Diversity executive speaks at the Ivy College Business


Courtesy of Upsplash

The Ivy College of Business hosted Sanjita Pradhan, senior consultant at Cook Ross, to speak to students on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion last week.

Certified Diversity Executive Sanjita Pradhan presented a speech on diversity, equity and inclusion and their effects on society and the business world during an event hosted by the Ivy College of Business.

Pradhan, a senior consultant at Cook Ross, spoke to Iowa State students on Oct. 11 about the increasing diversity, equity and inclusion programs and implementations in business and how to properly promote diversity. Additionally, she talked on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Pradhan said the effort to create a more diverse and equitable workplace has increased in recent years. The efforts are a response to a more inclusive society, but also to an increasing amount of diversity in the population, which Pradhan presented through various statistics during her speech.

Diversity in the workplace is intended to bring minds from different backgrounds and life experiences together in order to better suit the most people in the market. The efforts to create equity help benefit people based on their differences instead of giving everyone the same treatment. Inclusion differs from equity based on giving people a voice, which helps them achieve equity and equality.

According to Pradhan’s speech, the expected growth of multiracial populations is increasing by 200% in the next few decades. Pradhan believes the future depends on how people solve issues that create a lack of diversity in the workplace.

Pradhan spoke on how workers must continue to strive for these goals in the workplace. Pradhan said in particular, a greater effort to understand one another must be made.

“A lot of these dimensions make us who we are and allows us to have different viewpoints and lenses to our lives,” Pradhan said. “We don’t know about how other people experience life or what their thought process is. We have to be in this continuous journey to learn about other races, other genders, ethnicity, social class and ability to really understand their perspective.”

Pradhan said the dimensions or aspects of people — the ways that make us diverse — are not always outwardly noticeable. Ability, beliefs and parental status are among the many different dimensions that others may not be aware of initially but still make up someone’s identity in a large way.

In these cases, Pradhan advises people to continue to learn about different cultures, people and places to craft a greater understanding so that they can better accommodate and relate to one another.

Pradhan said a diversity of thought creates a diversity of markets, so having diverse workplaces creates larger benefits for more people.

“We can control how we think, how we feel, how we react and how we perceive other people,” Pradhan said. “Being introspective, and learning about our own history, what kind of privileges I do or do not have—it’s so important to have that self-awareness and then that learning about ‘okay so I know about mine, what about other people?’”

Among the last ideas present were that diversity and inclusion are the keys to healthy, growing and successful businesses. Pradhan explained that inclusive business cultures are two times more likely to meet and exceed financial goals, six times more likely to be innovative and eight times more likely to achieve internal and external business objectives.

In order to achieve these goals, Pradhan believes work has to be a place that the workers want to go to, and this becomes more likely when work is inclusive and equitable.