Welcome to Part 2 of our June 2023 Inspirational Interview with Aparna Mittal, founder and proprietor of Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law in India.
Aparna is a leading Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor and corporate lawyer with over 18 years of experience. The Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law (Samāna or SCGPL) is a global consultancy focussed on equality and inclusion for all segments of diversity, and with a specialisation in gender and LGBTQ inclusion. Aparna brings a unique perspective of multi-themed advisory work spanning across workplace diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI); impact investing, environmental, social, and governance (ESG); and anti-discrimination/harassment (including anti-sexual harassment) frameworks.
In this part of the interview, Aparna talks about Samāna’s global influence and the contrubutions each individual can make to efforts to stop violence against women.
Part one of Aparna’s interview was published 4 June 2023.
All photos are courtesy of The Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law.
6.Since 2018, what sort of impact has SCGPL had on India’s approach and attitudes towards the sexual harassment of women and girls in the workplace?
Over the past five years of our work, Samāna has become widely recognised in the global market and especially Asia as a go-to market leader in this niche space of DEI. We have had the opportunity and privilege to advise more than 350 clients and lead conversations at 100+ conferences as a thought leader, collectively impacting 10 million+ people across multiple geographies, and ranging from big corporate offices in metropolitan cities to small set-ups in rural areas as well.
For our clients, we believe our work has helped bring about comprehensive change in many areas, including their: policies and processes; approach, attitude, awareness, and empowerment; infrastructure and culture; and in the overall corporate governance at their organisation.
7.How do you think men and boys can help to end violence against women?
Men and boys have a big role to play, as strong and vocal allies to the cause, and as key harbingers of progressive change and reform. If our aim is collective, collaborative, and long-lasting progressive change for all, men and boys have to come forward and proactively join hands in this journey for empowerment for all.
8.Tell us about SCGPL’s plans for the future. What campaigns, programmes, or projects do you have coming up in the next 5 years?
Our client base has doubled on a year-on-year basis over the past few years and we hope to continue to provide high quality services across geographies and across themes and sectors to clients. Our work remains quite agile, where we adapt to emerging and contemporary societal issues and trends. We look forward to continuing to be a market and thought leader in this area of work.
9.How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support the efforts of SCGPL to stop violence against women?
I strongly believe that each person has a sphere of influence where they can play a role in contributing to this area. Whether it is at work, at schools, or even the larger neighbourhood, civil society, and ecosystem of life, there is always something one can do to push the needle forward on matters of substantive equality, equity, and inclusion, and also to create more collective awareness and impact about issues of gender-based violence and its mitigation.
I implore Pixel Projects supporters to explore how they can contribute their time, efforts, and energies–no contribution is too “small”–it all adds up!
10. In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?
This is a complex issue. In my view, key things that are necessary to end violence against women for good include:
- progressive laws and policies, with robust processes, monitoring, and implementation, and zero tolerance towards violence;
- dedication of clear resources–both time and financial resources–by all stakeholders, to comprehensively address the whole spectrum of issues from creating awareness to penalizing and reforming perpetrators, and holistic rehabilitation of survivors;
- extensive initiatives and contribution by the private sector to further bolster the efforts governments and the public sector have been undertaking over decades.