“Here’s something else that I realized which is very rarely brought into this conversation is we talk about white privilege and other privileges. Let’s talk about economic privilege. It’s really easy to become out of touch when you’ve started to gain economic privilege. And I know for myself, I’ve lived on both sides of the proverbial track. I’ve been poor, I’ve been wealthy. And at the end of the day, the problems that I face with money are very different than the problems I faced without.” – Victor Rampaderat, Founder of Discourse.
Victor’s helps organizations build diversity and inclusion within their corporate spaces, as well as their environments and cultures. He’s an immigrant from South America as a young boy – whose parents came to Canada “as refugees fleeing a lot of tensions that were happening back home. And when we got here, it was not an easy experience. The 80s were full of racism, there were a lot of derogatory comments towards people of color, there weren’t very many opportunities and the opportunities that existed were available mostly in low-wage paying jobs. So it was really tough. There were probably about 10 of us in a two bedroom apartment in Scarborough.”
Victor’s perspective on the inclusion landscape
“I think we’re just getting started. I know that, last year we started to see the rise of the the CDO, or chief diversity officer, which was one of the fastest growing C suite, if not the fastest growing C suite roles. It can’t be one person carrying the weight, it really needs to be an entire organization, top to bottom. And that’s where the challenge is. Because you have folks that for whatever reason is, this is very personal to them, they’re out to lunch, because it doesn’t affect them.”
“I can certainly fall on the slightly more combative end of things where, when it comes to a discussion, I’m like, ‘Well, excuse you’ or ‘I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean to say that!’ And I do rely to some extent on my ability to use humor and wit and satire to get me through those discussions. That comes from my my lived experience. We moved around a lot as a family growing-up. I lived in different parts of the world. And then I’ve chosen to be, in the entrepreneurial space the last decade or so for work. That’s meant that there isn’t necessarily a boss or a framework or a complaint box that I could go to when issues happen on the daily. So I’ve learned to protect myself.” – Susan Diaz
“Realistically, one of the things that I’ve always said is that you need to change people’s hearts before you can change their minds. The people that want the change, will change. I’ve changed numerous times in my life. I was a criminal. Before I was 18, I was banned from the entire region I now live in. At the end of the day, I realized at that point, I no longer wanted to be that person. I wanted to be someone else. My parents didn’t sacrifice the things they did, to come to this country, for me to end up a failure, either dead or in jail.”
“Your own personal journey is so powerfulin the collective as well. You said Okay, this was the status quo, I was living this kind of life, and it fit, and it worked. But that’s no longer the person or the company, or the image, or the reputation that we want to have. So let’s just reinvent. We don’t need to reinvent everything. But who is it that we want to be to our customers, our employees? Just having that moment of self-reflection is a powerful way to start.” – Rohini Mukherji
Listen to the full episode and drop us a 5-star review if you’re a return visitor. Thank you!