his eyes, I remembered what it was to be young and have an idol.
Role models are among the most powerful exemplars, be it for individuals, groups, organizations or even governments. Young or old, the presence of a role model is a powerful motivator. And when it comes to the space of organizational culture, especially inclusion and belongingness, role models make all the difference. When role models share their success secrets, their tips and best practices, (even their moments of failure), learning happens at an incredible pace.
At the Best Companies for Women in India initiative, our objective has always been to unveil more and more role models across various aspects of gender diversity, inclusion, male allyship, CSR and this year, the spaces of LGBTQ, Generations, Disability and Culture. And the Best of Best conference (BOB) is the platform where we showcase all of these role models.
I hope to see you and your teammates at BOB on the 8th November at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai and discover the many different ideas towards inclusion that all the amazing winners bring along. If you have a suggestion for a topic that you would want discussed, do let me know and we will find a way to deliberate on it.
Role models stay with us and impact us even when they are not physically present. They are that gold standard, that inspiring icon, that Utopia, we want to reach. As I mentioned this to Ash and gave him hope that not only will he find another role model, but also become one himself, I realized that when we seek role models, we are already on the path to becoming better versions of ourselves.
Thank you for being part of this journey!