International Inclusion Alliance Conference 2024 Promotes Diversity and Equity in New Delhi Summit

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New Delhi, 16th Feb: The International Inclusion Alliance (IIA) Conference 2024, held on February 15th at the prestigious India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, brought together esteemed diplomats, dignitaries, policymakers, thought and corporate leaders to tackle pressing issues surrounding diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Notable attendees included Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs & Culture of India, Sandeep Marwah, Chancellor AAFT & ICMEI, and Dr. Neeraj A. Sharma, Co-founder of IIA, alongside delegates from nations including Gambia, New Zealand, and Jamaica. The conference aimed to address the inclusion of diverse genders, social, and financial groups into the mainstream workforce, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Distinguished members from various fields engaged in impactful panel discussions, sharing insights and exchanging ideas to propel societal progress. The first panel, moderated by Deepali Naair, CMO of CK Birla Group, delved into “Propagating Inclusion in STEM.” Esteemed panellists such as Manish Srivastava, Narinder Anand, Bhawna Verma, Neha Aggarwal, and Stuti Bhageria shed light on challenges hindering women’s participation in industrial sectors and leadership roles.

Insights revealed disparities in women’s recruitment and retention, with Ms. Bhageria highlighting women’s superior performance in quality-check roles. Discussions emphasized the importance of unconscious bias training in recruitment processes and advocated for a gender-agnostic approach to hiring. Panellists stressed the need for increased female representation in leadership, fostering a supportive environment for female voices, and providing psychological safety.

Another panel tackled “Societal Inclusion,” featuring leaders like Nicholas Tota, Geeta L. Sahai, Arti Manchanda, Sabyasachi Saha, and Nirupama Prakash. Discussions addressed stigmas faced by disadvantaged groups and proposed solutions, including exchange programs and gender sensitization courses, to combat discrimination and foster societal inclusivity.

Founder of EMBRACE Consulting and IIA, Shruti Swaroop, shared her journey and vision, emphasizing inclusivity as a catalyst for societal unity. She acknowledged co-founder Neeraj A. Sharma’s contributions to the alliance’s mission of promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) values at all levels of the workforce.

Minister Meenakshi Lekhi underscored India’s commitment to inclusivity, highlighting initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna and efforts to improve economic accessibility and nutrition levels. Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Palau, Neeraj A. Sharma, celebrated Palau’s matrilineal culture and women’s pivotal role in decision-making, advocating for inclusivity in all spheres of society.

The conference concluded with Jacqueline Mukangira, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to India, honoring panel members and dignitaries, marking a pivotal step towards a more inclusive future.


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