Breaking barriers together: Inspiring inclusion at Epsilon India

What is the essence of inclusion? How do initiatives aimed at inclusion lead to substantial transformations and equitable opportunities for everyone? How can we identify and break down our deeply rooted biases?

March 8th marked International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women worldwide and advancing the cause of gender equality. At Epsilon India, the spotlight was on this year’s theme, 'Inspiring Inclusion'. We extended the dialogue on inclusion beyond gender to encompass inclusion for everyone – regardless of backgrounds, abilities, or identities - in workplaces and communities. While these conversations transcend a single day or month and represent an ongoing journey, we used this opportunity to deepen our understanding of inclusion and amplify diverse voices.

One such event was a fireside chat featuring award-winning quad amputee blade runner Shalini Saraswati. Shalini's remarkable journey from adversity to triumph left an indelible mark on the 800 employees who attended the session.


In 2012, Shalini had a near-death experience after contracting a rare bacterial infection – this was followed by multiple organ failure, falling into a coma, and eventually, losing all four limbs. Today, Shalini dons many hats – she runs marathons, is a motivational speaker and also juggles a corporate job.

Her story of resilience, coupled with her infectious humor, inspired us to challenge our perceptions of inclusion and embrace diversity in all its forms. Addressing the necessity for inclusion, she noted the scarcity in representation of diverse individuals around us in society. And this seeps into our workplaces eventually.

“We have very few references for people with disabilities. How many of us went to school with people with disabilities or had transgender classmates? Or, how many of us have doctors or teachers from these communities? If we saw this happen more, it would be lot more acceptable,” she said.

Moderating the session was our very own Joseleen Princy, Senior Business Systems Analyst, Epsilon, who is also member of the LGBTQ+ community. An active public speaker, Josleen emphasized the significance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) policies in the workplace. “Without DE&I policies, I don’t think I would be sitting here, or leading a dignifiedIWD 2 life. Education and employment are two main factors towards social acceptance and tolerance. That way inclusion has helped me a lot. There’s still ostracization, indifferences, alienation, discrimination, stigma, and taboo. What matters is change is happening positively. And as someone from a gender minority group, this is a huge deal.”

In addition to the fireside chat, an LGBTQ+ sensitization workshop, led by Sonali Dutta from Pride Circle, India’s leading DE&I advisory consultancy, offered invaluable perspectives to employees on LGBTQ+ rights and allyship. The session explored a deeper comprehension of LGBTQ+ issues, pertinent laws in the country, dispelling misconceptions, and strategies for effective allyship.

As we reflect on this International Women’s Day, we recognize every intentional step towards moving the needle on DE&I is crucial. Through striking meaningful conversations, inspiring stories, and ongoing initiatives, we strive to create a more equal and equitable workplace, and a world, where every individual feels valued and empowered.