Organizational DEI Initiatives from the Eyes of a Team Member

By Shehara Alahakoon

I am proud to be a part of an organization which not only focuses on business development but also the realization and achievement of the personal aspirations of the team members.

This culture of ensuring that the team members are happy, comfortable and motivated is ingrained in the DEI initiatives of the organization. Inter-generational Empowerment, Women Empowerment, Equal Opportunities, Open-Door policies and Gender Equality are the main components of our organization’s DEI strategy and they constantly revolve around ensuring that the team members are valued at all times irrespective of race, gender, religion nor physical disadvantages, or being physically disABLED –how our Founder likes to use the term.

From the very first day of joining the team, I slowly started understanding the support rendered by the leadership to the fellow team members and how the team members respected each other for who they are. Being able to be completely authentic was one of the very first things that caught my attention and to date it has not been changed. Leaving my two-year-old at home for the very first time tore my heart the first day I came to work. I soon overcame that fear and stress with the support from my fellow team members and the management who constantly reminded me of the flexibility to adopt my work responsibilities to suit my personal responsibilities with flexible working hours and work from home models.
Gender never matters as long as the individuals are committed to what they do and deliver their level best. I have never heard of an instance where one says it’s a man’s job or a woman’s job at the workplace. We all work together as one team and are duly appreciated and recognized by the management for our achievements while also supported and motivated every time we do not achieve the set targets.

Working from home during the pandemic was no easy task. Being a mother and bearing many other responsibilities and commitments – it was extra hard, as the case with most individuals during the WFH period. However, I was fortunate to work for an organization which constantly assisted me to balance work and personal life in the best possible manner. It was clearly communicated by the leadership to ALL of us to give priority to the family commitments and maintain a sound mental health. The management personally checked up on us all to ensure that the pandemic and the lockdown did not get in to our heads nor stress us out. Webinars on mental health were organized where we could anonymously bring up any concerns we had and seek professional support if required. These webinars were honestly very useful at a time when stress and fear overtook our day to day lives.

Another significant experience at PR Wire is how the leadership constantly empowers women. We are all pushed forward to overcome our fears and break the barriers to achieve our aspirations. Mentoring and guidance from the leadership has assisted us in believing in ourselves and understand our self-worth. Valuing ourselves in the corporate world is crucial in order to climb higher mountains in this business world dominated by men.

Majority of the team being dynamic youngsters, the seniors in the team constantly nurture and empower the juniors via personal experience and knowledge sharing sessions. In a highly competitive business environment, I believe that this is a great gesture from our seniors. They strive to ensure that the juniors are given opportunities to lead projects till their end, to offer the required experience and on-the job learning while being a great support whenever required. Being supportive to all team members, may it be professional support or personal support, is embedded in the culture of our Group.

I am grateful to this culture where we can bring up our concerns to the leadership or respective superiors without being judged or ignored but to be listened to and supported. The diversity, equality and inclusive initiatives practiced by our organization has enabled me to walk in to work with my authentic personality and feel valued and accepted. The priority the organization places on these initiatives are clearly visible with their efforts on ensuring equality and inclusivity begins from the lowest level such as from inclusive language at workplace where they discourage the use of words such as employer / employee, guys and other gender-based terms. I am proud to be a part of this organization.

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