In May 2023, we were proud to launch our third annual Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability Report (I.D.E.A. Report.) It looks at the progress we’ve made, and the plans we’ve put in place. We saw that our people have been inspired to do things that inspire, making MiQ – and the industry – an even better place to work. This blog series shines a light on those individuals who have done truly inspirational things.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m Deepali Sahu, and I’m currently a Senior analyst in the Data and Analytics team at MiQ. Throughout my career at MiQ, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with diverse individuals across different regions, including India, Southeast Asia, and the United States. I’m fascinated by different cultures and perspectives around the world which is why I love traveling. It’s allowed me to uncover new facets of myself and gain valuable insights into the world. I enjoy moments spent with friends, whether a casual hangout, an adventurous outing, or simply sharing stories over a cup of coffee.
How does inclusion inspire you?
I’ve come to realize that inclusion is a catalyst that helps me open up to new perspectives, backgrounds, and knowledge. It reinforces the idea that embracing differences enriches my personal growth and understanding of the world.
My time at MiQ has allowed me to meet like-minded people committed to driving meaningful change through avenues like CSR and D&I. I’ve had the opportunity to try to make a difference and the privilege of witnessing the positive impact of inclusion. It constantly motivates me to champion diversity and equity within our organization.
What is Signlusion and why is it important?
The term “Signlusion” is a fusion of the words “Sign” and “Inclusion”. To help promote inclusivity, we started the Signlusion program, which allows MiQers to gain basic proficiency in Indian Sign Language. Through this initiative, our participants engaged with and mentored hearing-impaired individuals in diverse corporate skills. Our goal is to enhance their employability and foster a more inclusive workplace.
This program served a dual purpose: students who participated received valuable career development advice, and MiQers discovered it was an effective way to break down communication barriers and dispel stigmas. We were proud to expand our networks while actively embracing inclusivity.
How did you champion this and roll it out at MiQ?
While working in the DEI team, I recognized that raising awareness was a helpful way to challenge stigmas – but it’s not enough. Instead, immersive experiences with genuine interactions lead to more authentic understanding and allyship. That’s why I wanted to create an experience that would give people the chance to gain knowledge, and apply it to their daily lives.
Promoting deaf awareness and learning Indian Sign Language (ISL) presented an actionable goal. So we conducted a survey to gauge interest in ISL classes, and were delighted with the response rates.
We forged a partnership with Enable India, an organization dedicated to empowering individuals with hearing disabilities. Together, we created a comprehensive plan encompassing two key focus areas: “Awareness and Training” and “Interaction and Mentorship”. Since then, we’ve had two cohorts take part, and we overcame challenges posed by the pandemic by using hybrid class formats and enhancing interaction opportunities.
What’s next? How do you plan to inspire more people about inclusion?
We’ve achieved outstanding success with the two previous Signlusion cohorts. During our first cohort, our mentorship helped 78% of our mentees pursuing their undergraduate degree secure employment. In the second cohort, we helped individuals to re-enter the workforce, and 82% of mentees went on to directly contribute to their household income.
I’m really passionate about the positive impact of this program, so I’m excited to say that we’re launching a new cohort in the coming months. Our overarching objective is to inspire an inclusive work environment within MiQ, and encourage inclusive hiring initiatives within our Center of Excellence (COE).
To see how inclusion has inspired other people at MiQ, take a peek at our I.D.E.A. Report.