On 21st August 2019 a Guest Lecture was held by Mr. Sameer Samudra, currently working as Director, Customer Support Excellence at Cummins, India and has been working with Cummins for 19 years.
This guest lecture, unlike others, was special in its own way as Mr. Samudra described how Diversity and Inclusion is the pulse of any organization and also how it affects society. He also talked about authentic leadership.
He started and connected with the audience by opening up about his own struggles he had faced while coming out as gay and accepting himself as he is today and how it changed his life both at the professional and personal level. Diversity and Inclusion made it possible for people to feel included as a part of a bigger circle by creating various groups on demographic factors like different cultural groups, women help groups, daycare facilities, LGBT, etc.
He described how individuality and peace of mind affect our performance at the workplace and how productivity depends upon how we feel like an individual and consider ourselves important and a part of society. If only you feel confident about yourself then only you can give your 100% and how the company looks out for talent and hence, they focus on diversity and inclusion so they won’t lose their valuable employees. Around 15 years back, the women workforce in Cummins was 2% and it has reached 34% now.
With this, he also discussed the role of Authentic Leadership in an organization and how the vision of leader differentiates him from being a manager and how his strong conviction and ability to motivate his team makes a difference.
He explained the practices they used to follow while working in Cummins and how it has a positive effect on their career and helps in removing various roadblocks and hurdles. Mr. Samudra also shed light on being a change agent and how a small change can bring a big difference.
Apart from this he also talked about the difficulties LGBT group still faces regarding their acceptance in society as a normal citizen and fighting for the rights they are entitled to. He spoke at length about how visibility matters for the LGBT group and trans-genders and how we can help them get the respect they deserve. He also answered the questions from the audience. The session was eye-opening and wonderfully delivered.