DEI & Posh - Inclusive Leadership - Ethical Living

Workplace culture is continuously evolving, with more and more emphasis on onboarding diverse resources. It is certainly revolutionizing the way professionals are adapting to such changes and
becoming accepting of the most prominently used terms today–diversity, equity and inclusion. This welcome change is gradually becoming visible. Several unacceptable incidents at random stand
testimony of the deep-rooted issue of the alarming disparity in genders worldwide, existing even in today’s times in varying degrees irrespective of the developing status of nations.

My Philosophy

“Men and women can never be the same. They have always displayed their differences in their view of the world and that’s what makes them unique. It’s time we bask in the glory of these distinct differences, embrace them, celebrate them and complement each other. That’s the only way to bring in peace and harmony in all man-woman relationships. ”


History is witness to the fact that starting from the right to having a say or making choices even in trivial matters, women remained suppressed. It compelled them to contain their natural intelligence and suffer with patience – the silence ironically regarded as a virtue. The case of Nobel Prize laureate and one of the exemplary scientists in the world till date, Madame Marie Curie, is a classic example of the pangs of discrimination women faced despite proving their brilliance. The rise of feminism was one extreme, and the other is chauvinism, which I feel is the predominant cause of involuntary imbalance in societies across the globe.The situation, though better in 2023, we still come across extremists like Andrew Tate, the unabashed misogynist, influencing young men with his nasty comments about women. The recent gory incident of the brutal murder of the teenage girl in Delhi, succeeding the gruesome Nirbhayacase, just goes to prove the lackadaisical attitudes of civilized societies towards beginning gender sensitisation at the grassroots level of the family unit.

Conjugal relationship in the institution of marriage seems to be only about bearing children to prove fertility and fulfilling societal expectations. Taking up parental roles is a seriously responsible task. There’s no parenting style that can be perfect. No rulebook can teach parents how to bring up children to value ethical living without parents being conscious about leading by example. This brings me to instilling leadership values right from home. But who is the role model? When generations have lived under the shadows of stress resulting from the constant battles of gender discrimination, expecting a quick substantial change is unreal. Despite the gender battles, history is replete with examples of women in leadership roles. One prominent name that remains awe-inspiring for me is the quintessential Indian warrior Queen Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi aka Manikarnika. May be the visuals from the Indian television series that portrayed her life strengthened the image of this ferocious warrior in my mind. In the recent past, a gentleman I met during a trip to Mumbai debated that the social fabric of Norway was crumbling because of their women. On seeing my scornful expression, he tried to pacify me by pretending to
admire Rani of Jhansi for having voluntarily taken up the role of a leader to protect her province. He said, ‘I have deep respect and admiration for her as she took up a man’s role.’

‘A man’s role?’, I questioned sarcastically. I was further upset that his partner, who was my erstwhile college mate, was silent throughout the debate. I wondered which side she was on and her silence was amusing.

Mustn’t we question ourselves about how this belief that leadership roles are a man’s prerogative came into existence? For generations, we have largely created the belief system of assigning specific roles to genders. Such belief systems are limiting in nature and hinder the collective growth of societies. The gender inequality we see today in workplaces is the consequence of every limiting step taken by us through generations, setting wrong standards, barring a few activists who lead certain reforms that history boasts about. Men and women can never be the same, for nature has designed them with specific strengths for a purpose. It’s time we bask in the glory of these distinct differences that make them unique, embrace them, celebrate them and complement each other. That’s the only way to bring in equality, peace and harmony.


The concept of ‘inclusivity’ emerged as an answer to combating imbalance caused by the male dominance in workplaces. The hazards of such dominance are a deterrent to the growth of an organization. To add, the emergence of the other genders today is starkly confusing. It’s understandable that the definition of ‘normal’ is taking another shape that requires further unlearning. Getting sensitized to this new revelation and assertion by other genders is a challenging process. What prevails over all the mayhem created by limiting beliefs and mindsets is kindness and compassion–the most desired virtues to become inclusive leaders who can inspire change.


As a parent, I encourage both my daughter and son to pursue being trained in martial art skills as much as I lay a strong emphasis on both of them learning culinary skills and housekeeping. Inclusive leadership must begin at home, trickling into academic institutions and workplaces. Encouraging children to learn life skills without gender bias, instilling a strong value system, fostering ethical living, teaching them to appreciate differences, displaying compassion towards every entity on this planet, developing a respectful attitude–all this go a long way in building healthy societies. Paying attention to the softer aspects of life might sound idealistic in the dog-eat-dog world, but that’s
what transcends into culture, influencing the workplace. No wonder the corporate world is now waking up to the concept of emotional intelligence, spirituality at workplaces and mental health.


It’s time we notice how ethical and intuitive living, emotional intelligence, mindset of growth, inclusive attitude, mental health, healthy societies and workplace culture are interconnected. The onus is on us to set a higher standard and lead the change collectively. The change begins at the individual level with a personal leadership that trickles down at deeper levels. It’s a known fact that the ability of the human mind is unfathomable. We limit ourselves responsibly. Let’s break our internal barriers and create homes, institutions and workplaces that foster inclusivity. Possibilities are endless. If we don’t become the ‘change’ for the change we envision, the vicious cycle of exclusivity shall continue, endangering our very existence as the supreme beings on this planet.


1. Raise children as ‘Thought Leaders’ without the age-old stereotypical gender biases
2. Engage children, teachers, support staff in drafting a mission statement
3. Encourage schools to campaign through street plays, slogans and poster making competition
4. Resume special periods to include lessons, activities and presentation on morals, values and
ethical living in schools
5. Foster positive behavior, identify, recognize and reward the deserving students.
6. Create equal opportunities and appreciating everyone’s individual abilities
7. Engaging people in social activities and celebrations irrespective of economic, social, cultural,
religious or political backgrounds.
8. Making workplaces an inclusive environment by hiring specially abled people and all genders
9. Harnessing the intelligence and experience of retired and senior citizens to make them feel
inclusive and useful

10. Build respectful means of communication amongst everyone irrespective of age, caste,
religion, culture, nationality


I believe once the concept of inclusivity is woven in the tapestry of individual, social, academic, government and corporate fabric, the importance of ‘inclusive leadership’ will grow in the coming years. Inclusive leadership begins with empathy, compassion, self-awareness, social awareness, and the ability to build connections. To conclude, ‘inclusive leadership’ demands courage and camaraderie. The leadership of forward thinking organizations would not shy away from investing their resources in building inclusive work places as they can foresee how they tend to gain with diverse abilities of a varied workforce. True leadership after all trickles down from the top to the bottom.

Dr Meghana Shashidhar

Dr Meghana Shashidhar - Sustainability & ESG, CSR Expert 🔰Travel🔰Fitness🔰Social impact🔰Environment Enthusiast🔰Prof & Author

20th July, 2023

Shilpi and i met as guest speakers in an event on IWD. We immediately connected so well and soon became friends. Co -incidently, I was on a hunt to explore my voice on a more deeper level as my role at job & at home, involves lot of influencing, persuading & motivating people arround me.

Shilpi’s sessions are UNIQUE!! Not because she is my dear friend, but as an EXPERIENCE, she works hard along with us to conciously improve the PERFORMANCE, speak with EMOTIONS, use PAUSES, use right WORDS and more importantly the BREATHING EXERCISES, BODY LANGUAGE and the SMILE. She finetunes, trains us on each of these aspects in our voice, CRITICALLY REVIEW with proper FEEDBACK to lead us on the path of being an EFFECTIVE communicator.

I have been applying the techniques given by Shilpi, and still practicing as it only gets better day by day!!!

When it comes to her class, She is very strict, disciplined, provide constant support and integrates the SOUND HEALING techniques to give us an outstanding experience!!

Dr Meghana Shashidhar

Sustainability & ESG, CSR Expert 🔰Travel🔰Fitness🔰Social impact🔰Environment Enthusiast🔰Prof & Author

We at SVV believe in holistic wellness through restoration of vibrational balance.
We promote art, philanthropy, spirituality & self-development through professional and social initiatives