Bringing His Whole Self to Work
Computer Science and Engineering graduate student Manas Prakash Sadhwani recently won a Diversity Works Award from SCU's Career Center for his answer to the question, "How do you hope to bring your whole self to work?" Among influences like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi, Manas also mentioned the effect taking SCU’s course, Gender and Engineering, had on his approach to working with others, mentioning that this was where he learned the difference between playing Devil’s Advocate—bringing up the negative point of view—versus taking an Angel’s Advocate approach to inspire positive and creative ideas. Below is the text of his presentation during the awards ceremony.
I’m here to share my intersectional perspective and how I would contribute to the workplace through it. First of all, I think that communication is the biggest blockade when it comes to a multicultural setup, because there are people from different backgrounds and regions working together so it is very much possible that an employee has trouble communicating his/her ideas to other teammates as English is not the first language for many. Being an Indian and having grown to learn four languages, I believe that I can improve the communication between the employees so they can share their ideas more comfortably and would increase the overall productivity of the employees. Secondly, I believe that being a man, it is my responsibility to make the workplace conducive to people from different gender groups, and as a part of that initiative I took up a course called Gender and Engineering in my last quarter where I learnt about Devils and Angels Advocates along with terms like Relational personality and Individualistic personality. I believe these are really important when you’re working with people from different groups.
I would like to add that, the beauty of a multicultural workplace is that you get to interact with people and learn from their experiences and ideas. An example, which comes to my mind right now, is of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. As we all know, King was inspired by Gandhi’s idea of nonviolent resistance and the rest is history. What I learn from this example is that an idea is the most powerful and it goes beyond all barriers like race, gender, ethnicity and upbringing. All I want to do is keep an open mind and keep learning from people I’ll be working with.