Prof Nasima Carrim from the Department of Human Resource Management delivered a keynote address at the Doing Difference Differently (UP3D) ceremony on 20 March 2018.
The ceremony has been held annually since 2015 to award first-year students across all faculties who have successfully completed the model. Prof Norman Duncan, Vice-Principal: Academic, initiated the module, which was developed and is being taught by Prof Christi van der Westhuizen of the Faculty of Humanities. The module’s focus is on barriers to inclusivity from the perspective of critical diversity theory, and it is aligned with the University of Pretoria’s vision, mission and values in relation to transformation.
Prof Carrim was invited to address the ceremony because of her research on diversity management, especially related to minorities in the workplace and their experiences within corporate South Africa. She was also a member of the reference group during the development of the UP3D module.
In her address, Prof Carrim elaborated on the extent to which culture and religion play a role in the lives of minority employees and form part of their core identities, and how these identities are not considered in many organisations. She emphasised that organisational leaders must play a bigger role in educating the workforce and creating a conducive environment where employees from diverse backgrounds are embraced and respected. She also pointed out that there are multiple ways in which discrimination takes place within the workforce, ranging from office gossip to workplace bullying. She added that, while race and gender are important variables to be considered as being the cause of discrimination within corporate South Africa, they are not the only elements which result in workplace discrimination.