“Diversity can be counterproductive unless inclusion comes into play!” Garima is very sure of that.
A month ago, I was elated to see someone from my Alma-mater (IMT Ghaziabad, India) making waves in the global Diversity and Inclusion arena. Winner of several awards, her latest being Diversity and Inclusion Leaders Award 2022 by the World HRD Congress, the news caught my eye.
Garima Tyagi-HR business
partner leader for Verizon India
“Hey! That is a hot topic for us”, I was excited and immediately wanted to reach out.
“Let’s talk”, I buzzed her while checking more. She is driven by people, results, passion and humanness in making sustainable & impactful difference across varied industries and scales of organizations in India, APAC & the US during the last 16 years of her career journey. She is also supporting Global HR committee of Della leaders club (DLC).
“I was always a bit of a rebel while growing up, always challenging the status quo”, she says. The D&I cap fits her fine, therefore, in the constant move to strive for equality.
She defines diversity as being invited to take a seat at the table while inclusion is about getting a chance to share one’s views there.
“Diversity is the tipping point to be more innovative, creative and dynamic” she opines.
To her, it is not about gender or ethnicity. It is about having a good mix of thoughts, perspectives and ideas. Working in the Indian arm of Verizon, across multiple business groups, she has been at the helm of driving change by steering the incorporation of D&I in Verizon, one of the world´s largest players in the telecom sector. It is said that 65% of the world’s telecom requirements are met by Verizon which caters to a wide and varied audience profile. Some years back, when the drive for D&I began in the Indian arm, she engaged with thousands of employees in Verizon before onboarding millennials and people with disabilities as well as an increased mix of women in order to keep the organization abreast of innovation and to cater to the changing audience profile and preferences.
She actively practises diversity by ensuring that there is good representation of diverse groups in the work force and by giving space for them to bring in creativity and innovative practices by leveraging their ideas and thoughts while enabling processes to avoid unconscious bias and allow equitable decisions.
She believes that the last 7 or 8 years have seen a sea of change at an organizational and societal level. The changes have been many- from being vocal about the need of diversity and inclusion for business results, to having candid conversations about “why is it required” and “the ways” in which it can be strengthened. There are a lot of orientation sessions which help people understand the “what’s in it for me” aspect of inclusion and “how can I contribute”.
Before I bid adieu till next month, here are some beautiful parting words from Garima:
“Creating a world of belonging, happiness and inclusion around us begins with you and me.
Let’s accept others with their differences and encourage them to be the best version of themselves. Let people be…”
Goodbye… till we meet again.
With lots of love from Hamburg,
CEO Vedas Shaakha