Focus on Inclusion: AAPI Month Reflections with Jash Vora
May 25, 2023
In this Q&A session, we have the privilege of delving into Lineage's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) during National AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Month. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jash Vora, technical project manager on our Data Science team, who graciously shared his personal insights and experience both as a Lineage team member and a member of the greater AAPI community. Jash sheds light on the significance of AAPI Month, the challenges faced by AAPI individuals in the workplace and how organizations like Lineage can address them. Join us as we explore Jash's unique perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of DE&I initiatives in fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment.
As a member of the AAPI community, what does AAPI Month mean to you?
I consider AAPI month to be a time of personal reflection and celebration. I have been encouraged and inspired by the organic growth of the AAPI community, not only within Lineage but across the broader workforce. I see it as a testament to the great strides we’ve made towards building and fostering inclusivity. At the same time, this month serves as a perfect opportunity for us to pause and acknowledge that our DE&I journey is ongoing. Our work isn’t done; there is still progress to be made.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges or barriers that AAPI individuals face in the workplace, and how can organizations like Lineage address them?
From my perspective, a lack of comprehensive diversity education and contextual understanding are some of the greatest challenges. The US is built on this grand idea of welcoming and bringing together people from all walks of life, but it feels as if we have lost some momentum of late. I don’t think most people realize that the AAPI community makes up roughly 6% of the entire US population and is composed of more than 30 nationalities and even more ethnic groups within those nationalities. The AAPI community is incredibly complex and diverse.
To address these challenges, empowering our DE&I team to educate team members would have a profound impact by providing crucial context about the vastness and plurality within the AAPI community. Understanding and empathizing with our colleagues’ unique life journeys is essential – it serves as a cornerstone – when building a truly inclusive work environment where every individual feels valued, celebrated and seen.
What role do you believe allyship plays in advancing AAPI inclusion, and how can non-AAPI colleagues effectively support and uplift the AAPI community?
I believe allyship is crucial to advancing AAPI inclusion, and broader inclusion as well. Non-AAPI colleagues have the power to effectively support and uplift the AAPI community through small, consistent and meaningful displays of support. Demonstrating genuine allyship requires us to recognize and appreciate the unique backgrounds and life experiences each individual brings. A welcoming and respectful work environment is the foundation of strong community allies.
The first step towards being a genuine AAPI ally is to become an active listener. Acknowledge the fact that your colleagues may have a different outlook on life, shaped by their heritage and experiences, and seek to celebrate that diversity. By actively listening and seeking to understand, we can create a workplace culture that embraces and uplifts all communities.
What advice would you give to other AAPI professionals who are seeking career growth and advancement within the logistics industry?
My advice is to actively seek out teams and leaders who prioritize making you feel heard and welcomed. Remember that psychological workplace safety is just as crucial as physical safety and it significantly impacts your career outlook and development.
By aligning yourself with teams and leaders who value and respect your contributions, you create an environment that nurtures your growth and supports your aspirations. Surround yourself with individuals who appreciate the unique perspectives and talents you bring to the table. When you feel genuinely heard and valued, it can make a profound difference in your career journey.
Embracing Allyship, Celebrating Diversity and Empowering AAPI Professionals
In this enlightening Q&A session, we had the opportunity to hear Jash's personal reflections and valuable insights into the significance of this month and the challenges AAPI individuals encounter in the workplace.
Lineage remains steadfast in its commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment for all team members. By embracing allyship, celebrating diversity and fostering a workplace where everyone feels heard and welcomed, we can collectively create a stronger and more inclusive logistics industry. As we honor AAPI Month, let us continue to champion DE&I initiatives and empower AAPI professionals to thrive and achieve their career aspirations.