Diyya Sewani (Tetra Pak India) shares her experience of the recent Gender Sensitisation Training from November 2020-February 2021.
How do you understand gender equality?
Gender equality is accepting the differences that are part of our being.
Whoever you are, you are being given respect and acknowledgement. Empowerment without the historical baggage of being the weaker gender is something that defines gender quality in todays world.
What are the key actions we need to take?
Education and awareness. Educating people in general. There is such superficial knowledge when it comes to this issue. There has to be some kind of a form, gender sensitivity needs to become a part of formal education. Let’s not live in denial any more is the action that we need to take.
Was there anything you learnt about yourself?
This entire training was a wake up call for me. Instead of learning, it was also about unlearning. Accepting that there are certain prejudices within me that I am carrying, that are obstructing my worldview, which are not allowing me to think more objectively on this topic.
How did the training empower you?
The training really helped me to understand that one person is enough, I’ve been working in the corporate for 5+ years now and I always felt that diversity or inclusion is an initiative that has to come from the top and only then it will work. This training really built that confidence in me that even one person is enough, even one person who truly believes that this is important, and this needs to be addressed. So at least somewhere the conversation needs to start about this, we need to go back to the organisation and start talking about it. From my perspective I did want to do something about it but I really didn’t know where to start. This really give me that start within my organisation to have a sort of at least semi formal conversations about this topic and where a company is going and what the company is really trying to do in terms of divs.
What did you learn about the other gender?
Men realised that they might be doing certain things but that’s not enough.
What was your experience of being involved with people from different companies?
I found it to be a very enlightening and fruitful experience to be with folks who are not from my organisation but from similar organisation with similar or different work cultures, bringing in their view points experiences, sharing their stories and you know, some of the women folks shared amazing stories, one of them was from a mining organisation, she shared that she was the first one to go out onto the field in her organisation and she was supported and encouraged by her org. to do so. That was an amazing story of empowerment and equality. A lot of companies shared amazing practices that they are doing already in the company. They’ve already started the conversation and they’ve had initiatives which have been successful or are on going. Benchmarking and best practices. They are an industry similar to ours and they are doing this, can we take something from that and really use it to improve the situation back home. It’s been a fantastic experience, everyone in the team has been so supportive and encouraging. I’ve really gone through six months of personal and professional transformation thanks to the training, it’s been very fruitful and it’s a beautiful experience to have.